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When Is Dog Shedding Season?

Everything to Know About This Furry Transition

By Lauren Leonardi . November 07, 2013 | See Comments

3 Boston Terriers Sitting On A Couch

Years ago, when dogs were mostly used for working purposes, dog shedding season was more consistent. Now, with the shift to companion dogs who live indoors, many dogs have moved away from the annual fur “blow-out,” instead shedding throughout the year. But some still do the yearly dump.

Dog shedding season is something that may or may not occur in your household. Before dogs became the great couch potatoes we know and love, many of them were workers, which meant lots of time spent out of doors. All this time outdoors meant that these dogs needed to adapt to the changes in the weather, so for example, the transition from winter to spring typically heralded in a fuzzy exodus, with working dogs sloughing off their cold weather undercoats. If you are worried about the possibility of getting hit hard with tufts of fur during the next change in season, here is what you need to know. 

NOT ALL DOGS EXPERIENCE SEASONAL SHEDDING

Nowadays, most dogs spend the majority of time indoors. For the most part, dogs’ bodies don’t respond in the same nature-driven way to longer or shorter daylight hours, or to changes in temperature. For this reason, some dogs shed pretty consistently across the year, as opposed to one or two big blow-outs.

SEASONAL SHEDS OR “BLOWING COAT”

Despite the majority shift over to a gradual, year-long shedding, some dogs may still blow their coat once or twice per year -- usually in the spring, and sometimes again in the fall.

As weather becomes warmer, and winter turns to spring, a dog’s skin and hair follicles respond to the longer days by shedding their thick winter undercoat in exchange for a lighter, cooler summer undercoat.

As days grow shorter, and as summer turns to fall, a dog’s body likewise prepares itself for the cooler weather by growing a thick undercoat, and shedding its soft summer coat.

TIPS FOR MANAGING SEASONAL SHEDDING

Most experts agree, the single best method for managing a seasonal shed is daily brushing. This may seem onerous and time consuming, but so is daily vacuuming, and then fixing clogged vacuums, right?

  • Brushing

Regular brushes don’t do a whole lot for the dead hair of the undercoat, which is what falls out during shedding season. To get the dead undercoat off your dog’s body, and into the garbage, try an undercoat comb. There are several undercoat rakes on the market, but many pet parents agree that the Furminator is the best tool on the market for reducing shedding.

  • Baths

After Furminating, try a bath once a month. Use a tool like the Zoom Groom in the bath to get extra fur. You don’t want to bathe your dog more than once a month at the most. Too much soap can irritate their skin.

  • Patience

It’s not your dog’s fault they’re shedding everywhere. Try to be patient, and do your part to groom and gather fur so that you won’t have it all over your clothes and home.

CHOOSING BREEDS

Dogs with little or no undercoat shed less frequently overall, and are barely affected by changes in the weather. Dogs with curly coats, and coats that are long and silky, will not likely have a seasonal shed. Also, dogs whose coats grow to be long, and requires trims at the groomer will, by and large, not blow their coat seasonally.

Dogs bred for work in cold climates, like Huskies and Shiba Inus, have a very obvious response to the seasons.

The American Hairless Terrier is the only dog that doesn’t shed at all -- they literally have nothing to lose.

More on Dog Shedding

Why Do Dogs Shed?
Excessive Dog Shedding
8 Dogs That Shed The Most

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