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Unlike humans, dogs do not grow new hair continuously. Instead, their hair grows in cycles that are influenced by the change of seasons, stress, health issues and lifestyle.

These cycles come in three phases: the growth phase, transitional (shedding) phase, and a resting phase. Regardless of the breed or age of your pet, all dogs shed. Some breeds shed once, twice or throughout the year.

It is a common misconception to think that long-haired breeds shed more excessively than short-haired breeds. The fact is they may shed just as much. Dog breeds that are considered “light shedders” include the Airedale Terrier, Bichon Frise and Chinese Crested.

New Growth

Regular shedding enables your pet’s coat to release damaged or unhealthy hair and grow a new healthy coat. They have three types of hair: primary hairs which are long and coarse, secondary hairs which are soft and fluffy and tactile hairswhich include whiskers.

One of the best ways to manage pet shedding is to regularly brush your dog. Make sure to use a brush made for your canine’s hair type. For dogs with short hair, it is recommended that you brush them weekly. Medium or long-haired pets will do better with more regular grooming sessions, as often as three to four times a week.

Regular brushing will help remove dead hairs, stimulate new hair growth and reduce matting. To keep unwanted flyaway hair under control, follow these simple tips:

  1. Ensure that your closet door is closed and keep your clothes when you aren’t wearing them.
  2. Keep a lint brush or lint roller by the door or in your car so you can quickly rid yourself of any dog hair on your clothing on the way out of the house. Rubber gloves and damp sponges also pick up pet hair fairly well.
  3. Bathe your dog regularly as a clean coat and skin means less shedding. While bathing your dog, you may also remove the loose hair.

Root Of The Problem

Shedding in dogs is a gradual process and should not produce bald spots which could be indicative of a skin condition or a generalised illness like hormonal disorder. 

However, if you notice any of the following conditions that may be causing a loss of hair it's best to consult with your veterinarian or at least get it checked up by a professional.

If you are not sure what to do, take your dog in to be seen by his vet for a complete checkup. This will let your vet work with you to create a long-term plan of action that will help keep your dog’s skin much healthier and free of the many reasons why he might be scratching himself constantly.

* Skin irritation, including redness, bumps, rashes or scabs
* Open sores of any kind
* Bald spots or thinning of coat
* Dull, dry hair that pulls out easily
* Scratching
* Constant foot licking or face rubbing

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.