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Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 
By Irene Juste, Assistant Veterinary Technician. Updated: May 26, 2019
Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Is your Labrador shedding a lot of hair? The first thing you should know is that all labs shed, specifically during spring, otherwise referred to as labrador molting season. But, it’s also important to know that sometimes your lab may be shedding excessively due to stress, anxiety and/or additional causes.

Keep reading here at AnimalWised to discover the main causes and Labrador shedding solutions. In addition, we’ll be discussing how to decrease the amount of hair that is shed when molting gets excessive!

You may also be interested in: Feline Acne - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Labrador shedding: season

Some dog breeds are more prone to shedding than others, especially during molting seasons. So if you’re wondering, ‘‘ Do labs she a lot?’’ You should know that Labrador retrievers are known for shedding a lot of fur! At times, however, especially when this shedding is excessive, it can cause worry among their carers. However, it’s important to know that Labrador shedding is normal!

A Labrador's coat is made up of two layers, which includes an abundant undercoat. Therefore, for each hair follicle there is a hair and various sub-peaks. This means that when the cycle of each follicle ends and your Labrador molts, both layers are shed, resulting in a large amount of fur lost.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to Labradors, is adequate brushing. We recommend brushing your Labrador daily or at least 3 times a week. During molting season, brushing should increase.

Apart from a Labrador's aforementioned genetics, Labradors can suffer from excessive hair loss due to other causes. Keep reading below to find out what these may be.

Furthermore, we recommend taking a look at our article where we list 8 dogs that shed the most.

Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Labrador shedding: season

Labrador shedding: causes

One of the most common reasons why a dog may be shedding more than normal is due to a poor diet. Did you know that Labradors have an insatiable appetite? Therefore, you need to watch what your Labrador eats, especially when going for walks. In addition, make sure you offer your Labrador a healthy high-quality diet.

If your Labrador’s coat appears dry, rough, brittle or molts excessively, diet is likely the root of the cause.

We recommend offering your lab feed that contains fatty acids such as omega 3, vitamin B complex, Vitamin A and C, which are all necessary for healthy growth and mantle maintenance. For more, read our article where we offer ideas for a natural diet for dogs.

Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Labrador shedding: causes

Labrador shedding: stress and anxiety

In addition to this molting, is your Labrador showing signs of stress? The most common signs of stress or anxiety in dogs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Recurrent yawning
  • Destructiveness
  • Excessive energy
  • Excessive Barking

Does your Labrador spend a lot of time alone? This can also cause an animal to become incredibly stressed and suffer from separation anxiety, especially if they are not offered enough exercise, care and attention.

Other causes of stress in dogs include moving house, the death of another dog and/or lack of love. Stress in dogs often results in a decreased immunity which provokes secondary affections such as hair loss or skin alterations.

If you believe that your dog is suffering from stress or anxiety, we recommend consulting a veterinarian or canine ethologist in order to treat it accordingly. For more, we suggest taking a look at our article where we list 10 signs that your dog is stressed.

Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Labrador shedding: stress and anxiety

Labrador shedding: skin infection

Addition Labrador shedding causes include skin diseases, such as allergic dermatitis, other dermatitis types and/or diseases such as canine scabies.

In these such cases, we recommend consulting a veterinarian in order to diagnose the skin infection correctly and offer adequate treatment. For more read about common skin diseases in dogs.

External parasites

External parasites, especially fleas and ticks, can cause severe itching and discomfort. Therefore, if you notice that your Labrador has been shedding a lot of hair (as well as scratching more than normal), it’s likely due to the appearance of external parasites.

Ridding your dog of external parasites includes following a appropriate deworming schedule as well as correctly disinfection your dog’s toys, blanket and bed. For more, read our article where we discuss everything you need to know about deworming dogs: preventing and treating parasites.

Labrador shedding hair: Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes in dogs is a common cause of increased shedding. Is your Labrador pregnant, lactating or suffers from endocrine problems? This may explain why your Labrador is also shedding excessively.

If your Labrador is pregnant, lactating or suffers from hormonal problems such as as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome in dogs, make sure to offer it the adequate and appropriate care.

Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment - Labrador shedding hair: Hormonal changes

Labrador shedding solutions

If you are wondering how to reduce Labrador shedding out of molting season, you will first need to find the root of the cause. Some top tips to treat excessive Labrador shedding include:

  1. Brushing your Labrador's coat daily during molting season. Out of molting season, we recommend brushing your Labrador’s coat 2-3 times a week.
  2. Offer your Labrador an appropriate diet according to its age and health status.
  3. Make sure your Labrador has been dewormed and vaccinated correctly.
  4. If you notice any change in behavior or health status, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
  5. Make sure you offer your Labrador sufficient amounts of walks and mental stimulation.
  6. Avoid leaving your Labrador at home alone for too long.
  7. Bathe your Labrador once a month or only when it is really dirty. Make sure to use Labrador-appropriate shampoo.

Shaving a Labrador

One of the most common questions among Labrador carers is, ‘‘Can I shave my Labrador?’’ No, you should never shave a Lab to reduce shedding. By shaving your Labrador, you will take away it’s undercoat, which is a necessary form of protection for these dogs. Not only does this undercoat protect a lab from the cold in winter, but it also protects a dog from sunburn in summer.

Instead, you should make sure to groom your Labrador correctly. For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss everything you need to know about the types of dog brushes and combs. In addition, you ma ybe interested in reading our article where we list 5 dogs breeds that don’t shed hair.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Do Labs Shed? - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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