Dogs shed. It’s an inescapable reality and part of life as a dog parent. Dog owners tend to vacuum three times more than the average person simply because they’re picking up after their canine companion’s scattered fur. Shedding is a natural phenomenon almost all dogs experience, but in some cases, it can also signal the presence of a serious health risk.
Most dogs shed heavily in the spring because they’re getting rid of the thick fur coat they naturally develop to keep warm during the winter. It’s a natural biological function that still exists in dogs today. However, indoor dogs aren’t as exposed to seasonal climate changes and often experience small coat fluctuations all year long, which is why many dog owners find themselves constantly vacuuming after their puppies.
Shedding is perfectly natural, and more often than not dog owners will fret over what seems like excessive shedding when what they’re experiencing is perfectly normal, but it can be caused by a variety of health risks.
Health issues in your dog that can cause excessive shedding may include:
- Parasites, such as lice or fleas
- Kidney, thyroid or liver disease
- Pregnancy (not necessarily a health risk, but a serious change in condition nonetheless)
- Immune disease
- Excessive licking
- Fungal or bacterial infections
The most obvious sign of health problems is when shedding turns into bald patches. If you think your dog is shedding abnormally due to health issues, it’s best to consult your vet immediately. If you’re concerned that your dog is missing patches of fur due to a parasite, here is a breakdown of the different types of mange that causes excess shedding and hair loss from Dogtime’s website. You can use this guide as a reference while you are on your way to the vet’s office or scheduling an appointment, as veterinarians are trained to spot excessive shedding and can quickly diagnose the issue as well as prescribe treatment.
That being said, the number one cause of excessive shedding is actually malnutrition. Many pet food manufacturers work to provide dog food that is full of nutrients so owners don’t have to worry about supplements, but sometimes it’s just not enough for your pup’s health. You should always ask your local veterinarian about a new dog’s diet requirements when you first take him in for a checkup.
When any of our dog walking or pet sitting staff visit your dog, we take note of any excess shedding and make sure to let you know in the daily visit report if your pet is itching, scratching, or has any bald patches that we haven’t seen before to make sure that any health issues are addressed as soon as possible. If you’re interested in having our attentive eyes care for your dog’s needs on daily walks, check out our monthly package rates here.