Groomer Andy Tip: Shedding is a Big, Hairy [and Manageable] Deal

Yup, shedding season upon us. It might be annoying and messy, but it’s natural and necessary. Here’s some info to help you and pup deal with the inevitable challenges of flying fur. 

🐾 Shedding in dogs (and cats for that matter) is normal and healthy. 

🐾 Scientifically speaking, hair and fur are the same thing. Both are made of keratin, which is a protein. All dogs go through the same phases of hair growth and loss that people do. The biggest difference between hair and fur is how it grows, the length it grows, and the coat life cycle.

🐾 Whether your dog has hair or fur, they shed their coat year round — sometimes it just gets noticeably worse in springtime. 

🐾 Dogs with double coats especially shed much more heavily twice a year. The heaviest shedding period is typically April through June, when the heavy winter undercoat is blown off to lighten the load for the upcoming warmer weather. The somewhat lesser, but still heavy shedding season is October through December. 

🐾 For some dogs shedding is not affected by the seasons. (I’ve seen dogs blowing a lot of coat mid January!)

🐾 The areas that tend to shed the most on dogs are the shoulder blades (withers), the back of the neck, and the base of the tail.

🐾 Most dogs’ coats will thin in their lifetime. Hair growth cycles can become shorter and the shedding phases can become longer as they age. 

🐾 Older dogs have a harder time molting (shedding) than younger dogs. Older dogs are naturally less active than younger ones, so their fur does not fall out as naturally. 

🐾 It’s especially important to have a regular grooming routine during heavy shedding periods because hair from the undercoat can get caught in the top coat. This can cause matting and tangling, which is no fun for pups, their peeps or their groomers! 

🐾  A most efficient way to remove excess coat is to use conditioner on a dog (after shampooing them twice) and  drying the hair completely (ideally with a high velocity dryer like the ones we have at Dog’s Day Out). Using a slicker brush and a comb after dogs are fully dried is also recommended.

🐾 At Dog’s Day Out we use deshedding shampoo and conditioner for dogs that need it. We also offer deshedding (and other specialty shampoos) to all  DIY/self-serve customers at no extra charge. 

🐾 Diet and stress can affect shedding amounts as well, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian if your pup’s shedding pattern seems to have changed. 

To avoid at least some of the mess of seasonal shedding, stop by Dog’s Day Out for a DIY wash or schedule a full-service bath. Our experienced and professional team is happy to discuss home care between grooming appointments. We can suggest the best ways to prevent matting, especially after dogs get wet. No reservations are needed for self-service baths. Call 612.255.3425 or email for full-service bathing and grooming appointments. 

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.”