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Shedding Season

  For some pets, this is season is ALL season.  Understanding your pet, their health and skin needs are very important to help promote a healthy coat. Let's take a look at how it works. 

Basically your pet's coat goes through two cycles. There's  a growth cycle where the follicle is actively producing hair and a rest cycle where follicle is not producing hair, but the new hair is growing out.  When the hair dies, it sheds and it starts the cycle all over again.  I don't care what anyone has told you there is no such thing a dog that does not shed!   We are mammals and that's what we do, we shed old hair and skin cell and produce new ones.  The growth cycle can last from as few as 2 days or years. Things like stress, illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, and medication can throw the normal cycle off balance and increase the shedding process as well. 

How do you stop your pet from shedding?  You don't!  Shaving a double coated dog down in the summer months does not make them cooler and it does not keep them from shedding.  They just sheds short hair so it doesn't accumulate as fast if the hair was longer.  Light plays a role in shedding.  More light equals more shedding.  House pets are exposed to artificial light at night and natural light during the day which causes more shedding.  Many short haired dog owners believe that their pets "don't need to be groomed" so they bath them at home, which can lead to increased shedding.  Primarily because they may mistakenly use a shampoo or rinse that is to harsh for their pet's skin.  They do not rinse the mixture completely from the skin, leaving a residue which can lead to irritation (hot spots), damage and breakage, and hair loss. 

Double coated dogs such as Huskies, Shepherds,Chow-Chows, Rottweilers should be groomed professionally at least every 6-8weeks to remove the heavy undercoat.  It also helps to maintain healthy ears and to keep the nails at the proper length.  A healthy well groomed coat will keep your double-coated dog cooler in the summer months and warm in the winter.  The coat is designed to regulate the pet's body temperature.  Brushing your pet regularly or at least 3 times per week between grooms promotes healthy air flow to the skin, which in some cases keeps fungus and unhealthy bacteria an excessive hair  to a minimum.

Short flat coated dogs such as Labs, Pitt-Bull Terriers, and Dobermans,Beagles should be groomed professionally at least every 4-5 weeks to maintain the loose hair.

Drop coated and curly coated dogs such as Yorkies, Shih Tzu's, Poodles, Bichons and Cocker Spaniels, should be groomed professionally every 2-4 weeks(longer cuts) 3-5 weeks(shorter cuts) to maintain healthy coat and to prevent matting.  Matting is caused by a mess of dead or dying hair intertwined with new growing hair.  If it is not combed and brushed properly and regularly at least 3 times per week it begins to lock.  Once the matt has formed it will continue to get tighter and harder if left unattended or if it gets wet.   It will pull at the skin until it eventually tears the hair out at the follicle, which can cause the hair to be thin in certain areas or in some cases the damage is so great, the hair will not grow back at all.

In short, shedding is unpreventable, however, with a good nutrition, combing, brushing in between grooms, and a regular professional grooming schedule it is manageable!  Professional groomers use equipment, and techniques that can remove the dying coat before it gets out of hand.  In addition your groomer is trained to recognized certain skin and coat issues that may possibly need to addressed by your vet.

7 Comments to Shedding Season:

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