Cart
Your cart is currently empty.

How To Stop Dogs From Shedding: Tips and Tricks for a Fur-Free Home

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

How To Stop Dogs from Shedding

Plenty of dog owners get frustrated with a home full of dog hair and may ask how to stop dogs shedding. Shedding is a natural process for dogs, but excessive shedding can be a sign of an underlying health issue or poor nutrition. Fortunately, there are ways to manage and reduce shedding, making life easier for both the dog and its owner.

When it comes to problems like shedding, grooming becomes your best friend. Having quality grooming products, like a pet grooming glove on hand can help you get rid of dead hair before it reaches your couch. 

But to look at whether you can stop shedding in dogs before it reaches your couch, we’ve consulted expert sources on dog skin and coat health, as well as grooming. By following these simple steps, pet owners can reduce shedding and enjoy a cleaner, healthier home.

But let’s take a closer look at shedding in dogs to understand how to control it and when it could signal a medical problem.

Why Do Dogs Shed?

Why Do Dogs Shed?

Dogs are known for their furry coats, but shedding can be a problem for many pet owners. Understanding why dogs shed is important to help prevent excessive shedding and keep your home clean.

Dog Hair Life Cycle

Like humans, dogs have a hair growth cycle that consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the anagen phase, the hair grows actively. In the catagen phase, the hair stops growing and the hair follicle starts to shrink. Finally, during the telogen phase, the hair falls out and new hair starts to grow.

Can you read more about the dog hair growth and shedding cycle in our article on how long it takes for dog hair to grow back.

Seasonal Shedding

Dogs often shed more during certain times of the year, such as in the spring and fall. This is known as seasonal shedding and is related to changes in daylight and temperature. During these times, dogs shed their old coat to make way for a new one that is better suited for the upcoming season.

Dog Breeds and Shedding

Dog Breeds and Shedding

Some dog breeds shed more than others. Breeds that have a double coat, such as the Golden Retriever, a Husky Corgi mix, Corgi, or German Shepherd, shed more than breeds with a single coat, such as the Poodle, Maltese, or Bichon Frise

Additionally, breeds with curly or wiry hair, like the Poodle or Terrier, shed less than breeds with straight hair, such as the Labrador Retriever or Boxer.

A common issue can be when dog owners don’t fully understand their dogs’ individual coat. Just like humans, dogs have different coat types that have different needs for proper care. With the surge in Doodle designer breeds, for example, we see far more cases of people who don’t fully understand the amount of work that a long curly coat takes to maintain.

Another important point is that dogs like Doodles are often advertised as non-shedding and hypoallergenic. The truth is that while many of them are low-shedders, all dogs shed to some extent. Dogs with a Poodle coat just have a single coat and the dead hairs get stuck in the coat, so it can look like they don’t shed. But this also makes matting a constant problem.

Doodle dogs can also get their genes from their other parent breed and end up shedding quite a bit if they don’t have the poodle coat.

But let’s look at what makes dogs shed more than usual.

Factors That Affect How Much A Dog Sheds

Factors That Affect How Much A Dog Sheds

Dogs come in different coat types, and each breed sheds differently. However, several factors affect how much a dog sheds, regardless of their coat type. Here are some of the factors that can contribute to excessive shedding in dogs:

Age

As dogs age, their hair follicles’ life-cycle shortens, leading to increased shedding. Senior dogs can shed about 10-20% more than adult dogs.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Lack of certain nutrients can cause shedding in dogs. For a healthy skin and coat, dogs need:

  • Adequate omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; 
  • Vitamin E; 
  • Zinc; 
  • Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5; 
  • Biotin; and 
  • Niacinamide or vitamin B3. 

Many nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to prevent skin problems in dogs. Huskies are prone to type 1 zinc deficiencies, while large breeds are prone to type 2 zinc deficiencies, which can also cause hair loss and excess shedding.

Underlying Health Conditions

Medical sources point to many underlying health conditions that can cause canine hair loss and excessive shedding. These include:

  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Cushing’s disease;
  • Fungal and bacterial infections; 
  • Pregnancy (see what to expect in a dog after mating); 
  • Mange; 
  • Sunburn;
  • Medication side-effects; 
  • Renal or kidney issues;
  • Hormonal imbalances; 
  • Liver problems; and 
  • Autoimmune diseases and compromised immune systems.

Stress

Stress can also cause a dog to shed more than usual. Dogs can experience stress due to changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home or the addition of a new pet or family member.

Dehydration

Dehydration in dogs can lead to excessive shedding due to its adverse effects on the skin and coat health. When a dog becomes dehydrated, there is a reduction in the moisture content of their skin, causing it to become dry and flaky. As a result, the protective barrier of the skin weakens, making it more susceptible to irritation and damage.

Additionally, dehydrated dogs may produce less natural oils that help maintain the shine and strength of their fur. Consequently, the dry and weakened hair shafts are more prone to breakage and shedding, leading to an increased rate of hair loss. Proper hydration is essential to maintain the health of a dog’s skin and coat, reducing shedding and promoting a lustrous, healthy appearance.

