5 Reasons Why Your Dog is Shedding So Much
Do you have a dog who seems to be shedding a lot? Are you worried about what might be causing this symptom in your pet? Did you know shedding is typically not a sign of an underlying health problem—but that it can be?
If your dog seems to be shedding a lot more than is normal for her, it’s important to think about what could be causing this issue. In the article below, we’ll help you address some of the most common causes of excessive shedding in dogs. You can use this information to narrow down the list of possibilities and determine when it might be time to talk to your vet for more information as well. Read on to find out more.
1. Seasonal Shedding
Seasonal shedding typically occurs twice in a year—once when the weather gets hot outside, and once when you first turn on your heater indoors for the winter. Pets tend to shed their coats at both of these times, which means you may notice more frequent hair on your furniture during these parts of the year, too.
If your dog’s shedding coincides with seasonal changes like these, there’s nothing to worry about. This shedding will likely only last a couple of weeks and does not indicate any underlying health problems for your pet.
2. Breed-Related Shedding
Some breeds are naturally more likely to shed than others. Labrador retrievers are one breed that is well known for its shedding tendencies. If your dog comes from a breed known for shedding, there may be nothing you can do about it, as this is a genetic factor.
However, even if your dog comes from a high-shed breed, you can keep up with grooming her to reduce the amount of shed hair you have to deal with on a regular basis. Keep her brushed and bathed frequently to remove loose hairs before they have a chance to shed onto your furniture.
Fleas can lead to hair loss in dogs, but hair loss probably won’t be the first sign you notice if your dog has fleas. You’re likely to see the fleas themselves on your dog first, and you may notice flea dirt (flea feces) when you pet your dog, too.
When your dog is very itchy with a bad case of fleas, she will scratch often, which loosens hair and causes it to fall out even more frequently. Help prevent this issue by keeping your dog on a monthly flea preventative.
4. Skin Infections
Skin infections can sometimes cause shedding in dogs. However, this type of hair loss is typically patchy and much more noticeable than regular shedding—although not always. If your dog has a fungal or bacterial skin infection, you will likely be able to see it as a rash on her skin, unless she has very long or thick hair.
Additionally, skin infections can lead to abscesses if left untreated, and can be very dangerous. If you notice signs of a skin infection on your dog, take her to the vet as soon as possible. She will likely need both topical and oral medication to treat the problem.
5. Food Allergies
Food allergies are the most common cause of shedding and other skin and coat health problems in dogs. If your dog is allergic to any ingredient in her food, she will develop a dull coat, frequent hair loss, and dandruff, among other issues.
You can change your dog’s food blend to a better-quality food with fewer filler ingredients to see if this makes a difference. Try changing her protein source, too, as some dogs may be allergic to certain types of proteins. Many dogs, for example, are allergic to chicken and need to eat seafood or beef food blends instead.
As you can see, many of the underlying causes of shedding in dogs are nothing to worry about. If your dog’s shedding falls into one of these categories, you don’t have to talk to your vet about it, but you may want to bring it up at your dog’s next regularly scheduled appointment. Otherwise, make small changes in your dog’s diet and grooming routine to see if these help at all.
If you think your dog’s shedding may be caused by an underlying health problem, then you should see your vet as soon as possible. And if you notice other skin problems or symptoms, this is another indication that you should take your dog to the vet to have the problem treated. Skin conditions can usually be managed in dogs with relative ease, especially if you respond to them quickly, so don’t be afraid to take your dog in for an exam to figure out what’s going on.
If you are looking for help with dog shedding near Hinsdale, IL, contact Lane Veterinary. Our expert vets will look at the root cause of your dog’s excessive shedding and find a solution that works for you. Contact us today!
Choosing a vet means entrusting your pet’s care and well-being to capable hands. Lane Veterinary strives to be a lifetime vet for you and your family, being the people you can always lean on for support and guidance. As a privately owned practice, we stand to give people and their pets the one-on-one care and attention they deserve in a calm and comfortable setting.