Shedding is a natural part of life for all animals with hair. Especially in the warmer months, your dog may seem to be shedding all over the house and on your clothing. Some dogs are prone to shedding, or there may be a medical reason behind it. Grooming and special shedding products can help keep the shedding problem to a minimum.
All dogs shed, but shedding differs immensely among different breeds. A poodle barely sheds at all if groomed regularly, but a dog with an undercoat can shed regularly, seasonally or year-round. If you are looking for a breed that sheds minimally, consider terriers, Maltese and schnauzers.
Weather and Climate
Some parts of the country stay warm for many months of the year and it can seem that your dog is shedding constantly. The winter brings a heavier coat for most dogs. This coat will usually be shed come spring. If your dog doesn't spend much time outside, it can shed year-round.
Many long-haired dogs have two layers or coats of fur, the outer coat which is tougher and usually longer and the undercoat which is softer and shorter. Dogs with undercoats generally shed them in the spring and shed more in general since they have more fur overall. If your dog has an undercoat, you can purchase brushes specially designed to reduce the undercoat and therefore reduce shedding.
Illnesses such as skin infections, ringworm, stress, cancer and mange can cause constant shedding. The coat should not get thinner as your dog ages. If this is occurring, see the veterinarian. Shedding from illness may also cause bald spots.
Grooming can work wonders for a dog that seems to be shedding constantly. Getting the hair out with a grooming mitt or brush will keep it from clinging to every surface of your home and wardrobe. Groom your dog more often in the spring, when he is losing his winter coat, and in the summer, when the heat may cause him to shed more. Shampoos and spray-on products to further prevent shedding are available at your pet store.
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