How much pet shedding is normal

Pet Shampoo

Petcare can get hairy, fast

Dogs, cats, bunnies — so soft, so cuddly, and sometimes, so much hair. How much shedding is normal, and why does it happen? Here are some furry facts about the biggest shed times of the year, and when your pet’s shedding may actually indicate a health problem that could use the help of your veterinary team.

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Seasonal shedding

Although some dogs shed year-round, most dog and cat furballs will shed at least twice a year, in spring and fall. Depending on your pet’s coat, this can be a little or a lot. Regular brushing can help to loosen fluffy undercoats so less hair gets on the furniture. Your vet may also be able to recommend coat-care products that can help just a bit.

Bathing brush

Grooming is good

Shed-heavy breeds may need extra grooming, either professionally or at home. And even if your pet doesn’t shed that much, they’ll still need good grooming for a healthy and happy coat. These sessions are a great way to get some hands-on love time with your pet, help you spot any skin issues, and help keep shedding slightly more under control.

Holding pet hair

When shedding means see the vet

Is your BFF is shedding at strange times, or more than usual? Are you noticing bald spots, sores, excessive dandruff, or unusual scratching? It’s probably time to talk to the vet about skin and coat issues.

Medical causes for shedding can include

  • Stress
  • Environmental or food allergies
  • Fleas or mites 
  • Bacterial or fungal skin infections, like ringworm
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Pregnancy (or nursing)
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A happy little dog in the bathroom after a bath wrapped in a towel
Decoding skin and coat issues

In addition to being pettable and floofy, your pet’s skin and coat are big indicators of their overall wellbeing. Keep an eye out for color changes, bruises, rashes, patchiness, lumps, or weird smells — because sometimes the first place an issue shows up is right there on your pet’s skin.

See more about skin and coat issues

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