Twice a year, pets change their coat to a new one. Shedding in dogs is a natural process that occurs gradually over a period of time. After its completion, the fur coat looks more spectacular, shiny and silky, it transforms the animal for the better.
Knowledge in the field of dog physiology will help breeders not only calmly respond to some changes in character, but will also help the pet to cope with metamorphoses faster.
What is molting in dogs and its causes
The condition of the animal’s coat indicates its health. If the skin glistens and looks well-groomed, it means that the pet is in excellent physical shape, if there are problems, the hairs are shaggy and dull, the dog often itches. The hairline protects against annoying parasites, so care for it should be appropriate.
Experienced breeders know that twice a year a dog needs help in fighting shedding skin. In spring and autumn, for 10-14 days, the pet gets rid of dead hair, and they greatly interfere. It is recommended to comb out a pet every day in the morning and in the evening. For long-haired breeds, a visit to a dog hairdresser will be a salvation.
No matter how thoroughly the dog is combed, a certain amount of hair will still remain on the floor and carpets. For this period, you should be patient and often clean the room, especially if children live in it.
The dog begins to molt for the first time at the age of 6 months. Before this, hair loss can be a sign of illness. It is worth considering that external changes in the structure of the hairline occur after a month, and, having discovered strong molting out of season, you should immediately go to the veterinarian, since during this time the disease can progress significantly. Before the visit, they remember and write out the changes in the dog’s diet, take with them the shampoo that was last used. It is also recommended to check the date of the last anthelmintic treatment.
Photo gallery of molting dogs:
What are the molt
Several types of molting are distinguished depending on the place of residence of the animal. Consider their differences and features.
The main function of the coat is protection against climatic conditions. The cover keeps warm in the winter, and in the summer protects a dog's skin from overheating. In addition, there are additional properties, such as protection against parasites and infectious diseases.
Animals living in natural conditions, such as yard dogs, change their skin by season. In the spring - on a thinner one, in the fall - they are insulated.
For the winter, dogs do not so much get rid of wool as they gain undercoat, warming on cold nights. Such a molt lasts longer than spring, and as a result, the dog can become more voluminous, fluffy.
In the spring, the process of hair loss is more active. Wool falls out quickly and in large quantities, forming tangles that are scattered around. The average duration is from a week to two, depending on the time of year.
It is advisable to comb the dog thoroughly twice a day, especially in the spring, in order to exclude the formation of clumps of wool.
Out of season hair loss is most common in pets. They are more sensitive to changes in the situation in the apartment and actively respond to it. For example, at the beginning of the heating season, the dog may begin active molting. There are frequent cases of hair loss during pregnancy and feeding puppies.
If the molting process is delayed beyond normal, consult a doctor. The most vivid reasons for examination:
- hair loss by shreds,
- the appearance of the dog is untidy, the dull integument,
- change in the density and structure of the hair,
- growth retardation.
Changes in the structure of the coat, its density and brilliance occur in older pets. This is due to many factors, chronic diseases, and simply advanced age. In order to help the animal, they turn to the veterinarian and through treatment make up for the substances that are missing in the body.
Uneven hair loss, the formation of bald patches on different parts of the body or on the head, inflammation and redness of the skin are symptoms of diseases. They are not related to natural processes and require the intervention of a physician. Such cases are treated with special attention, and, without wasting time, they bring the dog to the clinic.
For breeds with long hair, a brush with metal frequent teeth is purchased. She well captures a thick and thin coat. For shorthair, slickers are better suited, they are softer and do not injure the skin.
The brush is pulled in the direction of wool growth, slightly pressing on the handle. For greater effect, comb the animal after bathing, when the hair is softened and easier to separate.
In the protein diet of the dog include the liver, adding fish oil to it. It is also good to introduce cereals with vegetables and some legumes. Food is recommended to cook on their own. You can use ready-made dry food, but it is better to feed the animal with fresh products that have undergone minimal heat treatment during this period.
When molting, dogs need specific auxiliary substances, such as B vitamins, biotin, calcium, tocopherol, niacin. When choosing additives, they prefer those in which the content of the above components is maximum.
