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Why do Dogs Shed so Much?!?

Dog shedding is bothersome and frustrating, but it is one small price to pay to keep your doggo around! It may be entirely unavoidable for dog owners since most breeds shed. BUT, us owners can work around their schedule so you can manage the mess the best you can - all specific to their breed.

Typically, the months when your pup sheds the most will ultimately depend on the breed and type of dog you own. Some dog breeds, such as Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers, are heavy shedding dogs. Others, like Border Terriers, Poodles, and Dachshunds, are almost shed-free.

Certain breeds tend to shed heavier during particular months of the year, while some shed consistently throughout the year. To put simply, some shed seasonally while others do year-round.

Aside from breed, other factors contribute to shedding. Health can be a primary reason why dogs have unexplained excessive shedding. Nutritional or vitamin deficiencies, endocrine problems, skin problems, and other metabolic conditions can lead to hair loss.

Let's Get Scientific for a Minute

Another factor to shedding is genetics and coat type. A study on coat variation in domestic dogs and three genes, found a correlation between coat traits and shedding. According to the results, dogs with wiry coats, which have a variant of the RSPO2 gene, tend to be low-shedders.

Another research, the largest canine genome-wide association study with over 4,200 dogs genotyped at 180,000 markers, discovered the fourth gene, the MC5R gene. This specific gene affects the heavy or moderate shedding of dogs that do not have wiry coats.

Reasons or Situations

There are many larger factors to be aware of - ones that we can control more than anything related to our dog's genetics.

  1. Indoors: Unlike dogs always out in the sun and natural weather, these pups have more exposure to artificial lighting. They also have more exposure to air conditioning during the summer and heating during the winter season. Those are enough to disrupt a dog’s natural shedding cycle. In this case, it is kind of hard to tell. Typically, the result is moderate shedding year-round.

  2. Outdoors: Dogs left in the open have a more predictable shedding cycle — you can tell based on the season. Outside dogs left to the elements usually follow a more natural cycle. You can expect their winter coat to shed in spring, typically around March. It ends or completes by June in most cases. In fall, your dog’s summer fur and coat will start to shed around September. The shedding process will end by November.

  3. Seasonal Shedders: During spring, breeds with thicker coats are shed to prepare for the warmer days of summer. During fall, the shorter daylight hours trigger the change in coat, this time, to prepare for the cold winter. Dog shedding in winter means shedding their lighter undercoats to grow thicker and warmer coats for the cooler weather. When the warmer weather enters, dogs shed their winter undercoats for lighter ones.

  4. Year-Round: looks like you lucked out. Kidding. Obviously, this is tough and you're going to need to invest in some cleaning products. Some breeds do not blow their coats during certain seasons. Instead, they drop hair like it’s their business all year-round. Though, their shedding is less noticeable than those who do it seasonally. They shed in much smaller amounts.Like evergreen trees that grow new leaves quickly, these breeds always grow new hair month after month. Dogs like Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles continuously grow hair and have shafts that have longer lifespans and shed lightly. Editor's note: I own 4 vacuums...

Please reach out to Town House for Dogs and Cats for more information or make your appointment today. For more info on dog's health, or tips on shedding maintenance, please visit WebMD's Pet page.

As always, thanks for being a member of our Town House.

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