Dogs, like most animals, are not an exception to shedding. It is their bodies’ way of getting rid of all that excess fur. Yet, some dogs shed too much compared to others. Well, think about it. How often do dogs shed anyway? To answer that question, check out this article.
How Often Do Dogs Shed in a Year?
The Dog Advisory Council claimed that canines have an estimated 600-60000 hairs per square inch of their bodies. Meanwhile, zoologist Johnson Michaels stated that typical dogs lose 5 to 30% of hair daily.
Moreover, Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori from the Niles Animal Hospital said that canines are shed by season. They added that dogs shed twice a year.
Also, Adrienne Farricelli, a certified dog trainer, supports that claim. She explained that most dogs shed during the spring and fall. That is around March to May and September to November.
Yet, according to FourPaws, the spring and fall shedding season is for outdoor dogs only. Whereas indoor dogs shed their fur all year long.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Normally, dogs often shed their undercoats. Yet, sometimes excessive shedding could have underlying problems. Let’s look at the reasons below.
Natural Hair Cycle
When dogs shed their coats, they also undergo a natural hair cycle like humans.
- Anagen Stage. New hair grows. Breeds like Shih Tzu stay longer in this stage.
- Catagen Stage. Hair stops growing.
- Telogen Stage. Hair becomes dormant but doesn’t shed.
- Exogen Stage. Old hair is shed.
Carolina Veterinary Specialists said that hypothyroidism has two forms. They are idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy and lymphocytic thyroiditis.
Animal Hospital of Montgomery stated that shedding is a sign of Hypothyroidism. That also includes weight gain and lethargy. Further, this disease is common in middle-aged, medium to large dog breeds.
A study in 2006 stated that dogs could also suffer from congenital alopecia. Further, this disease causes dogs to shed, often resulting in bald spots.
Moreover, MSD Veterinary Manual suggested that alopecia may not be congenital. Also, it was stated that the lack of hair follicles causes balding.
According to Randy Kidd, DVM, dogs are not an exception to seasonal allergies. He added that allergies cause an estimated 70% of skin-related diseases in dogs.
Dogs are more prone to atopic dermatitis. Allergens in flea bites, pollens, dust, and cleaning products trigger intense shedding.
Malcolm Weir and Robin Downing, both DVM, explained that dogs fed with commercial dry food are prone to fur shedding.
Breeds That Shed a Lot
To understand the dogs’ shedding season, Dr. Davis explained the difference between dog fur and dog hair.
Also, according to her, hair is the topcoat while fur is the undercoat. Fur grows and sheds faster. Whereas dog hair grows slower and is longer. Thus, it doesn’t shed that much.
Pete Decker from the Goody Pet listed the dog breeds that shed the most during the months of spring and fall.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- German Shepherd
- Saint Bernard
- The Great Pyrenees
- Golden Retriever
- Belgian Tervuren
- Belgian Sheepdog
The Peoria Area Veterinary Group said that double coats in dogs could be the reason why they are heavy shedders. They added that these dogs have dense undercoats and long topcoats.
Dogs shed their undercoats during temperature changes. For instance, canines will shed to cool themselves during the summer. Also, dogs shed to create dense undercoats for winter.
Breeds That Shed Less
There is no such thing as dogs that don’t shed. Yet, the shedding can be kept to a minimum. Also, Amy Flowers, DVM, explained that the amount of shedding depends on the breed of the dog.
Jenna Stregowski, RVT said that non-shedding dog breeds are only a myth. She added that all dogs shed but some are not noticeable.
According to Reader’s Digest, here are the lists of dog breeds that shed less during the year.
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bedlington terrier
- Brussels griffon
- Chinese crested
- Peruvian Inca Orchid
- Scottish terrier
Dogs come with two types of coats, the single-coated and the double-coated. Single-coated dogs shed less because they don’t have thick undercoats.
According to Dr. Farricelli, the hairs of single-coated dogs vary in length and texture. Also, she added that these dogs don’t shed by season but rather in small amounts annually.
How to Limit Coat Shedding
As dog owners, it can be tiring to clean up dog furs and hair all over the house. So, here are some tips on how to minimize coat shedding.
Choose the Right Brush
Most dogs often shed their coats twice a year and when they do, they need regular brushing. Barbara Bird, a pet groomer from Arizona, stated that groomers use the same brush as dog owners do. Also, some of these combing tools include wide-toothed combs or bristle brushes.
Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
According to Volhard Dog Nutrition, an imbalanced diet causes shedding. They added that dry food lacks protein which leads to excessive shedding.
Also, Dr. Jennifer Coates said that Lipids are important. For instance, omega 3 and omega 6 help maintain healthy skin and fur.
Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Regular baths are good for a dog’s overall health condition. It gets rid of fleas, detangles hair, and cleanses their skin of dirt and oil.
Further, Vetgen Pharmaceuticals supports the idea of grooming. According to them, a dog’s routines should include, bathing, drying, and, then brushing.
How Many Times Do Dogs Shed a Year: FAQs
Check out some frequently asked questions about dogs’ shedding season below.
Most dogs often shed twice a year and that is during the spring and fall. During the fall, dogs lose their lighter coats to produce thick ones for the winter. Also, in spring, canines shed their thick coats in preparation for the summer.
Dogs shed from March to May and September to October. That is a total of six months of dog shedding season. During those months, a dog’s fur grows thick to suit the cold. Yet, it can also be shed due to the intense heat.
Yes, it is. Dogs can shed all year but it’s not noticeable for some owners. Dogs that are kept indoors are more likely to shed all year. That’s because indoor dogs live in a controlled environment, as explained by Vet West.
If a normal dog suddenly sheds so much then a problem could be present. Allergies, irregular baths, or even flea bites can cause unexpected shedding. Also, Dr. Roy Cruzen from PetMD stated that sudden shedding can be caused by cheap commercial food.
Shedding is too much if it causes itching or discomfort to dogs, and even worse, balding. Joanna Pendergrass, DVM stated that excessive shedding happens because of nutritional deficiencies. Thus, it can occur due to a lack of protein or calcium that supports hair health. There are dog shedding supplements that your dog can take to reduce shedding.
Dogs shed the most during the months of spring and fall. It can be an alarming thing to witness. Still, as science explained, all dogs shed their old fur. Yet, canines can also shed way too much. To be sure, the best thing to do is to visit a veterinarian.