How to cope with fall shedding and your pet
For some of our pets, fall is a season where there’s a lot more hair being thrown around. So if you’re seeing tumble weeds in your house, what can you do? We bring you back to our blog PET HEALTH CORNER: Fall shedding & how you can cope with Dave Wilson, director of Shelter Health and Wellness for the Ontario SPCA and retired vet.
Why all the shedding?
Wilson says how much pets shed in the fall depends largely on breed. He says some breeds, like Huskies, are known for “blowing their coat” in the fall.
Dogs shed their coats twice a year, spring and fall, Wilson says. In the spring he says they shed their under coat because they don’t need insulation anymore. By the end of summer, he says the outer coat is beat up so it’s a great time to re-generate it all.
“It’s not like the dog’s standing there and suddenly shakes and the hair falls off, but the shedding can really increase,” he says.
Wilson says the first step is to do some extra grooming. He says there are different tools you can find to help painlessly break up matted hair and get rid of dead hair.
“Depending on the dog you have, it might be an annual challenge for you,” he says.
If you have concerns, it’s always good to speak to your veterinarian for advice. However, Wilson says the key thing is to get rid of that dead hair.
Consequences if it doesn’t come off?
Wilson says the key thing is to get rid of the dead hair so air air can circulate under the hair to the skin.
“You don’t want dead hair to accumulate because it starts to suffocate the skin,” he says.
That suffocation can lead to more dandruff and grease, Wilson says. This can also lead to painful and uncomfortable matts, he says. If the dog starts chewing the matts they can also become moist, infected and inflamed.
Don’t have time to groom, or are uncomfortable with it? Wilson says it can be a good idea to hire a professional groomer.
“They’ve got some of those specialized tools to help get through,” he says.
The dead hair is meant to be taken off the animal, Wilson says. The problem is, wild dogs or wolves were in the habit of pulling off dead hair by running through fields and woods. This isn’t something our pets typically have access to, he says.
“That’s where they really need us to intervene, because they’re domesticated,” Wilson says.
If you have any concerns about your pet’s shedding or how to handle it, contact your veterinarian.
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