Dog Shedding Hair

"Dog shedding hair is perfectly natural and usually due to the time of year vs. any underlying condition. Dogs cannot prevent shedding. If the shedding is accompanied by skin irritation then see your veterinarian."

All dog breeds shed hair, with the difference being the amount and frequency. Dogs have what are known as primary and secondary hairs. The primary hairs protect your dog against things like the cold. These hairs are longer and shed when not needed. Dogs that do not shed as often have shorter, silk feeling hair.

Shedding occurs when younger hair is pushing out older hair.

Shedding is rarely due to some type of illness or problem with your dog's diet. Supplements may look the coat look nicer and shiny, but a problem with nutrition will not cause shedding.

Dogs That Shed Frequently

  • German Shepherds
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs

You can minimize shedding by combing and brushing your dogs hair every day. The brush will catch the loose hair.

Dog Breeds that Do Not Shed

  • Wheaten Terrier
  • Some spaniels

You can also get a dog that needs a hair cut or grooming. Grooming will brush out the loose hairs and keep them from shedding in your home.

These breeds include:

  • Poodle
  • Wired Hair Terrier
  • Bedlington Terriers
  • Kerry Blue Terriers
  • Puli
  • Komondor
  • Bichon Frises

Hairless Dog Breeds:

  • Chinese Crested (hair on head tail and legs only)
  • Xoloitzcuintal

These breeds are hairless due to genetics, not a medical problem.

Dog Shedding Hair and the Seasons

As we are heading into the fall and your dog prepares for colder weather, dogs shed less and their coat gets thicker. As the weather becomes warm in the spring then the hair sheds more.

It is not actually the temperature that causes the shedding by the amount of light in the day.

Dog Shedding Hair and Nutrition

Trying a different dog food, a natural supplement such as the one mentioned below or a fish oil supplement cannot hurt. If you try a new dog food, gradually change by mixing the current food with the new food and then changing the balance.

A natural supplement such as Skin and Coat Tonic contains ingredients such as Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) which has silica, an element in all tissue. Others such as Taraxacum officinalis (Dandelion) is a source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, D, C, various B Vitamins, iron, lecithin, silicon, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It has been researched for its ability to soothe the skin. (Schutz, K., Carle, R., and Schieber, A. “Taraxacum--a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile.” J Ethnopharmacol 10-11-2006;107(3):313-323.)

Dog Shedding Hair and Bathing

If your dog is shedding and you do not see any skin irritation, then ordinary care is probably fine. Brush your dog's hair several times a day to remove the hair before it hits the floor.

You can also bath your dog 1x a week with a mild shampoo.


The Complete Book of Dog Health: The Animal Medical Center

Hound Health Handbook

Brevitz, Betsy

Have a Question About a Dog Hair Problem or a Story that can help others?

Do you have a Dog Hair and Coat related Question for our Editors or a Helpful Story to Share? Please include information such as age, sex, breed, medical history, areas where your dog is experiencing hair loss, skin and other symptoms, medications your dog is taking, recent changes in behavior, etc. A picture of the condition would also be helpful.

We will do our best to get back to you quickly (depends on how many questions we receive each day). If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.

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