Shedding is completely normal and common in various breeds of cats and dogs. Here’s some information to help you better understand it.

Breed

Your pet’s breed would be the first indicator for the amount of shedding you should expect to see. Breeds with a double coat are ones that will commonly shed as they’re generally genetically pre-disposed to battle the elements (shielding from precipitation or extreme temperatures), whereas, animals with one coat generally shed less. However, cross breeding has added another layer of complexity as some breeders have combined some breeds to take advantage of the characteristics of breeds with more ‘managebale manes’. For example, Labradoodles while large in size take on the fur-traits of poodles rather than the heavy shedding tendency of the Labrador, and therefore shed very minimally.

  • HEAVY SHEDDERS
  • Alaskan Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Siberian Husky
  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Saint Bernard
  • LIGHT SHEDDERS
  • Poodle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Shih Tsu
  • Puggle
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Chihuahua
  • Bolognese
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • HEAVY SHEDDERS
  • American Bobtail
  • Maine Coon
  • Persian
  • Chartreux
  • Ragamuffin
  • Siberian
  • Selkirk Rex
  • American Curl
  • Himalayan
  • LIGHT SHEDDERS
  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • Russian Blue
  • Burmese
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Colorpoint Shorthair
  • Siamese
  • Sphynx
  •  

 

Season

While shedding is an everyday, year-long occurrence, it also changes according to the season, or amount of sunlight during the day. So, during colder months, animals will shed less to keep their coats thicker in order to protect them from the harsh winds and cold temperatures; they will shed more as the warmer months approach keeping them cool with a lighter coat.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

The domestication of animals has also confused ‘shedding schedules’ over time. The prolonged exposure to artificial light and normalized indoor temperatures has reduced the amount of seasonal shedding for some animals compared to those who stay outdoors most of the time. This is simply because they don’t need the same ‘protection’ from the great outdoors and therefore, don’t develop the same undercoat.

Other Issues

Excessive or reduced shedding can also be impacted by factors other than breed and season. Some of those things include: stress, poor nutrition, underlying medical problems, allergies, food sensitivities, parasites, infection, pregnancy, side effects from medications, trauma (such as self-induced licking), sunburn and skin irritations.

How to minimize shedding

Practice regular brushing and grooming, provide your pet with a healthy diet, and make sure to complete regular physical examinations by yourself, and at your annual visit to the vet. Regular check-ups will help your vet document the shedding cycles of your pet and therefore it’ll be easier to identify any anomalies over time.

Because there’s such a broad spectrum of factors that can affect how much or how little your pet sheds, it’s always best to visit your local vet to make sure you’ve got an expert opinion.