Beagle Mix shedding her coat
Coat Care Grooming Advice

4 Reasons Your Short Haired Dog Is Shedding

Shedding, Dog Shedding, Short Haired dog shedding
4 Reasons Your Short Haired Dog is Shedding.
A Video of My Dog Diamond Shedding

^ My Personal Dog Diamond Shedding Like Crazy

It’s pretty obvious that dogs will shed simply because their bodies are completely covered in hair. However, some believe that because their dogs are short haired, magically the shedding will be significantly lower than double coated breeds.

That simply isn’t true.

Over the years, through trial and error of both of my own short-hairedI’ve learned that there can be various reasons behind a shedding short coat.  In this post, I am choosing to give you my top four most common causes for shedding and over shedding short coats.

How do you know if there is a reason behind the shedding?

Typically your pet’s hair will appear to be very dry and brittle, falling from the coat simply by petting. And every once and a while your pet may have a bit of a smell similar to corn chips (who doesn’t love Fritos?).

Below I’ve listed my top FOUR most common explanations for a heavily shedding day in and day out.

1. Your Pets Diet

When I assess a pet’s coat and its not blowing season (early to mid-spring or nearing winter), I usually b-line to diet.  There are certain foods that just do not provide enough nutrients or omega 3’s for your dog.

Basically, your dog’s skin is a fully functioning organism (exactly like humans). Cheap and nutrient deprived food means a very bad coat—and more than likely a shedding one. Food goes to your dog’s organs first, and whatever is left over goes to the skin and coat.

Usually, I see so many dogs with skin issues due to their food.  Luckily for us, there are so many dog foods that cater not only to your dog’s overall well being, but there are also breed-specific foods that cater to different types of genetics, mouth shapes, and the list goes on and on.

But if you’re like me and have a dog that is about 12 different breeds all mixed into one, what do we do?

That’s pretty simple—enhance your dog’s diet as well.

Supplements

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Supplements are the BEST way to make an already cheap food better for your pup.  I understand, for some, it is just not in the budget to spend $50 and upwards for decent food, especially if you have more than one dog. Therefore supplements are a cheaper alternative to buying a higher quality–yet more expensive dog food.

Fish Oil or Flax Seed Oil

I always recommend Fish or flaxseed oil that is definitely readily available at your nearest health food store.  I highly recommend consulting your vet for the recommended serving size for your particular pet. I also feel it’s important to invest in a fresher option of fish oil as well, there is the capsule option–however, the actual oil from the bottle that requires refrigeration is a better option.


Photo by Delphine Hourlay from Pexels

The one downside of fish oil is YOUR DOG WILL SMELL like fish oil, and in some cases……may have a little gas. Which is why I feel Flax Seed Oil is SOOOOOOOO much better! Flaxseed oil smells like nuts, and if your dog has a case of the poots–it’s not as bad to inhale. But also consult with your vet about flaxseed oil as well. Many dog food brands and treats have flax seed oil in them, which is why I highly recommend it!

Invest in Your Dog’s Food

I love the reaction and amazement on client’s faces when they take my advice and upgrade the quality and brand of their dog’s food.  They instantly see a difference in the amount of shedding and shine of their dog’s coat! I love it, it makes me feel like I am actually doing my job as a groomer.

Grain Free

I recommend foods that have NO CORN (hence the Frito corn chip smell), a higher amount of omega fatty acids, and “good” grains. Corn is generally the leading cause of allergies in dogs. Bad grains are tons of wheat and grain products that aren’t rice, oatmeal–usually their filler grains.  Grains shrink the hair follicle and cause your dog’s hair to fall out even more.  It’s not necessary for your dog to go completely grain free unless your vet recommended. Yet, I would say that I always recommend to ask for a holistic brand (typically grain free)—although they’re more expensive. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like my dogs to be completely dependent on meds. I like for them to be able to live a happy life without forcing pills down their throat.  Especially if it’s a simple fix.

Breed Specific Food

Breed specific foods are definitely a hot commodity right now. Royal Canin as of right now is one of the only food brands that I know of that has an entire line of breed specific food. Unfortunately, they don’t have every breed, but they do usually care the food for the top 6 breeds in America. If you have a Golden Retrieve Lab, Dachshund, or even Bulldog, there’s a food for your particular breed.  I know for a fact that Petsmart sells the Royal Canin line at Banfield Vet inside each individual store location.

2. Allergies

When I part a dog’s hair and a smell emits from the coat, or a there’s a ton of pink or red spots everywhere, I INSTANTLY think ALLERGIES! If there aren’t any bugs, either ticks, fleas, or ants (yes, thicker coated dog’s tend to attract ants and sometimes they enjoy living in thicker coats—I don’t know why, that’s all I know, hahaha) I know it’s definitely something unusual going on.

However, when it comes to allergies the first thing you can do is change your dog’s food to an allergy sensitive food.  Allergy sensitive food is not available over the counter, yet most vets carry them. I have many clients who have benefitted from

Visit Your Vet if All Else Fails

If you’ve already switched your dog’s food, you will have to resort to medication, this topic now leaves my hand and resides in the hands of your vet.  Vet attention is the best for fixing allergies. I DO NOT recommend DIY (do-it-yourself) remedies for allergies. Most importantly, your dog can’t tell you how “in pain” or “irritated” their skin is.  Piling their coat with trial-and-error products can cause major irritation or damage.  Going to the vet and getting down to the problem and canceling out all possibilities is my best answer!

Important Note: Benadryl is not always the best at home remedy and answer to allergies.  If your dog is constantly scratching and itching, please be the pet parent they believe you are and take them to the vet to get some relief.  I have known dogs to have internal organ issues from over consumption of Benadryl for “allergies”. 

 Unless your vet is recommending it, please don’t diagnose at home.  And if your groomer is recommending Benadryl, please seek the advice of your VETERNARIAN first. We are not vets, we are professionals, but we did not go to vet school and do not have a degree in Veterinary Science.

3. Seasonal and Double Short Coats

Seasonal

If it is blowing season (early to mid spring or nearing winter), that could be the exact cause of shedding.  Also, yes, the season does affect your dog’s coat pretty significantly. If that’s the case, every single groomer has a de-shedding package for SHORT HAIRED dog’s as well.  Therefore, during the blowing season, going to the groomers every 4-6 weeks can significantly reduce shedding by 90%! A simple and easy fix.

4 Reasons Your Short Haired Dog is Shedding
Labrador Retriever Shedding at Pawsome Pets

Double Coats

One thing that can make this incredibly worse is if your dog is short haired and has a double coat. My beautiful girl Diamond, as seen in the video in the beginning of this post, is shedding like crazy. However, Diamond has a double coat too. And like double-coated dogs, her coat responds to seasonal cues. Artificial temperature and climate, like the heater and air conditioner in our apartment, can cause her coat to shed year round.

If your pet, like mine, spends tons of time indoors…..winter and summer cues can be picked up by the artificial temperature (thermostat). Which easily causes a dog’s coat to go crazy and constantly shed.

4. Underlying condition

If your dog’s hair is falling out in large clumps, your dog may have an underlying condition. Which is beyond allergies. Most importantly DO NOT neglect your dog’s coat when this happens. 

Consequently, it could be an autoimmune disorder, cancer, internal organ failure, and or thyroid issue. Hopefully not anything worse than previously stated. Please, once again, seek VET attention if it is none of the above topics.

To Sum Things Up

In short, these tips can help you reduce the amount of shedding and massive amounts of hair gathering all around your house (especially in the corners!). Please feel free to share this post with friends or family who are dealing with the same issue!

Stay Refining! It looks good on you!

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