It's amazing how a little dog can have so much loose hair and not be bald. The truth is excessive shedding is not normal or healthy. While it could be a sign of disease, in most cases it boils down to poor diet and grooming.
Change the Diet
A poor-quality diet can cause skin problems, including excessive shedding. In order to have a healthy dog, you need to purchase the best food you can afford. When looking for a new dog food, avoid byproducts and choose a food that has a high-quality protein listed as the first ingredient. Because dog hair is 90 percent protein, the hair will not do well without a good protein source. A high-quality food should also have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep the skin and coat healthy. There are many brands on the market for small breed dogs that combine the best nutrition for their small size.
When you don't brush your dog daily, you will see an abundance of hair on your clothing and furniture. To prevent this, you need to brush your pup daily for at least five minutes. This will remove the dead hair before it has a chance to land on furniture and will improve the health of your dog's coat. When dead hair accumulates on your dog, this can clog the pores and prevent essential oils from keeping the skin and coat healthy, which will lead to additional shedding. The key is to have a brush small enough for your dog's breed. A brush that is too large can damage the skin.
Another tip that helps prevent dead hair from landing on the floor is to bath your dog regularly. Warm water will help loosen the dead hair, but you must not over-bathe your pet. Bathing too frequently can dry the skin and increase shedding. Bathe your dog every one to two months, depending on the season. In the warm weather you will need to bathe your dog more often than cold weather. If your small dog never ventures outside for more than a quick potty break, you may be able to bathe him less often.
Make a Vet Appointment
If nothing seems to help the shedding problem, make an appointment with your vet. In some cases, the shedding may be the result of a skin infection that needs medication to treat. It's important to note that the changes above may take up to 12 weeks to show improvement. However, if there are other symptoms, such as pus or bald spots, you should make an appointment immediately. These could be the signs of a more serious infection, such as a bacterial infection or a hotspot. Regardless, changes in the skin that result in excessive shedding and other symptoms should not be overlooked.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.