Dogs wash their hair more often during seasonal shifts. Wet skin is easier to comb out. Means for washing use different, but it is better to use special, high in protein. They make the hairs softer, and when dry, give a special gloss.
Shedding is unpleasant for dogs, they feel discomfort and this affects the behavior of the pet. The dog becomes aggressive, experiences severe itching and rubs against furniture.
In order to help the animal go through the period as quickly as possible, in addition to the above methods, a regular massage comb with rounded teeth is used. Additionally combing the skin and stimulating metabolic processes, the owner helps to move faster to the hairs that should fall out. Dogs like combing, they willingly substitute the back and stomach, the area above the tail and other hard-to-reach areas.
If the pet is wallowing in the dust, it means that additional combing is necessary. Sometimes the cause of this behavior is excessive dryness of the skin. Carefully observe whether dandruff and peeling have appeared.
Means and methods of combating molting in dogs
There are no special remedies for molting, and a person should not interfere in natural processes. You can help your pet with simple and affordable procedures, which were mentioned above.
There are cases when champion dogs participating in exhibitions start to lose their wool immediately before the performance. A special salon procedure is provided for them. It can be carried out at home, but for this you need to have enough free space in the bathroom.
It all starts with swimming in warm water, the temperature should be as tolerant as possible for the animal. When washing, a special emollient is rubbed into the skin, allowing you to open the pores. Without washing off the balm, the dog is wrapped in a towel and left alone for a while. Then the product is washed, the dog is dried with a hairdryer, while carefully combing the skin.
The procedure is long, the animal must be used to such actions, not be afraid of heat and water. The completed cycle helps to remove up to 90% of the hairs.
Cases when you should contact your veterinarian when molting
Change of coat takes place differently in animals, depending on the nature and temperament. If the process occurs for the first time, and the owner does not know how to respond to difficulties, you should know a number of symptoms, if you need to see a doctor immediately:
- the dog is nervous, anxious or pressed to the owner,
- attempts to caress cause aggression, a painful reaction,
- refusal of food
- vomiting and stool disorder,
- bald patches and skin rashes,
- unpleasant odor from the coat,
- accumulations of mucus in the corners of the eyes,
Each of the manifestations is a sign of the disease, in the presence of two or more urgently go to the clinic and conduct a full examination, including examination and sampling tests.
Dogs that do not fade
For allergy sufferers and people who do not tolerate the smell of dogs, breeds that do not fade and do not smell have historically been formed and bred. These include: several varieties of poodles, Maltese lapdog, terriers (Yorkshire, Kerry Blue, Welsh, Wheat, Bedlington, Border), Basenji, Xolo and many others.
Dog hair and its purpose
Wool for a pet is of great importance, as it is a protection against environmental factors. It protects the dog from parasites, infectious diseases and bad weather.
It is worth noting that the coat is an indicator of the dog’s health status. Soft, silky and shiny coat means that the pet feels well and does not give cause for concern. However, the dull and lifeless coat of the animal can talk about health problems.
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Why wool can look bad
As a rule, a dog constantly molts for various reasons. But this molting is preceded by a change in the state of the coat. So, initially the dog’s fur can become dull and stiff, and only then the hairs will begin to fall out.
This can happen for a number of reasons:
- Poor, unbalanced, or irregular eating habits.
- Gastrointestinal tract diseases.
- Kidney disease.
- Decreased immunity.
- The appearance of parasites in the body of an animal.
Hair loss is a consequence of the appearance of such factors. When the disease has already been cured, many owners observe that the dog sheds much anyway. What to do in this case? Nothing, wait a certain time. Due to the stress experienced, molting can continue for several months after treatment.
Dog molts strongly: what to do?
If your pet has begun to molt a lot, and at the same time you notice changes in its behavior, then you have a reason to take the animal to the veterinarian. It is especially important to start treatment on time if the hair falls out asymmetrically. This may indicate the presence of serious diseases.
If the pet’s coat was fine for a long time, but the dog began to shed sharply, then the factors could be the reason:
- Experienced stress.
- Separation of the dog from the owners.