General Tips to Reduce Shedding in Dogs

Regular Grooming

One of the most effective ways to reduce shedding in dogs is through regular grooming. Brushing your dog’s coat regularly helps to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Use a brush that is appropriate for your dog’s coat type and brush in the direction of hair growth. Regular grooming also helps to distribute natural oils throughout the coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.

Remember to pay special attention to areas like the back of a dog’s legs or the back of their ears when brushing them.

Also, be careful to only use products that do not irritate your dog’s skin. See more in our article on dogs itching after grooming.

Feed a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining a healthy coat and reducing shedding in dogs. Ensure that your dog’s diet contains all the necessary nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog’s specific needs.

In general, you can safely ensure your dog has high protein in their diet, with plenty of omega-fatty acids, ideally from green-lipped mussel extract. You can also add b vitamins and vitamin E to their diet safely, and ensure they get enough zinc and selenium.

Hair is more than 90% protein and contains high amounts of the sulfur amino acids (building blocks of proteins), methionine and cystine. Normal turnover of skin cells and keratinization means a dog needs a lot of protein for a quality coat. Together, skin and coat needs account for up to 30% of an animal’s daily protein requirements.

Hydration

Keeping your dog hydrated is important for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Ensure that your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water at all times.

Reduce Stress

Stress can cause excessive shedding in dogs. Reduce stress by providing a calm and comfortable environment for your dog. Avoid sudden changes in routine and provide plenty of opportunities for exercise and play.

Treat Dog for Parasites

Parasites, such as fleas and ticks (or mange), can cause excessive shedding in dogs. Ensure that your dog is treated regularly for parasites to prevent infestations.

Be Careful of Over Grooming

While regular grooming is important, over grooming can actually cause more shedding. Avoid excessive brushing or bathing, which can strip the coat of natural oils and cause irritation.

Improve Circulation in the Dog’s Skin

Improving circulation in the dog’s skin can help to reduce shedding. Massage your dog’s coat regularly to promote blood flow and stimulate hair growth.

Understand Your Dog’s Coat

Understanding your dog’s coat type is important for effective grooming and shedding prevention. Different coat types require different grooming techniques, so consult with a professional groomer to determine the best approach for your dog.

Treat Underlying Health Problems

Underlying health problems, such as allergies or thyroid issues, can cause excessive shedding in dogs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if there are any underlying health issues that need to be addressed.

Keep the Dog’s Environment Clean

Another way to manage shedding is to keep the dog’s environment clean. Regular vacuuming and cleaning of furniture and carpets can help remove pet hair and dander, reducing the amount of shedding in the house. Additionally, washing the dog’s bedding regularly can help reduce the amount of hair and dander that accumulates in the house. By following these simple steps, pet owners can reduce shedding and enjoy a cleaner, healthier home.

Also, see our article on what to do with dog poop before garbage day when it comes to keeping your dog’s space clean.

Choosing the Right Grooming Tools To Stop Dogs Shedding

Brushes and Combs

One of the most effective ways to reduce dog shedding is by using the right brushes and combs. A slicker brush is a great tool for removing loose hair and tangles from your dog’s coat. It has fine, short wires that can penetrate deep into your pet’s fur. A bristle brush, on the other hand, is ideal for removing dirt and debris from the coat’s surface. It also helps distribute natural oils throughout the hair.

A rubber curry brush is another useful tool for reducing shedding. It has small rubber teeth that can massage your dog’s skin and remove loose hair. A flea comb is also great for removing loose hair and debris from your pet’s coat.

Deshedding Tools

Deshedding tools are specifically designed to remove loose hair from your dog’s coat. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they all work by removing the undercoat without damaging the topcoat. 

A shedding blade, for example, has a curved metal blade that can remove loose hair from your pet’s coat. 

A furminator is another popular de-shedding tool that works by removing loose hair from the undercoat.

What are Some Home Remedies to Reduce Dog Shedding?

In addition to using the right grooming tools, there are several home remedies that can help reduce dog shedding. One of the most effective remedies is adding omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet. These fatty acids help improve the quality of your dog’s skin and coat, which can reduce shedding.

Regular baths can also help reduce shedding by removing loose hair and dirt from your pet’s coat. However, be sure to use a mild shampoo that won’t dry out your dog’s skin and don’t bath too often.

Finally, brushing your dog’s coat regularly can help reduce shedding by removing loose hair before it falls out. Aim to brush your dog’s coat at least once a week, or more often if your dog has a thick coat.

By using the right grooming tools and home remedies, you can help reduce your dog’s shedding and keep your home clean and tidy.

Can Coconut Oil Reduce Shedding in Dogs?

Some sources say that coconut oil can help reduce shedding. The reality is that coconut oil in a dog’s diet will likely make shedding worse, since studies show that the lauric acid ( a saturated fat) in coconut oil causes leaky gut and low-grade inflammation in dogs. On the skin, coconut oil may help lock on moisture, but it’s more likely just to make your dog sticky.

