When Fluffy starts shedding her coat in handfuls, the cause can be more than seasonal. Most dogs shed some of their coat in spring and fall, but if you''re finding canine coat tufts all over the house, take steps to help her regrow it quickly.
A dog who loses most of her coat may have an underlying health issue, so your first stop should be at the vet's office. Normal shedding for most pooches occurs in spring and fall although some short-haired breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, shed year-round. Long-haired and double-coated dogs shed in spring to provide a cooler, lighter coat for summer, and then shed in fall to make way for a thicker undercoat and outer layer to keep them warm.
If your pup loses hair more often or sheds most of her coat, there may be an underlying health reason such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease. Your vet can check for these issues in case the hair loss is medical. If the dog is healthy, you can help her grow a new coat more quickly with a few steps.
Start with Diet
Read the ingredients on your dog food label. Your pup requires good nutrition to grow a healthy coat. Make sure she's eating a high quality food with adequate protein -- at least 25 percent. Look for healthy ingredients such as whole meat protein sources, grains, fruits and vegetables. Most foods include omega-3 and -6, which promotes a healthy coat, but Fluffy may benefit from more to help her coat grow. Adding a good fish oil to her daily diet will not only bring in her coat faster, it will help make it sleek and glossy.
Some herbal canine supplements are designed to help dogs grow coat. Herbal remedies that promote hair growth include flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, grape-seed and horsetail. These natural remedies can provide additional omega fatty acids, add antioxidants, stimulate circulation for hair growth beneath the skin and strengthen new hair growth.
Avoid using human supplements for your dog. Look for supplements made for dogs when you shop. Many human supplements contain ingredients that could be harmful to canines.
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Your dog needs to shed her old coat to grow a new one. You can speed this process by regular grooming with a pin brush to help remove the hair. A warm bath with a shampoo containing tea tree oil or oatmeal will soothe her skin and help the old hair come out. Brush her daily to avoid wearing Fluffy's old coat yourself or finding it in clumps everywhere.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.