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Every dog owner knows that when spring rolls around, your dog’s fur is suddenly everywhere but on your dog. During the winter, you might think you get a break but you’re still finding dog hair around your home. What gives? Dogs shedding in winter isn’t actually all that uncommon. What kind of dog you have, along with whether your dog lives outside or inside can play a big part in your dog’s shedding cycle.
These dogs have double coats, meaning both an undercoat made up of softer fur and a topcoat that tends to be coarser to help repel water. Dogs with single coats aren’t as notorious for shedding, but they can still lose more hair than you’re expecting. More fur means more shedding, but what makes these dogs start shedding in the winter?
Why Are Your Dogs Shedding in Winter?
All dogs have a shedding cycle that is controlled by the growth of their hair. When the hairs die, they fall out and regrow causing the cycle to start over again.
However, dogs shedding in winter is mainly caused by the amount of light in the day. Hair growth is stimulated by light, and with daylight decreasing in winter by the day dogs are more apt to begin shedding. In the winter, dogs are shedding their light spring coat to make room for a thick and warm coat that will help them get through the cold season.
If your dog lives outside, this change will be much more prominent because your dog is more directly affected by the changes in light. If your dogs are inside all the time, the lights and temperature are more controlled. This will cause your dog’s shedding to be more regular throughout the year, rather than just in the winter and spring.
The main cause of dogs shedding in winter is that their bodies are making room for a protective winter coat. The more dramatic shedding we all know comes in the spring when this winter coat is no longer needed.
How to Avoid Allergies From Dogs Shedding In Winter
If you’re a dog lover with allergies, you know that your dog’s shedding brings a bit of suffering on your end. Once you’ve made it through allergy season, relief is the light at the end of the tunnel. But when your dogs begin shedding in winter, everything starts falling apart. We know there’s no way you’re going to stop being a dog person, but there are easy ways to keep your allergies at bay so you can finally have the peace you’re looking for.
Start with your home. A clean home is a healthy home, and making sure you’re wiping down surfaces and vacuuming frequently can help keep itchy eyes and a runny nose from becoming a damper on your holiday plans. There are also a few other tricks to keep you breathing easy through the cold winter months.
- If you don’t have one already, consider using HEPA filters in your home. These electrostatic high-efficiency particulate air cleaners can be used throughout your entire home and will help give your home cleaner air.
- Rugs, curtains, upholstered furniture, and even carpet are all places that can harbor dandruff from your dog. Keep these places extra clean or consider keeping your dog out of these areas to minimize allergies.
- Give your dog frequent baths. Twice a month should do the trick, and if your dog acts the same way around water as he does around vacuums, a damp cloth and thorough brushing can help as well.
Products that Aid With Dogs Shedding in Winter
The biggest thing you can do to prepare for dogs shedding in winter is to regularly brush your dog. It may take up a bit of time out of your day, but it will significantly help the amount of hair your dog is losing around the house.
You would be surprised how much hair you can brush off of your dog once you take the time to do it, especially if your dog only has a single coat. But don’t worry, your dog won’t end up naked, this amount of shedding is completely natural. Depending on whether your dog has a single or double coat can affect what type of brush you should use to prevent shedding. When you pick a brush, always make sure you’re getting one that fits your hand so you can easily grip it while grooming your dog.
There are plenty of great products to use for when your dogs start shedding in winter. Here are some of our favorites:
- Shorthaired dogs, like the German shorthaird pointer, benefit best from a soft bristle brush. The bristles will help pull up dead skin and hair but will also be gentle on your dog’s skin.
- Medium coated dogs, like the Golden Retriever need stronger brushes for their thicker coats. A slicker or wire brush will be able to pull through the thick hairs without causing your dog discomfort. When grooming, you should comb your dog’s hair first and then brush.
- For dogs with long hair, like the shih tzu, need daily brushing to keep them mat free and keep from taking over your home with their hair. If your dog does develop mats in their hair a mat rake or shedding comb can help get these out. After that, a comb and a brush daily will work.