The shar-pei, that instantly recognizable wrinkly-faced pooch, sports a short, bristly coat that requires very little maintenance to stay spiffy. He hardly sheds most of the year, but when he does he goes all out. Regular brushing can keep up with the shedding and keep your home relatively hair-free.
Bye-Bye Puppy Coat
Your wrinkly dog's first major shedding event occurs when he's transitioning from his puppy to his adult coat. All his hair falls out, resulting in the heaviest shed he'll ever have, and it may leave him looking mangy and sickly. Some sections could even become bare-skin bald. Rest assured that this is only temporary, and his double-layered adult coat will grow in and restore his charming good looks.
Throughout most of the year, you'd be hard-pressed to find much shar-pei hair on your couch, as this loose-skinned pooch just doesn't drop that much. In the spring and fall, however, you'll think your dog has developed male pattern baldness with the amount of hair he loses. These are the typical major shedding times for double-coated dogs, as this is when they lose or grow the thicker under-layer of hair to keep them warm in the winter. Female shar-peis tend to lose hair when they're in heat and right after they give birth.
Stay Ahead of the Shed
Although you cannot stop your shar-pei from shedding, you can greatly reduce the amount of short, bristly hair that embeds itself in your furniture and clothes. Brush your pooch a few times a week with a rubber grooming mitt or bristle brush to remove the loose, dead strands before they fall away. Switch to brushing him every day when he's going through a more intense shedding. He'll only need to be bathed once every three or four months, and you can time his seasonal bath with his seasonal shed to kill two birds with one stone.
Abnormal Balding and Hair Loss
Some hair loss throughout the year is normal, but if your pooch seems to be shedding more than usual, or his skin looks irritated and infected, take a trip to your vet to have a few tests run. Shar-peis can suffer from skin infections, especially in their wrinkles, and from hypothyroidism. Medical conditions such as these can cause unusual hair loss. Once the underlying condition is treated, your shar-pei's coat should return to normal.
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