All About Shedding: Is My Pet Shedding Too Much?

dog shedding

Does your pet leave piles of hair behind everywhere he or she goes? Although all dogs and cats shed, excessive shedding may be a sign of a health problem or a grooming issue. Fortunately, shedding can be reduced in many cases with medical treatment or a change to your pet's grooming routine.

Why Do Pets Shed?

Your pet's hair, just like your own, goes through a continuous growth cycle. When older hairs fall out, they're replaced by new ones. Seasonal changes can play a role in the amount of hair your pet sheds. In anticipation of the cold weather months, your dog or cat's coat may become thicker. As spring approaches, it's not unusual to shed a little more hair than usual as your pet's body prepares for warmer weather.

Because shedding patterns can vary from pet to pet, it's not necessarily a cause for concern if one of your pets sheds more than another. Changes are only worrisome if they represent a significant change in your cat or dog's usual shedding pattern.

What Causes Excessive Shedding?

Shedding may increase due to any of these factors:

  • Stress. A move to a new home, the introduction or loss of a family member or pet, or even a seemingly minor change in your pet's routine can stress your dog or cat and lead to hair loss. Do you leave the veterinarian's office covered in fur? Sudden shedding isn't uncommon in pets that experience stress or anxiety during veterinary examinations.
  • Allergies. Your furry friend can suffer from allergies, too. Whether your pet is allergic to fleas, food or environmental allergens like pollen, dust mites or mold, you may notice that he or she can't stop scratching or biting his or her skin. You may also notice red pimple-like bumps on the skin or ear discharge, depending on the type of allergy.
  • Parasites. An infestation of mites, fleas or ticks is very uncomfortable. In an attempt to get rid of the parasites and relieve itching, your pet may constantly bite or licks the skin, causing hair loss and sores.
  • Infection. Bacterial, fungal, viral and yeast infections can also cause hair loss, itching and discomfort.
  • Poor Diet. Your pet's shedding may be related to diet. Pet's thrive on a diet high in proteins and nutrients. Unfortunately, not all pet foods are good for your pet. Foods that contain lots of fillers, such as cereal by-products, corn and rice bran, corn starch, citrus pulp and oat hulls, are more likely to cause shedding. The healthiest pet foods list poultry, beef or chicken or other proteins in the first few ingredients on the label. Before you make a change to your pet's diet, talk to the veterinarian. Diets that are popular with people, such as vegetarian or gluten-free diets, may not be the best choices for your pet.
  • Grooming Issues. Did you use your shampoo on your dog after you ran out of pet shampoo? Your shampoo is harsher than products intended for pets and may cause hair loss.
  • Diseases and Conditions. Shedding may be more likely to occur if your pet has Cushing's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disease or hormonal imbalances.
  • Your Pet's Breed. Some breeds tend to shed more than others, including Maine Coon, Russian Blue, American Shorthair and Persian cats, and German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Akita, Chow Chow and Siberian Husky dogs.

What Can Be Done About Excessive Shedding?

A visit to the veterinarian is a must if you've noticed that your pet is shedding more than usual. Depending on your dog or cat's diagnosis, one or more of these treatments may be recommended:

  • Food Changes
  • Allergy Medication or Shots
  • Flea and Tick Control Medications
  • Topical or Oral Medications to Treat Bacterial, Fungal or Yeast Infections
  • Treatment of Underlying Diseases

Your pet's veterinarian may also offer suggestions that will prevent shedding in the future, such as reducing allergen exposure with regular baths and a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or stress reduction tips.

Would you like to put an end to your pet's excessive shedding? Schedule an appointment with our office. We'll perform a thorough examination and offer treatments and solutions that will improve your pet's hair loss problem.

Sources:

PetMD: Is Your Pet’s Excessive Shedding a Sign of Illness?

https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/your-pets-excessive-shedding-sign-illness

American Animal Hospital Association: It’s Winter? Why Is My Pet Shedding So Much?

https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/lifestyle/its-winter-why-is-my-pet-shedding-so-much.aspx

Pet Health Network: Dog Hair Could Shed Light on Cushings Disease in Dogs

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/dog-hair-could-shed-light-cushings-disease-dogs

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Monday:

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tuesday:

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wednesday:

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thursday:

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Friday:

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Thank you so much for always being there for my pets. The Vets are amazing and the office staff is always friendly and compassionate. I am so thankful to have been able to have my animals treated by such a wonderful staff."
  • "My Chocolate Lab was attacked by 2 Pit Bulls and I didn't think He would survive. I got Him in the car, bleeding profusely, called Pacific Crest and Laura said "bring Him in". The poor dog had tubes in places I wouldn't dream of. His ears were torn in pieces and I had little hope for survival. Many more tales with both dogs and I would never think of going else where."
  • "Thank you for checking on my Baby love the staff very friendly Dr. Kelly is amazing too."
  • "Thank you for taking such good care of our Cleo!"
  • "I cannot say enough good things sbout the staff here. Took my 11 year old kitty in today for a severely infected abcess and they worked hard fixing him up. Everybody is so incredibly sweet and helpful! The price after treatment was very reasonable as well. Beautiful facility with the most caring and professional staff you'll ever encounter. My new vet clinic for all of my fur babies from now on"
  • "My kitties love Pacific Crest! We appreciate the TLC and especially the guidance when we've had to make end-of-life decisions for our pets. It's always tough but it helps when you have a vet who understands and loves cats as much as you do."
  • "Not only are they amazing with horses...they are awesome with your small, four legged friends. So caring and compassionate. I wouldn't take my pets anywhere else!"
    Tammy