If you own a Labrador retriever, one of the things on your mind may be shedding and why they shed a lot. You might be finding hair everywhere, from the furniture to the carpet and to almost any surfaces of your home. So now you have this question, “How to stop Labrador from shedding?”
Labrador retriever: Do they shed a lot?
Yes, a Labrador retriever is a highly shedding breed. This dog has dual-layered coating and is known to shed during drastic weather changes like in the spring and fall, although they also do it all-year round.
Labrador Shedding Season
Labradors shed year-round, but there are certain times when they shed more than normal.
When is the shedding season? Labradors typically shed the most in spring and fall when they blow their coat, happening in two to three weeks.
This is because they adjust to the new temperature and weather. Usually, they will have to shed their winter undercoat as the weather becomes warm so that they can have a lighter coat come the summer.
As the weather becomes colder, Labradors will then shed the old lighter undercoat and develop a thicker coat to prepare for the cold weather.
They will develop a thick undercoat that will appear like clumps of hair that can be flying all over your place.
It’s also noticeable that this is an intense shedding while they’re molting the dead undercoat.
All year-round, their shedding will still happen. It’s a natural part of their growth and molting in their hair.
What about abnormal Labrador shedding?
Although shedding is normal in Labradors that are known to be heavy in this aspect especially in certain times of the year, there are also cases when shedding is not considered normal.
Health issues can be a cause of hair loss patterns, and this is something that your vet must know about to find out its cause.
Health reasons that can be due to allergies, diets, parasites, dehydration, and certain mental health conditions like anxiety and stress can also cause shedding.
Other causes can include underdeveloped hair follicles, medication reaction, and pregnancy.
Talk to your vet for proper diagnosis. He/she can distinguish if the shedding is normal or is caused by factors like heath. A few signs to identify this are bald patches, brittle or dry hair, open sores, blisters, or irritation.
What causes abnormal shedding?
Dehydration: Your dog’s health will be compromised when they’re dehydrated. It can lead to compromised flow of oxygen and blood in the body. Dehydration in the skin can also cause the falling out of their fur.
Parasites: Lice, ticks, and fleas can cause itching to the skin, so they will tend to scratch or bite, eventually causing the falling out of their fur. Skin chewing or biting can also lead to infection.
Underdeveloped hair follicles: This cause can be hereditary or not, but underdeveloped follicles can result in hair loss.
Skin trauma: Fungal and bacterial infections, medications like steroids, food allergies, burns, and inflammatory diseases can cause skin trauma. Illness recovery, pregnancy, or nursing can also cause hair loss.
Cushing’s disease: This condition that results from too much cortisol production, leading to hair loss.
Poor diet: This can lead to nutrient deficiency with a lot of effects to your dog’s body, including hair loss.
Hypothyroidism: This condition causes hair thinning, hair loss, or excessive shedding, although not common among Labradors.
Anxiety and stress: A Labrador can exhibit behavioral problems, like obsessive compulsive disorder can make them prone to stress and anxiety.
This can leave patches on their skin especially for dogs that chew or bite their skin and hair. The condition is called Acral lick dermatitis. Other factors that can cause it include allergic conditions and parasites.
How to Stop Labrador from Shedding
Labradors shed a lot, so you might want to know how to at least reduce this because you can’t totally stop it.
Use a deshedding tool
Double coats are thick and difficult to rake through with a pet brush, so using a deshedding tool is more advisable. It can help target both the top coat and undercoat and remove dead and loose hair under the top coat but without damaging it. This tool can remove any debris and keep their hair healthy.
So prevent their hair from falling and scattering all over your place by brushing them every day and giving them a warm bath during heavy shedding seasons. I recommend using it especially in spring and fall when drastic temperature changes happen.
Give more baths
A warm water bath loosens and eliminates the fur that’s about to shed. There are some sources claiming that bathing every few months is good, while the others say once a month. Some dog owners also give their Labs a bath when they feel like it. But then, I suggest giving them a regular warm bath to reduce shedding.
Increase water consumption
Dehydrated skin is one of the causes of shedding. An ounce of water for every pound of body weight is ideal. Give 60-lb Labrador 60 ounces of water daily.
They’re not interested in drinking water? Give them a treat for drinking water, or be more creative by adding flavor to it to get them interested in drinking more water.
If you notice too much shedding in your Labrador retriever, it may be the best time to consider a diet change.
Consult your vet about it. Usually, a diet lacking in protein and minerals can be the cause. You should also ask him about Labrador supplements to help reduce shedding.
Also, ensure giving him food without fillers, and look for dog food with ingredients like vegetables and meat.
Another tip is to ensure that you’re not giving them food with too many calories and as much as possible feed them with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can also promote a shiny and healthy coat.
Fish oil supplements can also help improve your dog’s coat health, and they are vital for shedding management.
Use the right shampoo
Some Labradors can be sensitive and develop dry skin aside from the unpleasant odor with some kind of shampoo.
To minimize shedding, look for brands selling a hypoallergenic shampoo that can eliminate bad odor and reduce shedding. It should be able to avoid itchy and dry skin. There are also shampoos that can remove bad odor while also giving a deep clean.
Consult your vet and ensure to monitor changes in the smell of your pet and give them a bath as needed.
Invest in a high quality vacuum
In order to reduce dog hair all over your floor and other parts of the house, invest in a smart vacuum.
You can find vacuums that can work for pet hair, and some brands known for this include Hoover and Shark.
There are hand-held vacuums, which can vacuum as much hair around your home, and others are also smart enough to do the work by themselves based on a schedule. They can be great to have at home since they can help pick up dog hair regularly and definitely can make your life easier.
How do I stop my Labrador from shedding?
You can’t stop but only minimize it. There are many ways to slow it down and manage it well. Check out the tips that I’ve shared earlier including on their diet, shampoo, and deshedding tool. It will also help to give him a warm bath regularly to minimize shedding.
Why does my lab shed a lot?
A lab sheds a lot due to its dual-layered coat. It is composed of an outer hair layer and undercoat. Its outer coat is abrasive, while its undercoat is soft. The undercoat provides the Labrador insulation from extreme weather conditions.
When do Labrador retrievers shed the most?
These dogs shed all-year long, whether it’s a puppy or an adult. However, typical shedding seasons when they shed the most are during drastic temperature shifts happening in spring and fall.
How much can a Labrador shed?
When a Labrador is exposed to the weather, they may shed in phases based on the season or time of the year. They typically have this molting of the inner coat in annual spring time.
Much of the shedding occurs during longer days when warm weather is about to come and a thicker coat isn’t needed.
This kind of molting is sometimes called “blowing a Labrador’s coat.”
Definitely, we can’t stop our beloved Labradors from shedding, but we can at least reduce it in some ways like using a deshedding tool, using the right shampoo, investing in a smart vacuum, and changing their diet.
Hope this article reduces your worries about shedding in your Labrador. Don’t forget to share it with other Labrador-loving friends!
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