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Dealing with your pet's shedding hair

Updated on February 07, 2014
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A dog with shedding hair can be a problem which literally causes you to, well, tear your own hair out.

This is especially if the hair fall is persistent and excessive. Dog hair can become an ugly part of our living room furniture if steps are not taken to stop irritating hair fall.

Just what causes our dogs to lose their fine hair? When the usual steps don't seem to be enough to stop your pet's hair from falling, what else can be done to alleviate annoying pet hair loss?

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Causes of shedding in dogs

Many things can cause a dog to shed excessively. It's good for pet owners to be aware of the causes so as to circumvent them.

Parasites

Fleas are a top cause of shedding. Dogs can be allergic to a flea's saliva and develop excessive shedding. Fleas burrow into a dog's skin to lay their eggs, leaving patches of bare skin that cause irritation and the loss of hair. Demodectic mange, caused by mites, causes a dog to really scratch.

Fungal or Bacterial infections

A range of fungal and bacterial infections, such as Malassezia, a common yeast infection. These can often occur on their own, without underlying causes.

Visit a vet if you notice any open sores or wounds.

Inhalant or food related allergies

Dogs can also be reactive to a host of inhalant or food related allergies, very much like we are.

Disease

A top cause of excessive shedding is disease of the liver or kidney. This includes Cushing's Disease and Hypothyroidism, both of which contribute to weight gain as well. Cancer is a contributing cause of shedding. If your dog suddenly experiences weight changes and sheds excessively, do visit a vet.

Seasonal

Your pet could be reacting to a change in seasons. They shed in the spring and fall seasons to lose thick winter hair. Note that dogs with little hair, like the Chinese Crested Hairless, may be sunburned during the summer months and shed as well.

Stress

A stress reaction is shedding. Your pet may shed on the vet's examination table or when he's in the car about to go to the groomer's. Anxieties can cause him to lick, scratch and lose hair.

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Of these methods of minimizing your pet's hair fall, which do you do least often?

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How can you minimize your pet's excessive hair fall?

Your pet's hair fall causes not only stress to him but
undue anxiety to you. While it cannot be stopped completely, it can be lessened with a few basic practices.

Bathing

Before you can begin the process of controlling a dog's shedding, you'll have to ensure that it gets a through bath.

Baths ensure that your dogs hair fall out during his shower instead of on the furniture.

If you would like, get a dog washing shower attachment.
Less expensive ones cost about $20 while the more expensive ones cost about $100.

Use only shampoos meant for dogs

Use only shampoos and conditioners that are ph balanced and meant for dogs. A dog's skin is ph neutral while human skin is more acidic, giving shampoos just for dogs
a purpose.

Brushing

Do this regularly, preferably everyday, with a dog die shedding tool.

Remove the top layers of fur. Do this especially in the
morning when they tend to shed a little more.

If a regular de-shedding brush does not work, the problem could be because regular brushes do not remove a dog's under coat. Purchase a vacuuming brush that will remove the top layer of hair and reveal the new undercoat.

Feed a good diet.

Diet plays an important part in maintaining a dog's coat and keeping it shiny. Cheaper dog food brands are usually filled with fillers like corn and grain that a dog finds hard to digest.

More expensive, organic dog food contains premium proteins that help o control hair shedding.

Feed your dog more than just kibble. Kibble, a dry
food, has the effect of drying the skin as well.

When feeding kibble, choose kibble with Omega 3 fatty acids. Alternatively, you can add Omega 3 oils to your dog's diet.

Practice good flea control.

Apart from some dogs being sensitive to a flea's saliva and bite, the scratching itself can cause excessive hair fall, much as it does for us.

Give your pet vitamins.

Vitamins have the same benefits as they do for us. For healthy hair, your dog need it's does of regular vitamin supplements.

Reducing Dog Shedding

Some home made remedies you might want to try

All the suggestions above may not be enough to control bad hair shedding in dogs. You may also not be an advocate of medication or additives. here are a few alternative remedies you might like to try.

Allergy remedies

Your dog could be losing much of its hair because of allergic skin reactions.

