As the weather changes, dogs shed their winter coats so that they will be cooler in the summer. Most shedding in dogs is normal. What's not normal is excessive shedding during the colder months. A dog who sheds excessively may be missing some nutrients in his diet or may need proper grooming. If these factors are not the cause, a veterinarian may have to dig deeper to get to the root of the problem.
There's more to dog food than price. A good-quality dog food will have a high-quality protein source listed as the first ingredient. You want to look for chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and other whole sources of meat. Protein is important in controlling excessive shedding because the hair is 90 percent protein. When a dog is fed food that contains a poor-quality protein, the health of the dog's coat suffers. It's also important to look for foods that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Fatty acids improve the health of the coat, making the coat shiny and preventing excess shedding. Whether the diet is homemade or commercial, the important thing to remember is that the diet must be balanced, ensuring that your dog gets all the nutrients he needs.
Brushing your dog daily will remove dead hair that otherwise would land on your clothes or the furniture. Brushing also distributes the natural essential oils that keep the coat healthy. This can greatly cut down on shedding.
Regular bathing is not only important for preventing odors, but a warm bath can also help remove loose hair from your pal's coat. Use a dog shampoo, because such products are properly balanced for a dog's skin. You also want to make sure not to bathe your dog too frequently. Frequent bathing can strip the coat of its essential oils, making the hair dry, brittle, and more prone to fall out.
Sometimes excessive shedding is caused by disease or an infection. If adjusting the food and grooming schedule doesn't work, consult your veterinarian. Several types of skin problems can cause dogs to shed excessively, including mange, various allergies, parasites and bacterial infections.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.