All of us who fortunately can share our life with a dog, know how tedious it can be for a dog to throw a lot of hair at home. It is not enough to clean the house once a day, because in just a few hours we will have everything full of hair again.
The change of hair in dogs is something completely natural, that a dog pulls a lot of hair at certain times is part of its life cycle. But what happens when you throw hair all year round? Is there a trick to prevent our dog from shedding so much hair? What can I do to improve my dog’s hair?
We are going to explain everything you need to know about excessive hair loss in dogs, what are the reasons and of course, how to fix it. Remember that saying that indicates that the hairs of dogs are just small fibers of love, that they leave at home so that we remember how much they love us.
Index of contents
- 1 When do dogs shed their hair?
- 2 How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: Healthy eating
- 3 How to Prevent a Dog from Pulling a Lot of Hair: Stress and Anxiety
- 4 How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: brushing and bathing
- 5 How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: Allergy and / or disease
- 5.1 conclusion
When do dogs shed their hair?
At general levels, dogs make two molts a year that coincide with the change in climate. The dog’s hair is designed to protect it from adverse weather conditions, from cold, rain and heat.
It is in Spring and Autumn, coinciding with the change of weather when the dogs make an almost complete change of their fur. Either they loose all the woolly hair that protects them from the cold to spend a cooler summer (they do this moult in spring), or they throw fine summer hair to create new woolly hair for the following winter (this they do in Autumn ).
However, how many dogs live indoors, where we usually have heating in winter and air conditioning in summer … those dogs not only make two changes, but spend all year changing hair. Drastic changes in weather, cold on the street and heat at home or vice versa, make them go a little crazy when it comes to shedding hair.
On the other hand, there are dog breeds that barely pull hair regardless of the weather, such as the Greyhound, the Collie, the Bichon Maltes, etc…. And dog breeds that practically shed all their hair, like the German Shepherd, The Husky, Labrador… .. So the breed of the dog, also has a lot to do with the amount of hair they lose. You may be interested in learning more about these breeds: Dog breeds that do not shed hair.
How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: Healthy eating
Strange as it may be for us, dog food plays a key role in constantly moving or dying hair. The classic (balanced) dog food that they sell in large department stores and which are usually very cheap, is actually the main cause of excess hair loss.
We all know that the best food for a dog is natural food, made with natural, unprocessed products. This type of food is known as Barf diet for dogs. If due to lack of time or knowledge we prefer to feed our dog with commercial feed (in Spain pre-made dog food is called feed, in Mexico it is known as Balanced), we must choose a high-quality one that contains beneficial fatty acids such as Omega 3 or Omega 6.
There are many companies dedicated to dog feeding, but not all meet the minimum quality criteria that any dog needs to feed properly. A poor diet is directly responsible for dry, dull hair and excessive hair loss in dogs.
Feed made from fatty fish such as salmon, are highly recommended for dogs with hair or skin problems, because they contain large amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6 that will help to solve the problem in just a few weeks.
On the other hand, we can also buy Salmon Oil and add a small amount to each meal, this way our puppy will enjoy his usual feed / balanced diet and the benefits of fish oil (O3 and O6).
How to Prevent a Dog from Pulling a Lot of Hair: Stress and Anxiety
Dogs that spend a lot of continuous hours at home, or dogs that are not well cared for and educated, may suffer from anxiety or stress. It is scientifically proven that stress is one of the main causes of hair loss, both in animals and humans.
If when we leave the house our dog cries, barks, scratches the door or breaks things at home … Most likely, he is suffering from a serious Stress situation, produced precisely by the separation between the dog and its human. You can learn to avoid these states of anxiety and stress from: Separation stress in dogs.
Lack of exercise is also an important factor to avoid, dogs that do not spend their excess energy on a daily basis tend to generate cumulative stress that will end up showing up in the form of inappropriate behaviors and health problems such as stress and hair loss in the dog.
A bad education, a too authoritative behavior on the part of the human being or bad treatment, both physical and psychological … can also create states of anxiety and stress in our dog, which will cause his hair to fall out much more easily.
How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: brushing and bathing
It is very curious to see how most of us brush our dogs when we see them begin to throw hair at home, but we forget to brush them the rest of the year. All dogs need to be groomed at least a couple of times a week, brushing daily is much more recommended.
Grooming a dog is one of the basic care that any dog needs, in this way we will keep its hair cleaner, with less tangles / knots and healthier, also avoiding parasites such as fleas or ticks (easily detectable when brushing).
When a dog changes its hair it is mandatory to brush it daily, when it does not change we can brush it two or three times a week, to keep it free of dead hair and prevent it from falling out at home. The brush should be special for your hair type, there are brushes for short hair dogs and brushes for long or medium hair dogs, you should choose the right one.
Bathing a dog at least once a month is practically obligatory, for this we must choose a Shampoo – Soap with regulated PH. Dogs have a different PH than humans, so human soap is not suitable for bathing a dog, since it would dry out its skin a lot and cause skin problems such as irritation or dandruff.
So to bathe our dog we need a specific shampoo for dogs, being recommended to always buy it in a veterinary clinic. A monthly bath or a couple of monthly baths are essential to keep our dog clean and free of excess dirt, also helping our dog to throw l
ess hair at home. You can learn more about a dog’s bath from: How to bathe a dog.
How to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair: Allergy and / or disease
There are many dogs that despite being well fed, well bathed and without stress, they throw a lot of hair at home. This can be due to two causes, an allergy or an illness.
Dogs that suffer from food or environmental allergies are much more likely to pull hair more noticeably and consistently than healthy dogs. Some allergies can be treated with medication prescribed by our vet, but others unfortunately have no treatment.
If our vet helps us control our dog’s allergy with medication, we will also get him to stop throwing so much hair around the house. Prednisone is usually prescribed, but depending on the dog, size, age and type of allergy, the medication can vary greatly.
Some diseases are also the cause of hair loss in our dog, although they are usually striking diseases that are plain to see. At general levels, it is skin diseases that cause greater hair loss, such as scabies (excess of non-beneficial mites or bacteria) or rashes, irritations, etc …
However, other diseases that have nothing to do with the skin directly, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or Addison’s Syndrome, can also cause excessive hair loss in the dog. You can get more detailed information from: Main skin diseases in dogs.
Summarizing everything explained and understanding the reasons that can cause a possible excess hair loss in our dog, we can conclude that hair loss in dogs is completely normal and habitual.
However, there are factors that can help us decrease the fall and avoid having the whole house full of hair. A good diet, a daily brushing of hair, monthly baths with a specific soap, a good education, exercise and not suffering from anxiety or stress are the best tips to prevent a dog from pulling a lot of hair.
The factors that can be repaired by us, which require veterinary attention such as allergies and diseases, can also cause a great amount of hair loss. But only a veterinaryn can diagnose them and give us appropriate treatment.