Temperatures are starting to rise, flowers are starting to bloom, and you may have even started noticing bees buzzing around. Spring is here!
And with it, comes a furry storm of monumental proportions! If you have a double-coated breed, then you know the struggle. But don’t worry, dog shedding in the spring is completely normal. And there are ways you can make sure it doesn’t take over your life.
Why is my dog shedding so much all of a sudden?
Shedding occurs as part of a dog’s natural cycle and is determined by their circadian rhythm. This means that a change in the amount of daylight or in temperatures is what triggers this process. So, as the days get longer and warmer, your dog’s body naturally responds by losing their winter coat to make way for a lighter and better adapted summer coat.
Excessive shedding leading to bald patches of fur is a sign that something might be wrong with your dog. If this is the case, you should go see a vet as soon as possible.
When do dogs shed most?
There are two major shedding seasons triggered by a change in temperature and daylight: the spring and fall.
However, dogs that live indoors where temperatures are more or less the same all year round, are less likely to be affected by the seasons and more likely to shed moderately throughout the year. This of course, also depends on many other factors, including the breed, nutrition, and grooming routine for example.
How long do dogs shed in the spring?
There’s no real timeline for shedding season, but your dog is likely to shed all throughout spring until the start of summer, i.e. in June. While the heaviest of the shedding may end around that time, moderate shedding is likely to continue, especially if you have a double-coated breed.
How can I minimize my dog’s shedding?
Dog owners can’t stop a dog’s shedding and shouldn’t try to either - this is a natural and healthy process. However, reducing the amount of fur that ends up on your floor is possible.
1. Regular brushing
Fur falls off of your dog because the hair is dead and is no longer attached to the dog’s skin. So instead of waiting to let the hair fall off, the best course of action is to brush the dead hair out of the coat regularly. Brush your dog outside so that the clumps of fur don’t pollute the inside of your home. The more often you brush, the more likely you are to remove dead hair from the dog’s coat before it has the chance to fall onto your clean floors or sofa.
For short-haired breeds, a bristle brush followed by the use of a slicker brush can be very effective. For long-coated breeds, a shedding rake might work better, as it will reach the undercoat without affecting the outer coat too much. There are various de-shedding tools on the market, including “doggy vacuums'', but regular brushing is still the most effective way to rid your dog’s coat of dead hair.
2. Bathing your dog
Bathing your dog is a good way to help the dead hair to dislodge. Combined with a good brush, this is a great way to rid your dog’s coat of dead hair before it ends up falling to the floor. However, baths should be limited as regular bathing could cause skin irritations and can also strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils. If you do decide to bathe your dog, one bath a month should be more than enough.
3. Supplementing fatty acids
A healthy coat means less likelihood of knots and mats forming. This in turn means that it’ll be easier for you to brush out the dead hairs from your dog’s coat. Supplementing omega 3 and 6 fatty acids into your dog’s diet is a great way to keep their coat healthy.
4. Cleaning your home
The best way to limit hair around your house is to have a powerful vacuum cleaner, a great lint roller always at hand, and to be prepared to do a quick clean every single day. If you don’t like the idea of cleaning often, opt for a short and single coated breed!
What breeds of dog shed the most?
All breeds shed, with the exception of hairless breeds. But double-coated breeds shed the most. Among them are Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, and Labradors. Don’t let their short coats fool you, they are some of the most heavy-shedding breeds!
If you don’t want to deal with too much shedding, you’re better off choosing a Poodle-type breed. Their coat’s life cycle is much longer than other breeds’, so their hair actually continues to grow instead of dying and falling out of the coat. You may have to spend a small fortune at the groomers though! Otherwise, you can also opt for a single-coated breed such as an Italian Greyhound, or Whippet!
Remember, dog shedding is a natural process and there’s no way to avoid it completely! We wish you the best of luck for the upcoming months!