Why Dog Shedding Happens and How to Control It

Mar 10, 2021

Explaining why dog shedding happens is easy, but how to control it can be a challenge. There are the usual, questionably successful, ways for dealing with a shedding pet, but now there is a better option.

“As great as Trotter is, he’s a long-haired German Shepard. His hair was everywhere. There was a lot of vacuuming,” said pet parent Kyle.

dog shedding

Some breeds shed all year long, some shed seasonally, and some shed very little, but shedding happens with all dogs. Shedding is a completely natural process. Just as humans lose hair to make room for new hair growth, your dog sheds dead hair.

Why dog shedding happens

Most dogs typically have two coats. The first coat is that beautiful outer coat. The outer coat may be long or short, curly and course, or straight and soft. New fur grows to replace the dead hair that ends up on your floor, furniture, or favorite clothing. The outer coat can shed all year long.

The secondary coat, known as the undercoat, is softer hair. The undercoat acts as an insulator during the seasons by protecting the dog from the cold or the heat. Shedding for breeds with an undercoat—also known as “blowing coat”— increases during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, that warm, thick undercoat is no longer needed. To prepare for the harsher winter conditions, the lighter undercoat sheds to make way for a thicker undercoat. Many dogs shed more than usual between March and October.

The process never ends, so you burn through vacuum bags, lint rollers, and Swiffer clothes in what feels like a labor-intensive, never-ending cycle of cleaning.

Other factors that might lead to shedding are:

  • Allergies – skin allergies are extremely common and manageable with your vet’s care
  • Fleas – also manageable with veterinarian-recommended products

Less common factors include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Illness

Always consult with your veterinarian if you notice new or unusual symptoms of potential illness, allergies, or fleas, and if your dog seems to shed more than usual.

How to control shedding

The usual options for dealing with constant shedding—and accumulating clumps of hair that end up everywhere but the dog—are not compelling.

  • Weekly bathing of your dog
  • Daily or weekly brushing of your dog
  • Covering your furniture or training the dog to lay on an old blanket or towel
  • Vacuuming (and dusting) all the time

Who wants to spend endless hours dealing with the continual bathing, brushing, and vacuuming of the hair? If there was a better option, what would you do with all the extra time?

“I could brush the same spot of fur on Trotter for an hour, and the hair would just keep coming off. During the summer I would brush him outside, and the blowing hair would end up in the flower beds,” added Kyle.

What’s the solution? Professional shed control treatments!

Professional grooming will save you valuable time with dramatic results when done properly. Not all grooming salons offer expert shed control that aids in the hair removal process. Holiday House Pet Resort grooming salons use specialized coat care products along with proven techniques to get the best results. Our grooming team tailors the technique for every type and condition of skin and coat.

“We started with the shed control treatments for Trotter a year ago. We were expecting a baby, and we wanted less hair around the house. The Spa on State takes care of Trotter’s shedding, so there’s less hair. Now our time and focus can be with our 1-year-old,” said Kyle.

To understand why dog shedding happens and how a shed control treatment works, it helps to know the four phases of hair growth for dogs.

  1. Active growth
  2. Transition – hair stops growing and the outer root sheath attaches to the hair
  3. Resting – hair does not grow or shed
  4. Shedding – old hair falls out and the new hair emerges

A shed control treatment is a process that results in less shedding than with regular brushing alone. Grooming professionals with expertise in shed control use high-quality shampoos and products, and have the appropriate tools and techniques to remove the dead hair and strengthen the hair follicles to extend the resting phase. Choosing the right shampoo helps condition the root and follicle, and loosens the hair in the resting phase that is ready to shed. Brushing techniques then remove the loosened hair.

The first shed control treatment stimulates the undercoat to shed, so it’s recommended to have a “mini treatment” within five days to capture the initial shedding.

“At first, we were not on a regular schedule for shed control treatments, and we did not see a difference in shedding. Deciding to bring Trotter in for a bath and treatment every three weeks was more often than we anticipated, but I wouldn’t do it if the treatment didn’t work. It makes a difference,” said Kyle.

dog shedding

Sticking to a recommended shed control regimen takes commitment and time, but the results are truly unmatched. The grooming experts with Holiday House Pet Resort and The Spa on State can recommend the right services based on the needs of your pet. In addition to shed control treatments, some of the other services include: fresh breath service,  skin and coat treatments, and nail filing.

“For best results, shed control treatments should be applied on a regular schedule. We usually see clients every two to four weeks between treatments. We see Trotter every three weeks for his shed control treatment,” said Liz Sines, manager and master groomer with Holiday House Spa on State.

Shed happens. But that does not mean you, your house—or the backyard–have to be covered in unwanted dog hair. Your time is valuable, and some things in life are more important than continually vacuuming or brushing your dog. Grooming professionals who are experts in shed control have high-quality skin and coat products, and the right tools and techniques to decrease shedding with noticeable results. The grooming team at Holiday House Pet Resort and The Spa on State are experts in shed control and the health of your pet’s skin and coat.

Call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center today to book your pet’s one-of-a-kind vacation at our luxury pet care facility!