Why Dogs Shed & How to Reduce It

If you are a dog owner there is a good chance that you are already very familiar with the concept of shedding, unless you own a hairless dog that is. All dogs shed their hair to various degrees, some breeds more than others. It is perfectly normal for our dogs to shed hair all year round with a notable increase around the changes in seasons. But there are a number of health conditions that can also cause hair loss in dogs that may require further investigation or treatment by a veterinarian. Keep reading to find out about the three main types of shedding and how to control shedding in your dog. 

Dog laying down

Year-Round Shedding

A dog sheds their hair when the existing hair is dead or damaged and new fur is growing underneath. This means that all dogs will shed to some degree all year round. Some breeds definitely shed more than others as those who own a Labrador, Siberian Husky or Golden Retriever will know all too well! Whereas other breeds such as the Dachshund, Poodle and Terrier types tend to shed much less than their double-coated counterparts. 

Long & short haired dog breeds

Seasonal Shedding

Seasonal shedding can be very obvious in breeds that have a double coat such as Border Collies, Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds. The soft undercoat thins out in the spring to prepare the dog for warmer weather and thickens in the autumn months to ready the dog for the winter months. Daily brushing with a special shedding comb or rake can help to pick up a lot of that loose fur before it can make its way onto your floor. 

Husky - cold climate dogs


There are a number of health issues that can also affect how much your dog sheds such as:

  • Endocrine disorders
  • Congenital problems
  • Allergies caused by food, medications or chemicals 
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Parasite infestations such as fleas or mites 
  • Ringworm or other fungal infections
  • Immune diseases or cancer
If excessive shedding is accompanied by lumps, bumps, a rash, other skin irritation or any other symptoms you should immediately consult your veterinarian to investigate the hair loss further and rule out any underlying issues.

Sick dog

How to Control Shedding

Excess shedding can be difficult to manage as pet hair tends to cling to furniture around the house. Regular grooming is key to limiting the amount of fur that ends up on your floor, furniture and clothes. During periods of heavy shedding, you may need to brush your dog daily to prevent large amounts of fur invading your furniture and clinging to your clothes. At other times, a few times a week or even weekly may be frequent enough. As well as regular brushing, more frequent bathing will also help to loosen some of the dead and damaged fur. Regular vacuuming prevents fur from becoming embedded in furniture which can become difficult to remove if it has been worn in by footsteps or embedded in your upholstery. 

Choosing the right brush for your dog is important to ensure you are maximising the amount of fur removed with a brush and thereby limiting the amount that ends up on your floor. For shorter-haired breeds that do not tend to shed heavily, a soft bristle brush, slicker brush or pin brush is ideal for regular brushing to remove shedding hair and prevent matts from forming. First, brush lightly against the direction of fur growth, then smooth the fur by brushing with hair growth. 

As mentioned, double-coat breeds may require the use of a specialised undercoat brush or rake to remove the dead and damaged hair from the undercoat, while leaving the outer coat undisturbed. The long teeth of the brush or rake help to de-matt and detangle the undercoat while also removing loose fur. You may need to go over the coat multiple times until you get less and less hair in the brush or rake. 

A rubber curry brush or Kong Zoom Groom is a specialised rubber brush that is used during bathtime to aid in the removal of loose fur. The rubber fingers also help to stimulate capillaries and natural oil production which helps to keep your dogs fur healthy.

You can view our full range of grooming supplies for dogs here

Dog getting a bath

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