Dog shedding is a natural process
observed in most dogs, characterised by the shedding of their soft undercoat beneath a tougher topcoat.
This shedding occurs consistently throughout the year, with a more noticeable occurrence during the warmer months.
This shedding mechanism aids dogs in temperature regulation and assists in eliminating excess fur.
"Different dog breeds shed in different amounts: Some shed seasonally, while others shed year-round. This depends on the type of coat your dog has. For dogs that shed seasonally, you'll notice that most shedding occurs in the spring and fall.
In the spring, your dog's coat will become lighter, in preparation for the warm weather… For dogs who shed often, it is important to brush them – sometimes weekly, sometimes a few times a week, or sometimes daily during periods of heavy shedding." American Kennel Club
To address this shedding,
de-shedding becomes essential. Employing tools like a fine steel comb, such as the Furminator tool, proves effective in removing dead fur.
This action not only creates space for new follicles to grow but also significantly minimises the presence of loose fur that often clings to furniture and clothes.
Beyond the practical benefits, de-shedding contributes to the overall comfort of your small breed dog.
Understanding the shedding cycle
provides insights into the process.
Commencing with the growth phase, hair initiates its growth from the hair follicle.
This is followed by the regressing phase, where hair ceases to grow and reaches its full length.
Subsequently, the rest phase ensues, during which hair weakens and eventually dies.
The ultimate phase is shedding, where old hair falls out, making way for new hair growth in the subsequent growth phase.
What causes excessive shedding in small breed dogs during summer?
Dogs who shed a lot may do so because various factors.
Dogs shed seasonally, primarily between spring and fall.
During the cold months, they grow thick, dense coats to insulate themselves from the harsh temperatures.
As winter transitions to spring, dogs shed this heavy coat in response to the rising temperatures and longer daylight hours.
Other common causes for excessive hair loss include parasite infestations, bad diet, skin conditions, incorrect grooming routines, stress, endocrine disorders, and canine allergies.
How can I manage my small breed dog's shedding in summer?
Managing your dog's shedding involves regular grooming and a healthy diet.
Brushing your dog's coat regularly can help reduce shedding. Your dog's breed and shedding habits determine how often they should be brushed.
During periods of excessive shedding, daily brushing may be required for certain dogs.
Shedding can also be decreased by feeding your dog a nutritious food rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
What are the best grooming practices for small breed dogs in summer?
Maintaining a clean and mat-free coat for your dog requires frequent brushing and washing.
Daily brushing can also assist get rid of extra debris from the coat and lessen the likelihood that a mat or foreign object will become trapped.
While some dogs may not require a summer trim, dogs with more extended coat types might benefit from one.
Inspecting your dog's ears after an outing is essential, especially with droopy-eared breeds that can get water and debris stuck underneath.
Are there specific diets that can help reduce shedding in small breed dogs during summer?
A well-rounded diet high in beneficial fats, oils, vitamins, and other vital nutrients is essential for keeping their hair follicles healthy.
Feeding your dog food with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega 6 + Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oil supplements, can improve your dog's coat and skin and potentially reduce shedding.
How often should I groom my small breed dog in summer to manage shedding?
Brushing is essential for dogs that shed a lot; this can be done once a week, several times a week, or even every day during severe shedding seasons.
Regular brushing and grooming are always vital, even if your dog is not a heavy shedder.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider
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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor
BSc (Hons), MSc
Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.