Ask the Vet: Why Does My Dog Shed?

Ask the Vet: Why Does My Dog Shed?

Jack Russell Shedding on Floor
All dogs shed — though, some more than others.

If you have a dog who sheds excessively, it may simply be a trait of your dog’s breed, but it’s best to know what to look for in case of an underlying medical issue.

Below, we’ll go over why most dogs shed, some tips for mitigating the mess, and how to know when to worry about excessive shedding.

Why do dogs shed?

Shedding is the process of losing damaged or old hair, and it is completely normal for all dogs.

Even though all dogs shed, some dogs shed more than others. For example, border collies, Australian shepherds, golden retrievers, Newfoundlands, and pomeranians tend to shed a lot. Most dogs who shed profusely throughout the year are “double-coated.” These breeds “blow coat” (shed their undercoat) twice a year.

Essentially, all dogs shed an especially profuse amount in the spring because over the winter, they’ve developed a thick coat for warmth and protection.

Tips for limiting the mess of shedding

First, you should avoid cutting your dog’s coat or shaving your dog in the summer as it may actually harm them.

Here are some things you can do to reduce shedding and the mess:

  • Have your dog groomed regularly
  • Brush your dog routinely at home
  • Create a bed that’s just for your dog
  • Keep your dog off the furniture
  • Vaccum and lint-roll often!
  • Try an omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplement for dogs (speak to your veterinarian first)


When should you worry about shedding?

Certain patterns of shedding may indicate an underlying health issue, such as:

  • Hormones: Generally, a thyroid imbalance
  • Stress: A new pet, the loss of a family member or pet, a change in home environment, or another traumatic event
  • Allergies: To a certain food, medication, new dog shampoo, household cleaner, pests, etc.
  • Skin conditions: Usually ringworm, dermatitis, or mites

If you are concerned about your dog’s excessive shedding, schedule an appointment at Sunset Veterinary Clinic today. An experienced veterinarian should examine your dog to be sure no underlying issues are causing excessive shedding.

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