Try a concoction of fully cooked rice, vegetables and chicken breast, all unsalted.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is sour and a little strong smelling, but has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This is what makes it an ideal remedy for hair loss in dogs.

Dilute equal parts of cider vinegar and water and apply it to the affected area.

An anti-fungal bath can be given to the dog by applying a little apple cider to the dog's coat and rinsing it off with water.

One or two drops can be added to a dog's food as well.

Olive Oil

Applying a little olive oil to your dog's skin stops hair fall as it provides moisture. It also helps to smother the mites that cause skin irritations.

Gently message small amounts into your dog's skin. A few teaspoons can also be added to your dog's food.

Lemon juice

Lemon dip is a popular hair and skin remedy for dogs. Dilute it with warm water for a few hours to remove the essential oils and acidity toxic to dogs. This helps. to control fleas and hair fall.

Conclusion

Hair fall in dogs needn't be an annoyance; it can be controlled.


Copyright Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin All Rights Reserved

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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Stopping hair shedding in dogs.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      very informative n useful mid

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Sumatra!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sounds like some good advice for those who have dogs. It would be a shame to let them suffer. ^

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information; thank you! We have one shedder and one non-shedder.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      As always you have provided us with useful information. With few exceptions all dogs shed and as you've pointed out some more than others.

      Another helpful hint is to give your dogs fish oil pills.

      Voted up, useful, and shared.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks for answering my question on shedding. My dog was looked at by the vet and has no problems at all. She indicated that it's just the breed. I'm going to try some of your natural suggestions. I brush her and use a de-shedding tool, but neither help, so I'll apply olive oil first.

      Very good hub and thanks so much.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 3 years ago from USA

      One of our two dogs sheds like crazy. I'll have to try a few of the remedies and see what helps. Thanks.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great tips, about shedding hair with animals. I had one of my cats who lost a patch of hair at one point of her life and the vet told us it was due to stress. It didn't last long :-)

      I am not surprised of the what apple cider vinegar can bring to the animals as it is excellent for human as well !

      Once I bought some fish oil for my cats and they both refused. I bought it at the animal store. I think I will try it again but open an omega 3 capsule that I use for myself to see if they prefer that.

      Thanks again for sharing all those great tips, Michelle.

      Enjoy your weekend!

    • David Carl profile image

      David Carl 3 years ago from New York

      Molly has seasons of shedding but it seems like there is always her hair all over our kitchen. We have an indoor invisible fence that keeps in the kitchen and keeps her hair there too.

      Useful and Interesting

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Jackie!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      A pleasure, Bill.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      A pleasure, Audrey. Do ok it with the vet, though!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Barbara. Do ensure he has no fleas first, though.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      No problem, Kidscrafts. Omega will work just as well with cats.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, David! Try some of these and see if it helps Molly!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

      I don't have dogs or pets. But, michelle will fwd it to my friend who is getting stressed out with this issue.

      sharing it across!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A great hub Michelle which is so useful. Voting up and wishing you a great weekend my friend.

      Eddy.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      One of my long sheds a good bit. This is very helpful. Thanks for the great tips for controlling dogs shedding! Mine seems to be seasonal.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Very nice! With two labs and two cats, the pet hair around this house is like a constant blizzard. Thanks for the tips!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      This is the main reason I chose to get a Miniature Schnauzer. They shed very little! I've had dogs in the past that shed and just drove me nuts. Great Hub. Voted UP, etc. etc.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Such a useful hub!

    • profile image

      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      Great advice. This is the first time in my life I haven't had a dog or cat. But when I did have both, I regularly brushed them and found that helped. I didn't realize that stress would cause shredding though.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Ruchira!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Audrey!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Our last cat would shed when stressed. Great information on helping pets to deal with it.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Eddy!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rebecca!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for sharing this very informative hub. My Angus is shedding and I´ll try this all. Have a nice day!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Dianna!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Dealing with your pet's shedding hair is informative and helpful to all dog lovers. I voted up and useful.

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Vvaness!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, stress does cause shedding, jane? Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Thelma!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, DDe.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary.

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