A Guide to Paw Biting, Allergies & Shedding, Part 3

Welcome to the final of a three-part guide to a few of the common maladies that plague our canine companions. Left unaddressed, these seemingly minor issues can cause your dog pain or discomfort and, of course, create a source of anxiety for yourself. Over the series, we have identified the typical causes behind these ailments with some tips and tricks that might save you and your furry friend a trip to the vet. In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1: Paw Biting and Part 2: Allergies.

Part 3: Shedding

Owner grooms her dog.

A dog’s coat helps them to regulate body temperature, guide their sensory perception, and protects the largest organ of the body – their skin. Hair follicles contain oil that helps to keep the skin and coat in normal condition. There are actually three types of dog hair: the undercoat, guard hairs (outer protective coat), and whiskers. Once hair is done growing, they are shed to make room for new hair growth. Shedding is a common annoyance for pet owners but it’s a natural and necessary function for dogs.

There is always a lot of debate over which breeds shed the most. Double-coated dogs, like Golden Retrievers, can really make a furry mess in summer months.

Heaviest Shedding Dogs

  • Alaskan Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Siberian Husky
  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Great Pyrenees
  • St. Bernard

Lightest Shedding Dogs

  • Poodle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Toy Poodle
  • Chinese Crested
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Chihuahua
  • Maltipoo
  • Goldendoodle
  • Labradoodle

While many people opt to get their heavy shedders shaved in the summer months, this is not the best route to take for your dog’s sake. Vets and groomers alike advise against this as your dog’s undercoat serves the dual purpose of keeping them warm in the winter as well as cooling their body in the summer months. Shaving your dog is generally advised if they suffer from hot spots or other recurring skin conditions. The reason being that the exposed skin minus the added hair makes for easier treatment management.

A brush and pile of hair.

But What About Excessive Shedding?

While there are many culprits for excessive shedding, diet is usually the main cause of concern. Commercial dry dog food is the most convenient choice, but one of the biggest drawbacks lies in its inability to retain the quality and potency of a vital nutrient: Omega Fatty Acids.

In recent years, science has begun to understand a myriad of benefits from essential fatty acids.

Simple Solutions for Excessive Shedding

Gentle daily brushing can keep dog hair from getting all over your home and also serves as a bonding and calming experience for your dog. A routine bath can also loosen fur that brushing can miss and works to keep allergens off their skin and coat. Ask your vet what is the most ideal grooming frequency for your dog who suffers from allergies before starting this routine.

Feeding a well-balanced and species appropriate diet along with regular brushing and adding an Omega-3 supplement will be the easiest tools to managing shedding in your home.

Choose an Omega from a marine source that is low on the food chain. Salmon, though popular, is prone to accumulating heavy metals like toxic mercury. Coldwater anchovies or sardines are a good source, but the best is our preferred source of Antarctic krill.

Krill contains the powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin and phospholipid-bound Omega-3, which has been shown in several studies to be a more bioavailable source than the triglyceride form found in traditional fish oils. Both contribute to reducing inflammation and supporting a healthy immune response. And krill is a sustainable and eco-friendly source which is ideal for preserving the environment.

Improve your dog’s skin & coat while reducing uncomfortable allergy symptoms with PawsGive Krill Oil Plus skin & coat support.

For more useful tips and tricks to keep your dog healthy and happy, check out the full series:

Images and text courtesy PawsGive.

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