Get ready for fall with Fido | Pets
Get Ready for Fall with Fido
If you’re anything like me, it’s likely that you’ve been longing for the cooler temperatures and colorful leaves of fall. But, if you own a furry Fido, soon more may be falling than the leaves! Fall shedding for your dog is right around the corner, and although annoying…..it is perfectly normal.
Dogs typically lose their winter coat in the spring, when it is replaced by a shorter, lighter one for summer. In the fall, this cycle is reversed, as the summer coat is shed to make room for heavy protective fur for winter. The change is most obvious in "double-coated" breeds such as collies and shelties. These breeds carry not only a protective long overcoat, but also a soft, insulating undercoat -- and they lose lots of fur from both in the spring and fall.
The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. German shepherds, for example, are prolific year-round shedders, while poodles seem to lose little fur at all. Shorthaired breeds may shed as much as the longhairs, but since the hair they shed is easily overlooked, it may seem as if they are shedding less.
All shedding -- even the heaviest -- can be managed by a regular and frequent schedule of brushing and grooming. After all, the fur you catch on a brush won't end up on the rug. Work against the grain and close to the skin to catch as much of the loose fur as possible. This is also a good time to visit your groomer, as they have specialized tools for removing that loose undercoat.
Remember that no matter what the breed, some shedding is perfectly normal. But, occasionally heavy shedding can be a sign of health problems, too. Skin allergies, infections, parasites, and poor nutrition can cause coat and skin problems in your pet.
Become familiar with your pet's normal pattern of shedding, and ask your veterinarian for advice if the coat condition seems too dull, or excessive hair loss leading to patches of baldness are noticed. He or she will likely want to examine your dog and make recommendations so that Fido’s coat is fall ready in no time!