Professional Grooming Services To Handle Shedding

Professional grooming services are a great option for pet owners who want to keep their dogs looking and feeling their best. These services are provided by trained professionals who have experience working with a variety of dog breeds and coat types. They can help reduce shedding and keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.

One of the most popular grooming services for reducing shedding is the deshedding treatment. This treatment involves using specialized tools to remove loose fur from your dog’s coat. The groomer will typically start by brushing your dog’s coat to loosen any tangles or mats. Then, they will use a deshedding tool to remove the loose fur. This can help reduce shedding by up to 90% and can also help prevent hairballs and other health problems.

Another popular grooming service is the bath and blowout. This service involves giving your dog a thorough bath using high-quality shampoos and conditioners. The groomer will then use a high-velocity dryer to blow out your dog’s coat, which can help remove loose fur and prevent shedding. This service can also help keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy.

In addition to these services, many professional groomers offer a variety of other treatments and services to help keep your dog looking and feeling their best. Some of these services may include:

  • Nail trimming;
  • Ear cleaning;
  • Teeth cleaning;
  • Coat conditioning; and
  • Haircutting.

Overall, professional grooming services can be a great option for pet owners who want to reduce shedding and keep their dogs looking and feeling their best. Whether you opt for a deshedding treatment, a bath and blowout, or another grooming service, you can rest assured that your dog will be in good hands with a trained and experienced groomer.

When to Consult a Veterinarian About Your Dog Shedding Too Much

If you notice that your dog is shedding more than usual, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. While shedding is a natural process for dogs, excessive shedding can be a cause for concern. Here are some signs that you should consult a veterinarian about your dog’s shedding:

  • Bald patches: If you notice bald patches on your dog’s skin, it could be a sign of a skin infection or other health issue.
  • Scratching and biting: If your dog is scratching or biting excessively, it could be a sign of allergies or other skin issues.
  • Changes in behavior: If your dog seems lethargic, has a decreased appetite, or is showing other signs of illness, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
  • Sudden increase in shedding: If your dog suddenly starts shedding more than usual, it could be a sign of stress, illness, or other health issues.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to consult a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of your dog’s excessive shedding and recommend appropriate treatment options. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests, such as blood work or skin scrapings, to help determine the cause of your dog’s shedding.

It’s also important to note that certain breeds of dogs are more prone to shedding than others. If you have a breed that is known for shedding, such as a Labrador Retriever or a German Shepherd, it’s important to be proactive about managing your dog’s shedding. Regular grooming and brushing can help reduce shedding and keep your dog’s coat healthy.

In summary, if you notice any signs of excessive shedding in your dog, it’s important to consult a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of your dog’s shedding and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my dog shedding so much?

Dogs shed their fur as a natural process of replacing old or damaged hair with new growth. However, excessive shedding can be caused by a variety of factors, such as allergies, poor nutrition, stress, or an underlying medical condition. It is important to consult with a veterinarian if your dog is shedding excessively to rule out any underlying health issues.

Why does my female dog shed so much?

Female dogs may shed more during certain times of the year, such as when they are in heat or pregnant. Hormonal changes can also affect the quality and quantity of a dog’s coat. However, if your female dog is shedding excessively, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

What months do dogs shed the most?

The amount of shedding can vary depending on the breed of dog, but most dogs shed more during the spring and fall months when their coats are transitioning between winter and summer. However, some dogs may shed year-round, and others may shed more during the summer months due to the heat.

Can I stop my dog shedding in the house?

While it is impossible to completely stop a dog from shedding, there are several things you can do to minimize shedding in your home. Regular grooming, such as brushing and bathing, can help remove loose fur and prevent it from accumulating in your home. Additionally, feeding your dog a healthy diet and providing plenty of water can help keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding.

Why is my dog shedding so much all of a sudden?

If your dog is shedding more than usual all of a sudden, it could be due to a variety of factors, such as stress, a change in diet, or an underlying medical condition. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the cause of sudden excessive shedding and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

How long does it take for shaven dog hair to grow back?

The time it takes for a shaven dog’s hair to grow back can vary depending on factors such as breed, health, and hair type. Generally, dog hair grows at a rate of about half an inch (1.3 cm) per month. Within a couple of weeks to a few months after shaving, you should notice visible hair regrowth, but it may take several months or longer for the hair to fully regrow to its previous length.

A healthy diet, regular grooming, and a stress-free environment can support proper hair growth. If you have concerns or notice unusual changes, consult a veterinarian for personalized guidance.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, shedding is a natural process for dogs, but it can be managed with proper care and attention. By following the tips outlined in this article, dog owners can significantly reduce the amount of shedding and keep their homes cleaner and more comfortable.

Regular grooming, a healthy diet, and proper hydration can all play a role in reducing shedding. Additionally, using a high-quality shedding tool can help to remove loose fur and minimize shedding.

It’s important to remember that shedding can also be a sign of underlying health issues, such as allergies or skin conditions. If a dog’s shedding seems excessive or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian.

Meet Your Experts

Avatar of author

Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.