As the days become shorter and the nights grow colder, you may be observing something that seems a bit odd for a body preparing for winter….your dog is shedding more than he/she normally does. Rest assured, it is perfectly normal. Dogs typically lose their winter coats in the spring, and their coat is replaced by a shorter, lighter summer coat. In the fall, this cycle is reversed; the summer coat is shed and the heavier, protective winter coat is prominent.
This change is most obvious in “double-coated” breeds such as Collies, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Samoyeds and Malamutes. These breeds have a protective overcoat of long hair, and an insulating undercoat that is softer, almost “down-like.” The mass of these coats are lost in the spring and fall.
The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. German shepherds shed year-round, while poodles seem to lose very little fur at all. Short-haired breeds may shed as much as the longhairs, but since the hair that light-coated dogs shed is easily overlooked, it may seem as if they shed less.
All coats, even the heaviest, can be tamed by a regular and frequent schedule of bathing combing and brushing. There are many different kinds of shampoos and conditions to choose from. No matter what the breed or mix of dog, shedding is normal, but some heavy shedding can also be a sign of health problems. Skin allergies and skin parasites may trigger shedding and poor nutrition or other health problems can also be a cause of coat problems. Become familiar with your pet’s normal pattern of shedding. Ask your groomer for advice. If you notice their coat condition seems too dull, you notice excessive hair loss, or are noticing a change in skin conditions, please don’t hesitate to ask a professional. They are always happy to help.