- The rehabilitation period.
- Allergy to a shampoo or drug.
- Litter for dogs made of synthetic materials.
- Use at home irritating household chemicals.
To find out the cause of hair loss, contact your veterinarian.
If you are concerned that the dog is shedding strongly, what to do and how to deal with it, then try to check your pet for parasites.
Small pests as a cause of molting
Parasites are one of the most dangerous causes of molting in animals. Their timely detection protects the animal from numerous problems. The scabies mite is the worst of the parasites. It provokes a quick infection of the animal. Scabies is excruciating for a dog. In addition, it is a contagious disease, so all family members, including children, can pick up the pathology.
Special tests help determine the presence of a parasite in the body of the animal and promptly remove it. In addition to scabies, there are several other types of pathogens. Among them are ringworm, seborrhea, color mutational alopecia, yeast infection.
Worms also cause the dog to shed heavily. What to do in this case? Fight helminths with medical drugs. In the early stages of development, these parasites pose a minimal risk, but over time, worms can cause painful symptoms in the animal, such as weakness, vomiting, tension, itching.
The dog sheds very much in the summer: what to do
Shedding of the animal in the summer season is of concern to the owners, since this period is not intended to change the coat of the animal. If the pet began to lose six during the warm season, pay attention to:
- The air temperature in the room in which the dog lives. If it is above 26 degrees, then molting a dog is not surprising.
- Pet food. In the warm season, the dog should receive a balanced diet to provide the body with vitamins.
- Air circulation in the house. If it is absent, then the dog can catch skin diseases.
Do not forget about the possible presence of parasites in the body of a pet. In summer, the animal walks more often, and microorganisms are more resistant to the environment, which increases the chances of infection.
Any of the factors can lead to the dog shedding heavily in the summer. What to do:
- Maintain normal air temperature.
- Ventilate the house regularly.
- To diversify the menu of the dog.
- Choose vitamins for your pet.
- Do not forget to give anthelmintic drugs.
If the animal continues to molt, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
How to prevent and stop hair loss
If the tests showed that the hair does not fall out due to pathogens, but the pet is in good health, then you must ensure that the dog is properly cared for.
Firstly, do not use shampoos intended for people to bathe the dog, this is unacceptable. The structure of the skin of a person and a dog is different, so your hygiene products can provoke an allergic reaction and a molt of a pet.
Secondly, do not bathe your dog more than once a month. In this case, choose a barely warm water temperature. Hot water will not only cause discomfort to the pet, but also cause a stressful reaction of the body.
Remember that molting twice a year is the norm for the dog. Do not raise the panic once again, because sometimes it’s enough to simply help the pet survive the period of hair loss.
Treat the animal's fur coat with special drops that will prevent the appearance of parasites in the body. Such a medicine can be bought at a veterinary pharmacy.
If the veterinarian makes a diagnosis that explains hair loss, then your pet will be prescribed treatment. It must be strictly observed, and then make sure that the causes of molting do not reappear.
How to help a pet survive molting
If your pet has begun seasonal molting, then you can’t just watch the process of changing the coat. The animal needs quality care. Do not be alarmed if the dog is very shedding. What to do during this period, any veterinarian will tell you, however, care measures are very simple.
Firstly, comb out your pet's hair regularly to ensure timely change of hair follicles.
Secondly, analyze and eliminate the nutritional deficiencies of the dog so that the coat does not fall out too intensely.
Thirdly, do not bathe your pet more often than usual. However, you can purchase a special shampoo that will prevent the loss of healthy hairs.
You do not like that the dog sheds a lot? What to do? Get yourself a pet that is not susceptible to seasonal wool changes.
What breeds do not fade
Unfortunately, there are no breeds that would not fade at all. Some dogs have significantly less hair than others, but still do. These breeds include the following:
- Irish Water Spaniel.
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
- Yorkshire Terrier.
- Boston Terrier.
- Welsh terrier.
Almost all terriers and lapdogs molt a little, but if you want a pet whose hair does not fall out completely, special hairless dogs have been bred that have no coat at all, so they cannot shed even in the season.