Welcoming pets into your life also means saying hello to fur. Every dog and cat sheds.
It doesn’t matter the age or the breed; all dogs and cats shed to some degree, even those believed to be non-shedding.
There are three phases of a hair life cycle: anagen, when the hair is actively growing; catagen, when the hair growth has stopped; and telogen, when the hair falls out and is replaced by new growth.
Hair shedding can be associated with diet, health, season, temperature, stress, trauma, malnutrition, injury or allergies.
Pets with double coats of fur will shed more than those with single coats. Cats and dogs with very short single coats will have less fur to shed. Breeds with continuously growing coats will appear to shed the most, as the fur growth does not depend on a season or cycle. Breeds such as golden retrievers, Labradors and Newfoundlands tend to shed more than border terriers, poodles and dachshunds, for example.
Dogs typically shed their winter coats in the spring, to be replaced by shorter, lighter ones for summer. In the fall, this cycle is reversed as summer coats are shed to make room for heavier fur for winter.
If skin is irritated from allergies, hair will be shed excessively. Look for uneven spots of shedding or missing fur and the color of the skin in those areas to indicate possible allergic conditions.
Tips to help control excessive shedding include:
• Regular check-ups: Visit your veterinarian regularly to help identify potential issues early, such as allergies and hot spots, and use effective treatments for healthier skin and coat.
• Feed nutritious food without by-products: A pet’s skin and coat can often reflect what he or she is eating. Quality food, containing essential oils and probiotics, and no corn, wheat or soy, can provide better digestibility and can reduce frequent visits to the vet for skin, coat and allergy issues.
• Proper grooming: Bathe and brush your pet often. Bathing will help wash away and eliminate allergens from your pets’ skin and coat. Brushing will help comb off and remove dead hair trapped in the fur.
• Flea and tick prevention: Flea and tick infestations can wreak havoc on a pet’s coat and skin, causing non-stop scratching, gnawing and itching, which most likely will cause skin irritation and excessive shedding. Treatments are usually necessary year-round in our humid climate to prevent fleas and ticks from nesting on your pets.
• Vacuum often: Pet hair can gather quickly and can seem like a bigger issue if left to gather for days. It’s a good idea to vacuum often to eliminate buildup.
It is impossible to stop shedding completely. It’s a healthy and natural process. Shaving pets down as a means to deal with shedding is not advisable, as it can interfere with their natural self-cooling and warming mechanism.
Farewell for now
It’s been a year filled with life changes for us, and as such, this will be our last Spot’s Corner column. We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing our experiences with you and are grateful for all the support and encouragement you have shown us and TailsSpin over the past 10 years, especially during the times we had to say goodbye to Kai and Riley, two of our cherished dogs.
We would like to take this opportunity to say that we are transitioning to another chapter in the ever-changing book of our lives. It’s time for us and our dog Cosmo to move to Georgetown, Texas, a short drive north of Austin, to be close to our parents to provide assistance. It is a chance for us to lend our support, to be better sons. It is all about affirming family, which we are certain everyone can understand.
Savannah has been so amazing for us, allowing us to grow as people and as business persons. We thank you and always will be so grateful for your kindness and support in all of our outreaching endeavors. Your unconditional love has driven us to be better people and, ultimately, accountable to be better pet parents. We love the many opportunities we all had working together to make Savannah a better pet-friendly environment.
The support you have given us gives us strength for this next step. We are trying our hardest to listen and trust our faith that this is within God’s way of taking care of us. As Savannah remains an important chapter in our journey, this is not a goodbye, as we are heartened that our paths will cross again in the future.
We love all of you. We love Savannah.
Jeff Manley and Jusak Yang Bernhard are co-owners of TailsSpin Pet Stuff, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff company. Send your questions and suggestions to them at email@example.com.