Why Do Dogs Shed in the Fall?

Just like picnics and pumpkin-carving, dog shedding is seasonal.  

Dogs typically lose their winter coats in the spring, when it is replaced by a  shorter, lighter one for summer. In the fall, this cycle is reversed, as the summer coat is shed to make room for heavy protective fur for winter. This change is most obvious in “double-coated” breeds such as collies and shelties. These breeds carry not only a harsh, protective long overcoat but also a soft,  insulating undercoat — and they lose masses of fur from both in spring and fall.  

The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. German  Shepherds, for example, are prolific year-round shedders, while poodles lose little fur at all. Shorthaired breeds may shed as much as the longhaired breeds,  as anyone with a lab, pug, or beagle is well aware.  

No matter what the breed, shedding — and heavier seasonal shedding — is normal, but some heavy shedding can be a sign of health problems. Skin allergies and skin parasites may trigger shedding, and poor nutrition can also be a cause of coat problems. Become familiar with your pet’s normal pattern of shedding. Ask your veterinarian for advice if coat condition seems dull or excessive hair loss or patches of baldness are noticed.  

All shedders — even the heaviest — can be tamed by a regular and frequent schedule of combing and brushing. A professional groomer can utilize the proper tools and products to remove significant amounts of shedding fur from your pet. Ask your groomer to demonstrate how to best brush or comb your pet at home between appointments. To schedule an appointment with a  professional groomer at the Animal Medical Center of Cumming, call 770-886-8555  or visit us Monday-Saturday to tour our facility.