Why Is My Dog Shedding in Winter? Causes & Solutions

Spring and fall are the seasons when dogs prepare for the weather to change. In particular, it is the time when thick coats become thinner to reduce the body temperature or to make space for a new warmer coat that is intended to protect your pet from winter frost. However, many dog owners ask: “Why is my dog shedding in winter?” In this article, I will explain the most common reasons for this issue and name easy tips to control and prevent shedding.

5 Causes of Winter Shedding

  1. Weather changes make dogs shed to adapt to new conditions.
  2. Shedding might be a sign of stress or anxiety.
  3. Allergies can cause a number of health issues, including enormous hair loss.
  4. Dehydration and poor nourishment globally affect health and appearance.
  5. Diseases and infections can cause shedding in the cold months.

A man combs a dog's fur

Why Is My Dog Shedding in Winter? Treatment and Prevention

Knowing your dog’s individual traits and features of the breed it belongs to is key to distinguishing ordinary seasonal shading from disturbing symptoms. Here is the list of factors that can provoke unusual shedding and tips to handle it.

Dog shedding: What’s normal and what’s not?

The coat has a protective purpose; it is important for thermoregulation. Thus, if a dog lives in a climate with clear differences between seasons, its organism reacts to the weather changes. It is called seasonal shedding, and as a rule, dogs shed twice a year, in the spring and fall, so it is normal. However, if you notice a dog shedding in the middle of winter, it is a disturbing sign. There is no such thing as a normal amount of lost hair; therefore, you have to pay attention to how your dog’s coat changes over time, not only in winter.

Top reasons dogs shed

Shedding is usually a symptom of inner processes, caused by air temperature fluctuations, emotional state, diseases, or poor nourishment, for example. It might be difficult to define the reason for the first time, but here are the most common issues shedding signals about.

  • Change in climate

Shedding is a natural process that allows animals to control the temperature of their bodies. For example, dogs usually shed in the spring adapting to the warmer weather. If you travel with your pet or move to a warmer region, it will definitely cause hair loss.

Dog's fur

  • Stress or anxiety

Serious changes in everyday life like moving to a new place or contacting strangers can be a source of stress and affect vital functions. In this case, shedding is usually a symptom of a deeper issue that requires a vet consultation.

  • Medical reasons

As well as humans, dogs suffer from allergies, which fall into a few categories depending on their origin. An allergy might be genetic, food, flea, seasonal, or environmental. It also can be caused by household chemicals or remedies you use to bathe your dog.

  • Dehydration

There is no organ that is not affected by the lack of water. The daily norm of the water depends on the breed and age, so if your dog doesn’t get enough of it, it will cause several health issues. In this case, shedding is a signal of the damaged skin, which loses its elasticity, hurts easily, and can’t hold the hair bulb properly.

  • Hygiene

Shedding might happen to be a symptom of parasites of fungal infection. These diseases might be caused by the dirt the dog collects outdoors or by contact with other animals. It leads to skin irritation, inching, and redness. Shedding might happen once or on a regular basis and touch different areas of the coat like the chest, stomach, ears, or face.

  • Diet

Hair is composed of a bulb and a shaft, and its growth directly depends on the nutrients a body gains. A poor diet provides minimum “material” to nourish the hair bulb and keep the shaft thick and strong. It also prevents an organism from replacing fallen hair with a new one.

6 Tips to Keep Dog Shedding Under Control

Shading might be a sign of various changes in organisms or outer influences, yet there are easy tips to control hair loss if you suspect it is not an ordinary seasonal process.

  • Brush your dog regularly

Select a brush that fits the structure and the length of your dog’s fur and brush it a few days a week during the period when shading is the hardest. Removing weak and dead hair shafts with a brush prevents them from falling all around your place.

  • Keep your dog clean

Washing pets not only protect your place from dirt and dust but also prevents a number of health issues. If shading is caused by fleas, fungi, or parasites that live on a dog’s skin, washing and rinsing can remove the irritant or relieve itching.

  • Help your dog stay hydrated

Enough water is crucial for proper vital functions, and lack of it is a common reason for shedding. The hair bulb becomes weaker, and the shaft becomes thinner and more vulnerable. Check the daily norm of water your dog needs and follow it. The water has to be clean, fresh, and available.

  • Feed a high-quality diet

Nourishing is no less important than water since it affects the whole body. To prevent diseases, the diet should be diverse and fit the individual features of the animal. To keep fur healthy, make sure your pet gets enough protein and Omega-3 vitamins. In turn, unsuitable products can provoke allergies, which negatively affect fur.

  • Use flea and tick preventatives

Fleas feed on animals’ blood, and their bites provoke skin irritation. When the dog scratches damaged areas, it hurts hair bulbs and pulls out the shafts. Preventing skin and fur from mechanical damage is much easier than treatment, so apply preventative remedies before an issue appears.

  • Reduce your dog’s stress

Depending on the cause of stress and your dog’s personality, select a way to make it calm. Physical contact is perceived as the most reliable way to relieve anxiety. On the other hand, physical exercises and outdoor activities are also helpful.

FAQ on Dog’s Fur Health

A number of outer and inner factors influence a dog’s well-being and appearance. Here are the most widespread questions on this topic.

Do dogs shed when stressed?

Stress and anxiety negatively affect vital functions and might lead to various disorders, depending on the breed and individual features. Shedding is a widespread symptom of mental instability.

What month do dogs shed winter coats?

Depending on climate conditions, a dog can start shedding its winter coat in March and finish by June. A dog shedding its winter coat in the winter probably has health issues. However, if the pet mainly lives indoors, artificial light and air conditioning might affect its natural cycles.

Does a dog’s diet affect shedding?

Diet affects the whole body, and the food your pet consumes definitely has an influence on its appearance. To keep the fur thick, a dog needs a diverse diet that fits its breed, age, and state of health.

Fighting Excessive Dog Shedding in Winter

The first rule of treating winter shedding is remembering that hair loss is usually a symptom of a deeper problem. This problem might concern inner processes such as digestion or diseases or outer factors, for example, seasonal allergy or stress. To control dog shedding effectively, you need to consult a vet and follow basic hygiene procedures.

How do you keep your dog healthy during winter? Please share in the comments.

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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