Dog cuddles are the best! But if you end up looking more like your pup than their parent, maybe it’s time to explore the other options available to you.
From the constant vacuuming to the lint roll-down before leaving the house, it can feel never-ending.
That’s why we’re here to help!
Let’s take a deep dive into some holistic approaches to moulting and shed some light on the situation.
Why do dogs shed?
In the lead up to warmer weather, dogs shed their thick undercoat to help keep them cool (often referred to as ‘blowing their coat’ or a ‘blow out’).
When the colder months start to close in, your dog’s coat will shed more to prepare for the growth of a thicker, insulating undercoat.
All dogs shed to varying degrees. Even ‘hypoallergenic’ dogs, like poodles, still shed their coats, just not as much as prolific shedders like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds or Huskies.
Shedding is normal, but if you’re noticing unusual hair loss, bald patches or red and itchy skin, it could be an underlying health concern. Some dogs shed more after pregnancy or desexing. Stress, anxiety and light exposure can be contributing factors too.
If you’re concerned about your dog’s health, make an appointment with your vet for further investigation and advice.
Simple ways to reduce shedding naturally
It can be tough having a prolific shedder on your hands. Their fur seems to get everywhere — not just on your clothes and furniture, but it rolls like tumbleweeds into every nook and cranny of your home!
The good news is we’ve got plenty of tips to help you get ahead of the shed.
Nourished coat and skin from within
A soft and shiny coat may turn heads at the dog park, but it also indicates good health stemming from a diet that nourishes them from inside out.
Diets made from fresh, gently cooked food retain the potency of their bioavailable nutrients better than ultra-processed food that often rely on additives. Choose one that’s rich in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to fight the effects of oxidative stress that cause cells to age and die.
Dog food full of high-GI carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice can trigger diet-driven inflammation that can make skin issues worse, causing itching and more shedding.
Nutrient deficiencies in your dog’s diet or malabsorption of nutrients can lead to dry, brittle coats that shed dead hair more often.
How Jamilla helped Haze ditch the itchy bald spots
With an intolerance to chicken, bald spots all over his body, and frequent vomiting and diarrhoea, Haze was not in the best of health. Then his fur mama Jamilla swapped dry food for Lyka’s fresh wholefood recipes, and they haven’t looked back since.
“There was one small bald spot on his tail - this then spread until he was losing fur all over including his head and face. He was itching so much; his fur was so dry and rough. I was honestly impressed with how fast I was noticing changes just by switching to good quality food with clean, natural ingredients. Within just a matter of weeks I noticed that Haze was shedding less, his fur and coat is so shiny, smooth and soft and he doesn't itch and scratch like he used to. His tear stains have reduced, and his eyes aren't as watery anymore.”
— Haze’s fur mama, Jamilla
Want a show-stopping coat that sheds less?
Look for these skin and coat-loving ingredients:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) promote hair growth, hydrate the skin and reduce inflammation resulting in stronger, more resilient coats. Omega-3 EFAs are found in abundance in fish, fish oil and flaxseeds.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress that causes cellular damage to the skin and hair. Natural sources of vitamin E can be obtained from butternut squash (pumpkin), broccoli and spinach.
Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A which is important for developing keratin for strong hair. Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes are brimming with beta-carotene.
Dietary antioxidants from wholefood ingredients are a natural way to combat cellular damage caused by free radicals that can affect coat health. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, green cabbage and bok choy are chock-full of these phytonutrients.
How Brooke’s move to fresh food helped Koby shed less
For the first four years of his life, Koby the Siberian Husky was fed processed food. Since switching to the Lyka fresh food diet, his fur mama, and Lyka team member, Brooke has noticed a remarkable difference in his coat.
“His coat has become super soft, like velvet, and I no longer need to take him for de-shed appointments at the groomer. He doesn’t lose as many chunks of hair during the change of seasons anymore and his coat maintains better than before.”
— Koby’s fur mama, Brooke
Dehydrated pups will often have dry, itchy skin and dull coats that are prone to moulting more than normal.
Make sure your dog has access to fresh water every day and encourage regular drinking. Not a big drinker? Try feeding your pup a diet with a high moisture content to help them stay hydrated.
Establish a grooming routine to minimise moulting
Shedding is just your dog’s way of getting rid of dead hair or losing extra insulation in preparation for summer. Regular grooming throughout the year removes dead hair from their coat before it ends up on your clothes and furniture.
Maintaining a grooming schedule allows you to monitor their skin health for injuries, irritations, infections and parasites that can lead to licking and scratching and the shedding of even more fur. Brushing also distributes the natural oils across the coat and skin to keep it in top condition.
During moulting seasons, a daily brush will help to keep your pup cool and your home fur-free — especially if you brush them outside!
It may seem counter-intuitive but dogs with double coats shouldn’t be clipped, generally speaking. This can encourage the undercoat to grow back thicker than before, leading to even more shedding.
Do you have the right tools to groom your dog at home? Short-haired dogs can get away with a quick groom with a rubber brush, but those with thick double coats may need a slicker brush, an undercoat rake or even a shedding blade. If you prefer, you can take them to a reputable groomer for a de-shedding appointment.
Bath time — getting the balance right
Washing your dog helps loosen any dead fur or hair and promotes good circulation to the hair follicles for a stronger coat. But if you wash too often you lose the benefit of their skin’s natural oils. Bathe your pup every four to six weeks depending on their level of cleanliness.
Always use a dog-friendly shampoo at the right pH level for their skin. Human shampoo can be too acidic and irritate their skin leading to scratching and the scattering of hair. Some dog shampoos contain vitamin and protein-rich oatmeal that can nourish their skin.
Try using a rubber brush to distribute the suds evenly and release any trapped fur that can be rinsed away — just remember to use a hair-catcher in your plughole!
Parasites, like fleas, can irritate the skin and make your dog itch, inevitably leading to more shedding.
When it comes to parasite prevention there are various options to choose from and one size doesn’t fit all. A personalised approach in consultation with your veterinarian is highly recommended.
Supplements for skin and coat health
If you already feed your dog a fresh food diet, have you considered boosting their health with a supplement?
Lyka Pupper Supps Skin are a wholefood supplement designed to boost your dog’s skin and coat health. Each bite-sized cube contains omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe itchiness and nourish skin and give your pup their glow back.
Formulated by our in-house Integrative Veterinary, Dr. Matthew Muir with Board-Certified Nutritionists for targeted and preventative healthcare.
Lyka: feed fresh to shed less
As the body’s biggest organ, it’s no surprise that your dog’s skin and coat health can improve with a nutritious diet.
At Lyka, our holistic approach to health nourishes your pupper from the inside out. Each of our recipes is made with human-grade, wholefood ingredients, minimally processed to retain their nutritional value.
When we eat healthy food, we feel and see the difference. The same goes for our dogs.
Try a Starter Box and begin your pup’s fresh food journey today.