The shedding of hair is a normal and ongoing process for most
domestic dogs and cats.
Excessive shedding generally occurs in the spring and fall with
the changing of major seasons. Old hair is released so that new
hair of the right consistency and insulation factor may grow in.
In the winter, hair fluffs up to provide insulation from the
cold. For this reason, matted hair does not protect a dog or cat
from the cold. Many pets (especially the cold weather breeds
like Elkhound, Huskies or Samoyeds) also have an undercoat of
soft downy hair to protect them from extreme cold. In the
summer, hair can also function to protect pets from overheating
by insulating against the heat of the sun.
Since most pets spend at least part of their time indoors, and
are often exposed to both air conditioning and heating systems,
their bodies may begin to start shedding hair year round.
Shedding is best controlled by regular grooming, either by
bruthing at home or with professional grooming services, or a
combination of both. Keep in mind that regardless of how much
hair might be removed at a grooming shop, even with special
products, nothing will remove all the loose hair and give you
back a non-shedding dog.
Hair is also shed whenever a pet is nervous or excited. You have
probably noticed that your pet sheds more than normal during a
visit to the vet. This is because the pet’s nervousness causes
the skin to tighten, which forces out any loose hair. And when
you pick him up from the groomer, the same thing occurs – his
excitement loosens up hair that was not able to be removed (or
ready to be shed) during the grooming process.
Some diseases can promote poor hair growth and shedding. If your
pet experiences unexplained hair loss, or you suspect there may
be a medical condition causing the excessive shedding, it is
always wise to consult a veterinarian.
Good diet, regular brushing and special attention during spring
and fall shedding seasons will help keep extra hair off your
clothes and floors.
A good quality oil supplement can be added to your pet’s food,
such as any fish oil or omega 3 & 6 which can help replenish
lost moisture in the skin and reduce shedding. These products
are sold in better pet food stores.
Please do not hesitate to ask me if you need suggestions on
which tool to use to de-shed and brush your pet’s coat.
Breeds with a non-shedding or low shedding coats have become
very popular in the last few years. These range in size from
very small to very large, such as the Toy Poodle, Yorky,
Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Bichon, Havanese, Cotton de
Tulear, Chinese Crested Powderpuff, Miniature Schnauzer, Tibetan
Terrier, Lowchen, West Highland Terrier, American Cocker
Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, Bouvier Des Flandres, Standard
Poodle, Airedale and many more .
Non-shedding dogs do not shed their coat twice a year, although
there is some coat loss – similar to our own hair loss if you
will or in some cases, a degree of shedding may occur in cycle.
Their coat continually grows; these breeds require regular
clipping and grooming. Some dogs have a cottony texture coat and
tend to tangle easily. For example, some Shi Tzus have a cottony
coat that tangles easily while others Shih Tzus never get any
tangles. Much like humans or members of the same family, dogs of
the same breed can have very different hair texture.
Most non-shedding breeds must be brushed and combed every few
days. If you have wall to wall carpet, the static electricity,
especially in Winter when the furnace is on, can create mats or
tangles on the legs, underbelly, chest and rear of the dog.
Those dogs with a silky or coarse coat don’t tend to be affected
by static as much.
Most non-shedding breeds look very cute in a puppy cut, which is
easier to care for but they can also be kept in a longer clip.
Breeds such as the Yorkies or Maltese look beautiful with
styles, short of long.
I personally use a good quality re-moisturizer in the Winter
months to keep the coat soft and hydrated.
If you have a non-shedding breed, I recommend grooming every 6
to 8 weeks, depending on the coat texture and thickness.
Some customers choose to have a bath/dry every 4 weeks,
alternating with a full groom (so once a month, a bath and the
following month, a groom). Full bath/dry, eyes and anal area is
Regular grooming will benefit both you and your dog: he or she
will always smell good, look and feel great.
If you are unsure on which brush or comb to use, do not hesitate
to ask, it will be my pleasure to show you the proper technique
and equipment to keep your dog’s coat free of tangles, soft and