Shedding in cats and dogs
After a long day cleaning the house, there’s that wonderful feeling when you sit down, with a celebratory cup of tea, and appreciate your hard work. That is until all the kids come home…. especially the furry ones. The dreaded stray hairs of our pets, do not take long to create an unwanted house accessory, yet another carpet on the floor or updating the pattern on the couch. It is important we understand why our pets shed, as it could be caused by an underlying health problem and take note of the ways to limit the winter shed!
What causes our pets to shed?
Shedding is completely normal in pets, and a natural way for them to remove the unwanted secondary hairs that are usually dead or loose. In winter especially, they need their coats to be at their best to keep them warm and secure as the temperature outside starts to drop. Below are a number of reasons why your pet could be shedding their hair at an excessive rate:
Season: Outdoor pets usually shed about twice a year, however inside pets tend to shed their hair continually over the year.
- Breed: The type of hair your pet has dictates the amount of hair they will shed. We recommend understanding your pets breed and shedding pattern.
- Pregnancy or lactation: During this process, animals tend to lose the calcium and minerals that are a necessity for a healthy and strong coat. As a result, the answer could be starting your pet on a new diet or supplements to rejuvenate their hair.
- Sickness: Keeping watch of what your pets’ skin looks like during the shedding process is vital. If you notice that the skin is red and irritated, especially with bites, dry hair or rashes, this is a sign to see the vet immediately. Causes of this includes immune disease, parasites, bacterial infections or kidney, skin, liver or thyroid diseases.
- Stress: This could be from a change in their environment or routine.
- Allergies: There are many allergens that could be affecting your pet such as diet, certain medications or coming into contact with irritating substances.
How to maintain a hair-free home
Take note of the following 5 easy steps that can help you keep your house looking cleaner for longer. Your pet will be happier and feeling lighter without a heavy coat weighing them down:
- Brush it out: You should be regularly brushing your pet with a good quality brush. Of course, you need to buy a pet brush as they are designed to force the loose hairs from their coat to come out. This results in a softer and cleaner coat, with the added bonus of less hair falling out! Going to the groomers is very important as well, especially if your pet tends to have a long coat.
- Remove the hair quickly: Regularly remove the pet hair from your clothes, floors and furniture through de-linting, dusting and vacuuming. You can also use a pet hair roller with tear adhesive sheets that quickly pick up the loose hairs. It is also handy to keep one in your car to use after travelling with your pet.
- The Blanket: Place a blanket in a specific place on your couch, bed or car seat. Train your pet, with some yummy treats, to always sit on that blanket. It’s all about controlling where the fur ends up!
Keeping a Healthy Coat
A healthy coat is a significant aspect in keeping our pets’ overall health at its very best. If there are symptoms as described earlier such as red irritated patches on your pet’s skin that make you think you need to see the vet, act immediately. To help give your pet a strong and healthy coat, you must stay up to date on all necessary worming and flea treatments. For all the Best for Pet members, remember that you can receive 10% off all parasite control medications. A high-quality diet is also vital for your pets’ overall health. For their coat, we recommend a pet food that is high in such nutrients as protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A. Chat to a friendly staff member at your vet clinic about what would work best for your pet!