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Shedding in dogs

Shedding is natural when it comes to dogs. It’s an essential part of the dog's skin and health. To keep their skin, healthy dogs must shed. The amount of hair that falls depends on the breed of the dog. The long-haired dog must shed more than low shedding dogs with short hair.

You cannot prevent shedding of fur but you can use different grooming techniques, make dietary changes, etc. Hypoallergenic dogs like Poodles, Maltese, etc., have human-like hair that doesn't shed. 

How to manage your dog's shedding?

Here are a few steps that will help you reduce the amount of shedding: 

Brushing their coat: Brushing is an important part of a dogs grooming process. As every dog is different, they all have a different and unique coat. It is necessary to select the right brush for your dog according to their coat.

  • Slicker brush: A slicker brush with soft wire bristles cleans both the top coat and base coat of your dog's fur. It is especially recommended for breeds with longer coats for detangling. 
  • Bristle brush: Brushing their coat with a bristle brush removes excess unwanted hair and avoids tangles, mats and debris. Recommended for breeds with short hair. 
  • Double sided brush: A double sided brush has rows of thin wire pins on one side which remove loose fur.
    And on the other side, there are bristles for brushing the topcoat and removing dirt and loose hair and stimulating the skin.
  • Regular comb: Regular metal combs are usually used for finishing after slicker brush on long coat and curly coat dogs. This helps you to identify if there are any knots when you comb through and you can go back to brushing any areas where the comb may be getting stuck.
  • Up and down comb: An up and down comb has pins which rotate and assist in removing knots and dead hair from your dog’s coat. It’s ideal for grooming medium and long-haired dogs. Combs should be used for finishing after brushing with a slicker brush. Never use a comb directly on an un-brushed coat as it may get stuck in knots and cause pain. 

A healthy diet: A healthy diet is not just important to provide adequate nutrition, it also leads to flexible hair follicles ie. the small structures on the outer layer of the skin that enables hair growth. Good and strong hair follicles help reduce excess shedding that is caused by undernourished hair.

Hydration: Making sure your dog is hydrated is necessary for their overall health. Drinking a lot of water will not only keep them hydrated but also result in better skin which will reduce excess dog shedding. 

Bathing: Bathing not only maintains proper hygiene for the dog but also removes any excess hair or dead hair before it falls. You can use a deshedding shampoo that will help reduce shedding and ease their coat from any itchiness and dryness. 

If your dog is shedding more than necessary it can also be an indication of health concerns like:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Parasites like fleas, mites, or lice
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver conditions
  • Thyroid or adrenal issues
  • Pregnancy

If the shedding is unusual and excessive, please contact your vet for more information.