It is normal for your dog to lose its hair. The frequency and amount of hair loss depends on its breed, season of the year and health condition. Two are the main seasons when your dog loses lots of hair: fall and spring. During fall, most dogs lose old hair and develop thick coats to be protected from the winter cold. However, when the weather starts warming up in the spring, dogs drop their hair by shedding. That always causes hair balls spinning around all over the house floor and hair mixed with dust clinging on the furniture. This is quite frustrating, especially if your dog sheds excessively, because no matter how often and well you sweep and undust, a thin layer of hair comes back in minutes. But, how normal is the excessive hair loss?
Probable causes of excessive hair loss
- poor nutrition
- bathing the dog with the wrong shampoo for its fur-type
- the dog has been infected by pests
- the dog has allergy to something it comes in contact with, for example its bed or a synthetic carpet
- you never brush the dog
- imbalance in dog’s thyroid gland
The most important thing you need to do to minimize your dog’s shedding is to maintain a proper and well-balanced nutrition for your dog. Your vet will recommend the proper feed for your fury friend according to its breed, size and age. You should also brush your dog regularly, as this removes the old hair that is stuck on its fur. Five minutes of brushing every day are enough to remove up to 50% of the old hair before it ends up on your floor. Your vet or a pet shop can suggest the correct type of brush to use along with the proper shampoo for your dog’s fur-type. Do not wash your dog with your shampoo because doing so deteriorates the shedding and can cause allergies. Visit your vet for a medical exam will give you a clearer picture of your dog’s health and it will also solve any problem related to hormone imbalance or medication side effects(if your dog is under any medication).
When to worry about excessive shedding
Unusual hair loss or strange marks on your dog’s skin may indicate a more complex health issue. If you notice anything of the following, visit your vet as soon as possible.
- the dog resists being touched or it is tender to the touch
- bald patches appear on the dog’s skin where it loses fur
- the dog itches and scratches during shedding
- the hair loss is accompanied by another skin problem, like redness or harsh and dry skin
- the dog loses hair unevenly
- the dog’s fur is dry and brittle
You cannot prevent a healthy dog from normal shedding but you can minimize and control its hair loss by grooming your dog regularly and properly. Use the correct shampoo for its fur type, dry it well after bathing and brushing it with the correct brush. Maintain a proper nutrition for its breed and age -avoid giving it from your food!- and make sure its bed and other surfaces it lies on are not from synthetic material. If the problem persists, visit your vet for a medical examination. In case you cannot bear at all the dog’s hair in the house, consider either placing a comfortable dog house in the garden or choosing a breed with the less shedding. Before you buy a dog, visit a shelter and think about adopting one from there.
Always remember that having a pet comes with the responsibility of taking care of it. Pets are not gifts or toys. If you are not able to take care of it, then do not take it!