Spring Loss: What to Do When Your Dog Loses Its Winter Coat?

Cheerful looking Alaskan Malamute surrounded by spring daffodil plants.

Spring fall season is here again! (Photo credit: Getty Images)

One thing dog parents can count on every spring is a house covered in dog hair.

As your pup trades in his thicker winter coat for his summer coat, you’ll notice bottlenose dolphins drifting hair around the house, your furniture taking on a doggy color, and your clothes increasingly looking like a Chewbacca costume.

There’s a reason your dog sheds more this time of year, and it’s healthy. While you may not be able to stop it, there are some things you can do to deal with spring’s mess.

Why your dog sheds more in the spring

long haired, "fluffy" Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog sits between a row of beautiful spring daffodils and a white wooden fence

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Dogs have a natural circadian rhythm that tells their bodies when it’s time to shed the thick coat and grow their summer coat.

It is not just a response to temperature differences in the seasons, but the amount of daylight in the spring and summer months that causes the molt. Most dogs shed year-round, but it’s especially noticeable in the spring.

During this time, you may see some thin spots or uneven fur as the new one comes in. This is a normal and natural process and is sometimes referred to as “inflating the fur”.

How much spring loss is too much?

Close-up of a dog with missing fur on his back from a skin problem, fleas or alopecia (hair loss).

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If you are concerned about excessive shedding or if you think something is wrong, there are some signs to look out for.

If the spring shedding is much greater or much less than in previous years, you notice bald patches in your dog’s coat, you see open sores or skin irritation, or you notice yourself licking or scratching, then there may be medical issues that need to be addressed .

The excessive or lack of excretion can be caused by poor diet, parasites, infections, allergies, reaction to drugs, sunburn, contact with hazardous substances, immune disease, cancer or problems with things like the liver, kidneys, thyroid or adrenal glands.

All of this can be checked by your vet, so make an appointment if you notice any unusual shedding patterns.

Can you stop the spring loss?

Bearded Collie, combing fur in grooming salon

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You may want to know ways to prevent your dog from shedding. But you can’t fight against nature.

Your dog will shed and you shouldn’t want to stop it. It’s a healthy process. Your dog needs to shed.

The good news is that there are some ways to reduce the amount of hair that begins to float around your house around this time of year, and there are some ways to speed up the process so that the excess fur can be removed more quickly.

Check out the rest of the tips below for keeping your home as clutter-free as possible during the spring shed.

Brush, brush, brush

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When it comes to shedding, breed matters. Double-coated dogs have a coarse outer coat that covers a denser, wool-like undercoat, and they shed the most.

It is especially important to brush these dogs as excess fur can get trapped in the undercoat and form knots and mats. These lead to hair clumps that rub against the skin and can cause abrasions, infections or hot spots.

Bordeaux, France

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But whatever coat your dog has, brushing is still important. It helps to keep the coat and skin in good condition. Brushing not only helps your dog stay healthy by removing dangerous mats and tangles, it also traps a lot of the hair that would spread throughout your home.

It’s one of the best ways to keep your house or apartment clean, and most dogs enjoy the extra attention. Think of it as a bonding experience as attempting to wage war against furballs.

With all that in mind, your next step should be to choose an appropriate brush for your dog’s individual needs.

Choose the right kind of brush

Golden Retriever in Pet Store... Young Woman Owner Brushes Him

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You need to use the right tools for your specific dog.

Long-haired dogs can benefit from a reject rake or comb. This will help remove the dense undercoat without having a major effect on the topcoat.

The ejector rakes are long and stiff and allow you to get close to your dog’s skin. You want one with two rows of teeth to be most effective.

Here is a highly rated ejector rake available on Chewy.

Yorkshire Terrier being groomed with brush, looking at camera

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Short-haired dogs benefit from a stiff brush followed by a slicker brush to remove their excess hair.

The brush loosens the fur and the slicker brush removes it from the fur.

you can find one highly rated brush on Chewy here and a great smoother brush here

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Some people have used hair removal tools to remove hair with varying degrees of success.

Some act like vacuum cleaners and pick up the excess hair. These tools are generally no more effective than brushes and can cost significantly more. It really comes down to personal preference.

You can’t stop it, but you can speed it up

dog eats out of owner's hand

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Some dog parents swear by supplements of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in their puppies’ diets. These do not prevent shedding, but can make it go more smoothly by keeping the coat healthy.

A healthy coat means less tangles and knots, and the hair comes out easier with a good brushing.

You’ll find highly rated Omega 3 chews for your dog here on Chewy.

A dog taking a shower with soap and water

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Shampoos and conditioners specially formulated to facilitate the shedding process can also improve the health of your dog’s coat and help the coat shed more easily through brushing.

Again, these products will not stop shedding, and you should not want to stop your dog from shedding, as this is important for your dog’s health.

You can find a highly rated shampoo on Chewy here.

A warm bath helps, but don’t go overboard

Dog grooming a poodle in a grooming salon.

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Speaking of shampoos and conditioners, a warm bath with these products can speed up shedding and remove excess hair so you can brush it out before it spreads all over.

However, do not over-wash your dog as this can lead to skin irritation or a dry, brittle coat. For maximum effectiveness, brush your dog before the bath to remove any dead hair on their coat, then brush them dry after the bath as well.

Be sure to check the ears and eyes to see if there are any loose hairs there and remove them.

You can find a highly rated conditioner for your dog here on Chewy.

Ribbon rollers are your friends

Fluff / Hair Remover

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At this time of year, it’s especially important to have an army of lint rollers at your disposal. This will help you leave the house without looking like you were hugging a werewolf.

Keep a few by the door and keep a few in the bathroom so guests can get rid of the fur that builds up on them when they visit. Lint rollers will save you some embarrassment when you leave the house, and your friends and co-workers with allergies will thank you for not sneezing on you.

You can find lint rollers on Chewy here.

Stay informed of the cleaning

Woman introduces mongrel puppy to noisy vacuum cleaner for the first time

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Even if you’re diligent about brushing and keeping your dog’s coat healthy, you’ll likely still have some fur.

Using an air purifier can help, but you should make sure to change your filters regularly, especially at this time of year.

Mixed Race Teen Girl In Washroom With Dog

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When it comes to cleaning carpets, you may want to use a vacuum cleaner, but many dog ​​parents have had luck using a rubber broom with wiper bristles.

This helps to clump all the hair together into a ball and seems to work better than just vacuuming.

A good rubber broom can be found here on Chewy.

Some people have also tried using their rubber-soled shoes to clump hair together, even putting them on their hands to do so. For tiled or wood floors, damp mopping works just fine.

Blankets & Furniture Covers

Portrait of Shih Tzu

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If your dog has a favorite spot on the furniture, an easily washable blanket or furniture cover is a must.

Place it where your dog likes to rest, and you’ll be able to save your furniture from at least some of the hair storm. Anything that can be easily tossed in the wash or taken out to shake out will work just fine.

If your dog likes to snuggle up in bed with you every now and then, consider getting a duvet cover that you can remove for a wash.

You’ll find a highly rated furniture cover on Chewy here.

Is your dog losing his winter coat? How else do you fight the fur your dog loses in the spring? Let us know in the comments below!

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