Why Does My Dog Shed in the Fall?

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Fall is here. The leaves are changing & dropping, the days are shorter, the temperature is dropping — and your dog’s fur is everywhere. Now that the nights are growing longer and the days colder, some of our dogs are shedding their light summer coats to make way for a warmer, thicker winter coat. Double coated breeds such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chow Chows, Collies, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers & Queensland Heelers shed during the fall. It’s known as “blowing their coat.”

Shedding Facts

Dogs shed their hair as old hairs die and new hairs take their place. Some breeds, like Poodles, have a longer growth cycle. It takes a longer time for their hair to fall out and create dust bunnies all over your home. Some people get their dogs haircuts, so that shedding isn’t an issue.  In furry double-coated dogs, shedding is much more obvious and can be quite messy.

With these breeds, the amount of hair falling out is normal. The trick is to keep the flying hair under control. Brushing your dog more frequently each week will help to keep the fur off your clothing, floor and furniture. Use a brush that removes the undercoat. A warm bath and a thorough blow-dry session can also help to release old hair more quickly and allow for new growth.

What’s considered abnormal shedding? If there are bare patches where the skin is visible or if you notice hair thinning in symmetrical areas of the body, such as on the flanks, bring your dog to the vet.

Your dog’s shedding level should be back to normal in a few weeks, at least until spring, when you can expect to go through the whole thing again.

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