Pet shedding more than ever? Yep, it’s spring.

Pet shedding more than ever? Yep, it’s spring. - Vetster

Beethoven, Air Bud’s Buddy, and Lassie are all fictional dogs, but the intensity of St. Bernards, Golden Retrievers and Rough Collies’ shedding is all too real. Even Garfield, a beloved cartoon cat, is a very hairy orange Persian/tabby cat in real life, sure to leave a trail of fur wherever he goes.

All furry pets shed. But some breeds of dogs and cats seem to shed more than others, and they do it all year round. Shedding does increase during spring because our furry friends are losing their heavy winter coats to sport something a little bit lighter and more in-season. The good news is, your pets’ fur goes with every outfit, so you can (and will) wear it with pride.

There’s no way to prevent the shed, but there are ways to manage it.

Many dogs and cats like to be brushed, you can even get real up close and personal to your kitty with this Licki cat brush. If you brush and groom your pet year-round, when it comes to shedding season, they’ll be ready for those extended brushing times. Similar to preventive health and wellness, maintaining your pets brushing routine can support overall wellbeing.

One size and type of brush does not fit all breeds. If you’re brushing a dog with shorter fur, like pugs, you can use a natural-bristle brush. For pups with longer fur, like Pomeranians, slicker brushes work well. When shedding season ramps up, that’s when you can upgrade to a coat rake or shedding tool. Keep brushing your long-furred friend until you get less hair on the brush.

How often to groom and brush your pet

In the spring, pets shed more to get ready for the warmer weather. In the fall, their shedding also increases, as they replace their light coat with one tailor-made for winter. So even though shedding is at an all-time high during those two transitional seasons, on average, coats have new growth every two weeks.

Depending on the type and breed of pet you have, you may want to get them groomed every four, six, or eight weeks. In between the grooming sessions, it’s time to get your brush on. FURminator has a line of shedding-control products that can help you and your pet enjoy your brush time together.

The hairier the pet, the more frequently they’ll need to be brushed. And remember, a good brushing can help reduce shedding by taking care of those stray hairs before they fall to the ground (or attach themselves to the sofa, or creep into corners, or … you get it).

How shedding can shed light on health issues

When the flowers start to bud or the leaves begin to turn red, your pet may take it as a cue to shed its coat. But seasonal changes aren’t the only reason why your pet can be experiencing excessive shedding.

According to The Spruce Pets, hyper-shedding can also be a sign of skin problems, certain diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and other metabolic disorders. Similar to other behaviors, it’s important to keep track of your pets’ normal shedding patterns so you’ll notice a change. And if you notice any scabby or bald patches, talk to your vet.

How to de-fur your home and clothes

The best way to keep your home as fur-free as possible is to go to the source. If you’re brushing your pup or kitten on a regular basis, you’re already giving your furniture and outfit a head start. You may want to consider brushing your pets in a closed-off space so there aren’t too many flyaways. Or if it’s an outdoor pet, and a nice weather day, brushing them outside could be fun — and less messy.

Overall, the solution to shedding season is to brush your pets. It’s not going to rid the fur, but it will help and your pet will get to feel the joys of getting brushed from head to tail.

Minimize the shed

While shedding is completely normal, constant cleanup can become a hassle. If you want to minimize the amount of shedding you have to tolerate, you can:

  1. Make sure your pet is on a healthy and balanced diet.
  2. Make sure your preventive health care game is on target and up to date. This includes things like having an annual exam that might reveal some type of illness contributing to excessive shedding, and regular parasite control. Fleas aren't the only parasite that can contribute to excessive shedding. Worms (intestinal parasites) can produce skin and haircoat issues as well.
  3. Ask your vet if using an appropriately formulated omega fatty acid supplement is right for your pet. A properly balanced omega fatty acid supplement can optimize skin and hair coat health, which can to minimize shedding.
The Vetster Editorial Team is comprised of seasoned writers and communicators dedicated to elevating stories about Vetster, pets and their owners.

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