Is your furry friend constantly contributing to the mess in your house, by way of excessive shedding? Don’t worry; this is a fairly common problem for dog (and cat!) owners and is easy to address. Keep reading, and we’ll explain it all!
Why do dogs shed?
Dogs and cats shed to lose old or damaged fur in a natural way. The process is normal, but the amount of fur lost, and the frequency with which it occurs are something to make note of. For example, pets who go outside regularly often develop thick coats in the winter and shed them during the spring; pets who are always kept inside, however, are less likely to have fluctuations in coat thickness and will shed less often.
When to be concerned by dog shedding
Different dogs and cats shed different amounts of fur at different times, so there is no one amount of fur loss to be concerned by in all pets. If you feel that your dog or cat is shedding more than normal or has developed bald patches, you can always bring the topic up to your veterinarian, and he or she will examine your pet to determine if shedding is a symptom to an illness or disorder.
Potential causes for excessive shedding or bald patches include:
- Parasites, fleas, or mites
- Infections (fungal or bacterial)
- Disease (such as immune, kidney, liver, thyroid, or adrenal disease)
- Pregnancy or lactation
- Allergies (inhaled or from food)
- Contact with an irritant
- Certain medications
- Excessive licking
How to stop dogs from shedding
Once you’ve taken your dog or cat to the veterinarian and can rule out any of the more serious causes for excessive shedding or bald patches, you can likely treat your dog or cat at home to reduce shedding.
Coconut oil for pets
If sunburn is the culprit for hair loss on your dog or cat, we recommend using coconut oil applied directly to your pet’s skin to help with dryness and itching that may result from the sunburn. Coconut oil can also help with hot spots, mites, and other allergens or irritants that are causing itchy skin.
Grooming your pet
Another important part in minimizing shedding is to make sure that your dog or cat is groomed regularly. Caring for your pet’s skin and coat can help prevent unnecessary fur loss, so make sure you are bathing your pet with the best shampoo out there, formulated with their skin’s needs in mind. You should also make sure you are brushing your pet regularly to remove any excess or loose fur; doing this will help you collect the fur before it naturally disperses everywhere over a longer period of time and can also prevent your pet’s need to over-groom.
Wondering how to give your pet coconut oil? You can give it to them orally by letting them lick some off a spoon or from your hand, or you can mix some in with their food. To give coconut oil to a pet topically, simply rub a small amount onto your pet’s skin or fur where you are noticing a need for it, or you can use Skinny Paw for regular washings.