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Dog shedding or moulting is a natural occurrence in which a dog puts on their summer "uniform" during the arrival of spring, and their winter coat at the beginning of autumn. Consequently, most breeds shed once or twice a year.
Shedding in farm and working dogs has a lot to do with the environmental temperature and their photoperiod. Or in simpler terms, the amount of sunlight the dog is exposed to in each season. That's why these dogs don't have any problems when it comes to shedding. On the other hand, urban dogs living in flats do not perceive both factors and therefore their shedding is constantly latent.
After reading this AnimalWised article you will have acquired the basic knowledge you need about dog shedding.
Dog fur types
There are several dog hair types according to the breed of dog. Specifically identifying the type of coat will help you take better care of it, and will determine which type of brush or shampoo is best suited to the dog, for example. Here are the different types:
- Satin hair. This is characterised by being very short, strong and uniform throughout the body. The Boxer, Doberman and Dalmatian as well as others have this type of hair. This type of hair commonly sticks to clothes
- Double-coated short hair. This consists of a dense and abundant undercoat, protected by a short, soft and smooth top coat. The German Shepherd, Husky and Labrador have that type of coat. This hair type condenses into small clouds all over the floor. It can vary in length depending on the body part it comes from.
- Semi-long hair. This coat consists of a short, dense undercoat, protected by a medium length, smooth, dense and shiny overcoat. The English Cocker Spaniel is a good example of this.
- Long hair. This type of hair consists of a thick, soft undercoat, covered by a long, silky, shiny and uneven overcoat. Its length depends on the area of the body. The Afghan hound, Collie and Newfoundland have that type of coat.
- Curly hair. This hair type has practically no undercoat. It is all a mixture of overcoat in loops or woolly curls which are constantly growing. The Bichon Frise and Poodle are good examples of this type of hair.
- Hard hair. This top coat is rough to the touch. There is hardly any undercoat. The Fox Terrier is a good example of this.
My dog is shedding - what do I do?
Whatever type of hair your dog has, brushing them regularly is a good way of keeping them clean and comfortable. Daily brushing is the best way of caring for your dog and keeping your home almost hair-free.
Still, when your dog is moulting, it loses a lot of hair, so you should brush your dog's coat everyday if you really want to keep your house free of hair. Discover how to brush your dog's hair on AnimalWised. Each type of coat requires combs, brushes and specific slicker brushes according to its length and texture.
- Double-coated short hair requires brushes with short and elastic bristles (horse hair brushes are excellent). Brushes with a hand strap are also good. Brushing both against and with the natural direction of hair with some force will remove dead hair.
- Semi-long hair should be brushed with a metal slicker brush or a brush with medium-length bristles and balls at the tips. You should brush gently with this.
- Long hair requires more work and care, since it can easily form knots. A metal comb and slicker brush are suitable tools for maintaining such hair. They shouldn't cause painful hair pulling. Visiting a professional groomer a few times a year is also advisable.
- For curly hair, you should monitor the appearance of knots and remove them with scissors if they form. You should comb the dog using your fingers or a brush with very soft and separated bristles and don't undo any loops or curls.
- Wiry hair should be brushed gently to remove any knots.
During both periods of shedding you should bath your dog too. But you must remember that before washing your dog you should brush their hair thoroughly, because while bathing, the dead hair could form tangles and knots which are difficult to remove later.
You shouldn't bath your dog too much.
Always use specific shampoo to bath your dogs, because the Ph of their skin is much less acidic than human skin. Human shampoo can be very irritating for dogs. Discover natural products to bathe your dog.
After bathing your dog, it is essential to prevent the parasites from appearing in your dog's coat. This is an essential hygienic measure for the dog and for the humans living with the pet.
Fleas, for example, live and eat in a dog's coat; but they sometimes like hopping off the dog and trying new flavours! Your blood is an excellent diet change for these pesky parasites and many can transmit diseases. Deworming your dog is essential with the use of pipettes, particularly during periods of shedding and after a bath.
Proper nutrition is essential to keep your dog's coat looking beautiful. During the moulting or shedding period, you should consult your veterinarian about the convenience, or not, of providing the dog with a dietary supplement that promotes new, healthy hair growth.
However, there are foods with Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are good for making hair look shinier. And, other natural foods that encourage the appearance of a beautiful new coat. For this, have a look at our article about tricks to make your dog's coat shiny.
If you have any questions regarding a dog's shedding period, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
If you want to read similar articles to Dog Shedding, we recommend you visit our Fur care category.