Shedding, unfortunately for pet owners, is a natural cycle in every pet's life. No wondrous cure exists, contrary to what some product manufacturers would like us to believe. They offer tonics for the pet's coat, tools that claim to remove all of the loose hair in one simple step, and of course, the cure-all supplement. Don't waste your money, they will not work.
To help alleviate the shedding dilemma, it is important to examine the facts. It is necessary to determine whether the pet is actually shedding, or if it is experiencing coat loss. While the end result is the same, the causes of these two situations are very different.
Shedding typically occurs every spring and fall season, relating primarily to changes in the intensity and duration of sunlight cycles. Pets that live mostly in an outside environment tend to “blow their coats" twice yearly, according to the natural sunlight schedules they are exposed to. Pets that live most of their lives indoors are exposed to artificial light, which alters this natural shedding cycle, causing the pet to shed excessively.
Most dogs under indoor conditions usually go through at least one major shedding cycle each year, depending upon the breed. Here is the general rule: if the dog requires regular maintenance haircuts, it most likely will not shed excessively. Dogs with shorter hair that require brushing rather than haircuts, usually have double coats and thus tend to shed much more.
Coat loss is much different than shedding as it is not a natural occurrence. The result is the same, but actual coat loss can be caused by many different factors. Older pets generally have poor coat quality as their digestive systems don't function as well as they once did. The same is true for pets that have been ill for any length of time, or have been exposed to a significantly stressful situation, or change of ownership, etc. As always, an examination by a veterinarian is always a good choice to rule out any obvious health deficiencies.
Studies have also shown that dogs that have been under anesthesia for an extended period of time usually blow their coats within two months. Females that have had puppies tend to lose their coats soon after as well. Most of these situations are repairable, and the coat will return to normal after the pet has returned to good health.
Pet owners seeking a solution to alleviate excessive shedding need to evaluate the brand of dog food they feed. If a dog is being fed poor quality food, the dog's body will utilize what little nutritional value the food has for energy to maintain bodily functions, and therefore the quality of its coat decreases. In most cases, good quality dog food is usually the cheapest, easiest way to reduce the excessive hair loss. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing a premium dog food that is best for your pet's individual health and well being.
Finally, in addition to quality food, good brushing habits will indeed reduce the amount of hair you'll find around your house. Whether you institute the brushing ritual at home, or turn to your favorite dog groomer to do the task, you will be pleased with the results.
Shannon Heggem, aka “The Bloodhound" is a dynamic and inspiring pet expert, business consultant, and speaker who has motivated thousands to “sniff out" opportunity and take action!
. . Most little girls in fourth grade play with dolls or worry about boy germs. But not Shannon. She was busy operating a dog grooming business in her parents’ backyard!
Even at age nine Shannon recognized the power of marketing when she ordered a rubber stamp and “stamped" out her first business cards. This was just the beginning for this entrepreneur.
After college, Shannon returned to her Montana hometown where she opened one of the nation's first “luxury" pet resorts. Recognizing the growth potential for high-end services, Shannon established a consulting practice to help other pet care providers design and market this revolutionary concept.
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