Why does my dog shed?
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Shedding is a natural process for cats, dogs and other animals. Cats and dogs completely replace their coat every spring and autumn to adjust to the changes in temperature, and shedding can also happen throughout the year because pets live in our warm homes.
The Shedding Cycle
Cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals go through a four-step shedding cycle continuously:
The growth phase – when the hair grows from the hair follicle
The regressing phase – when the hair has stopped growing and reached its full length
The rest phase – when the hair dies and becomes weak
The shedding phase – when the hair falls out and is replaced by a new hair in the growth phase
Different Coat Types
Different breeds of dog and cat have different types of fur. Most pets have a top coat (that’s the fur you see on the animal) and an undercoat. If you push back the top coat of your dog or cat, it’s likely that you’ll see a different type of fur, sometimes of a different colour, underneath.
This is the pet’s undercoat. It has a soft and downy texture and it provides insulation and protection, while the top coat is made up of ‘guard hairs’ whose primary function is to keep the pet’s skin dry.
Some pets shed more than others, and some don’t really shed at all. Some breeds, such as poodles, don’t have an undercoat. Their fur grows consistently and sheds less, meaning they need to be clipped regularly.