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Do healthy dogs normally shed hair?

Updated on February 18, 2012

All dogs shed. However, the amount of hair shed by the dog would depend on various factors. Some dogs would shed heavily while other dogs would seem not to shed at all. Do healthy dogs shed normally? Given the fact that the kind of shedding a dog has will be influenced by the diet, by the kind of grooming it receives from its owners and by health concerns, it can be safely said that a healthy dog would shed normally.

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Why do dogs shed?

Regular shedding is a normal process in dogs as it allows old hair to be replaced with new growth. More than for aesthetic reasons, shedding is an important process for outdoor dogs. Heavy or light coats may not be too important for dogs that live inside temperature controlled homes. However, for dogs that need to weather extremely cold temperatures during the winter months and hot weather during the summer months, shedding is an important process. Seasonal shedders will blow the light coat in spring to allow heavier coat to develop. This process will be repeated in fall where the light summer coat will be shed to be replaced with heavier ones that will protect the dog from cold temperatures.

Excessive shedding

Excessive shedding is a common concern of dog owners. Dogs shed but some individuals would shed heavily causing hair to “decorate” the whole house so that if a vacuum cleaner can talk, it would certainly complain. Although shedding is a normal process, poor nutrition, health concerns and improper coat maintenance would make a dog lose hair excessively. Poor nutrition will show in the dog’s coat. Dull, brittle and thin hair will be shed excessively. Parasite infestation, allergies, skin disorders and other health concern is another cause for excessive shedding.  Improper coat maintenance is another reason why a dog would lose hair excessively as unbrushed hair will hamper the air circulation necessary in the development of healthy coat.

Helping the dog to shed hair normally

Shedding cannot be stopped but a dog owner can do something to make the pet shed normally. Providing the pet with a healthy diet will not only promote the health of the pet. A healthy diet will also result to a healthy coat. Regular grooming will minimize shedding as well. Brushing will remove the loose hair that forms tangles. The natural oils will be well distributed as well. Proper air and blood circulation would help in the development of a healthy coat. Grooming the dog is the first line of defense against parasite infestation and skin disorders. Ticks, fleas and other parasites as well as skin irritations will be noticed thus treatments can be administered.

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