Can Climate Affect Dog Shedding?

"Whatever the weather, I'm always wearing the right coat!"
i Images

Unless you have a hairless breed like the tongue-twisting Xoloitzcuintli from Mexico, you're going to find dog hair somewhere around your home at some point during the year. All dogs shed, although the amount varies, and one of the most common reasons for that hair loss is seasonal coat changes.

Let The Sunshine In

One of the most important factors in the amount of hair that resides on your dog at any given moment is the amount of light he is exposed to. Daylight hours lengthen and shorten throughout the year, and your pooch's hair follicles register these changes to determine which coat he needs. Longer periods of light indicate summer months, while shorter periods indicate winter is approaching. Exposure to any light can alter your dog's shedding, so if he lives indoors, his coat may not differ all that much as the seasons change. Most indoor-only dogs tend to shed year-round due to the exposure to long hours of artificial light.

A Cold Wind Blows

Temperature has a hand in your dog's coat too, and his hair grows more in the warm summer and less in the cold winter. As the temperature changes between seasons, his coat thins out or beefs up to better face the upcoming heat or cold. The climate-controlled environments indoor dogs call home throw off this natural pattern, and you may not notice a big coat change in your pooch as a result. If he's nice and toasty in the winter he won't need a thick coat, and air conditioning means he doesn't need to keep thinning his coat out to stay comfortable.

Other Hair Loss Causes

Shedding isn't always due to the natural rhythms of the seasons, and sometimes unusual hair loss actually indicates a more sinister issue. Parasites can cause excessive scratching and licking in your pooch, resulting in patches of hair loss or thin spots. Medical conditions can result in coat changes, as can high stress levels and an unbalanced diet. Unusually heavy shedding accompanied by behavioral changes or a change in your pup's skin condition should be reviewed by your vet. His coat should return to normal once the underlying issue is treated.

Lessen The Loss

Unless you keep your dog in a room that offers completely consistent light and temperatures at all times, he's going to shed and it's going to get everywhere. The trick to keeping your home as hair-free as possible is to keep ahead of the shed by brushing him regularly. This removes much of his dead hair before it lands on your couch, and helps stimulate blood circulation to keep his skin and coat healthy.

the nest