All the people who can, fortunately, enjoy the company of one or several dogs, know what the shedding of hair means in certain seasons and in certain breeds.
It is not that it is really a big problem, but it is advisable to follow certain tips to make the change more bearable and avoid that the floor of our home looks like a carpet.
How many times does a dog shed its hair?
Mammalian hair has a cycle with different phases. The changes in the photoperiods (light activity) in the different seasons induce the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and pineal gland to changes in the hormonal levels of melatonin, prolactin, growth hormone, sex, adrenal, and thyroid.
The molt will then be a cycle where there will be constant growth of hair follicles throughout the year and its death and fall. Therefore, at general levels, dogs make two notorious molts throughout the year, these molts usually coincide with the change of weather. Therefore, with few exceptions, the most notable changes are made in late spring-summer and late autumn-winter.
Dogs shed their hair in late spring to shed excess hair and prepare for the summer heat. In this way, they can better withstand the high summer temperatures being cooler. Some breeds will need to go to a dog groomer in the spring and summer, don’t forget. However, in certain breeds, it will not be necessary, since the hair itself protects thermoregulating in all seasons of the year.
In autumn-winter, the opposite occurs, dogs shed the fine hair they pulled out in spring to replace it with a more compact and cold-resistant coat. In this way they will be able to better withstand cold temperatures.
Those are the two most powerful molts a dog makes throughout the year, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones. The shedding of hair in dogs can occur throughout the year. Little by little, they regenerate their fur, with less intensity than in the aforementioned seasons, but continuously.
So before venturing out, we should ask at our trusted clinic or veterinary center, where there is usually an associated dog grooming center, whether or not our pet needs a haircut and at what time. This will guide us since that hairdresser is dedicated to it. Do not hesitate to ask your questions.
What should I do when my dog is shedding?
There are a series of steps to follow to make the shedding of dogs more bearable for both the dog and you. The molt can last a few weeks or a few months…. depending on each dog and the weather conditions, so the main thing is to be patient and then follow these steps :
- Keep your house clean: a good vacuum cleaner is our best ally. During the shedding season, it is necessary to vacuum our house daily, remove the hair that our dog has shed, and maintain an acceptable hygienic state. We all know that excess hair can lead to different types of allergies, so we must keep the home clean.
- Brush your dog daily: a daily brushing is essential to eliminate the excess dead hair of our dog. Remember that not all brushes are the same, there are brushes for dogs with long, short, hard, soft hair, etc. You must choose the most appropriate or consult your veterinarian.
- Bathe your puppy more often: To help him get rid of dead hair, we can bathe our dog a little more often than usual. For example, once a week during hair shedding. Before bathing it, we must brush it, and after the bath when it is dry (or the next day) brush it again.
- Feed it omega 3 and 6 fatty acids or salmon oil. This is very beneficial for the skin of any healthy dog and will also add an extra shine to your dog’s hair. Dogs fed these fatty acids or oil tend to shed less hair in their molts, becoming shorter.
Salmon oil is an excellent supplement rich in beneficial fatty acids, we can add a little once a day to your food (it can be purchased in stores or in veterinary centers).
If you suffer from alopecia or bald spots, go to the vet. Many times a health problem such as an allergy may be occurring. There are many pathologies and allergies that cause hair loss in dogs. If your dog sheds more hair than usual during shedding, if he has alopecia, erythema (irritation) of the skin, or something that may make you suspect a health problem, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
How should I brush my puppy?
There is a way to properly brush a puppy if you do it wrong you can damage its skin, irritate it. Just follow these steps and your puppy will appreciate you brushing it. Remember that shedding in dogs is completely natural, so do not despair if it seems to never end, it is about eliminating dead hair, not wanting to leave it with hardly any hair.
Buy a suitable brush for your dog, we insist that not all brushes are worth it. Each dog has a different type of hair and therefore needs a different brush. If you use an inappropriate brush, not only will you not brush it well, but it can also cause erythema in the epidermis.
- Always brush it gently and in the direction of the hair, do not brush it against the grain or even pressing the brush too hard, it is only necessary to remove the excess dead hair, do not pull out the live hair that it retains.
- Pamper your dog while you brush him and give him a treat afterward, this way your dog will want you to brush him every day. While you brush, create a positive environment, known as positive reinforcement in dogs. Once you finish brushing, give him a treat (a treat for dogs, for example) and congratulate him for letting him brush.
- Always brush after walking and playing, when a puppy leaves the house he wants to relieve himself, smell things, play…. let it vent, and before you go home, brush it off. This is the best time for you to be calmer.
Once a day is enough, do not think that by brushing it ten times the same day it will finish its shed earlier, because hair loss has its process, and you cannot accelerate it in any way. Once a day or every other day is more than enough when they are moving, and once a week the rest of the year.
In conclusion, the shedding of hair is a natural process in all dogs (except for breeds such as poodle or spaniel). There are some breeds that release very little or do not release, but they are few and unless we want that particular breed for some other reason, a dog shedding hair should not condition us at all.