Is your Labrador shedding a little more than you’d like? Does it seem like you’re vacuuming up furballs every day?
Due to their double-layered coats, labs shed more frequently in the spring and fall, when the weather changes most noticeably. However, labs lose a lot in the months in between, so dealing with your Lab’s fur may feel like an uphill battle.
The good news is there are ways to manage the shedding and help keep your home a bit cleaner.
Reasons Why Labs Shed
The primary reasons why your Labrador retriever is shedding are because of natural changes in its coat throughout the year. As mentioned, labs have a double coat made up of a soft undercoat and a coarse top coat. The thick winter fur is shed during spring and summer to make way for the summer coat. During the fall, the process is reversed, and new winter fur takes its place.
In addition, dogs also shed year-round due to the natural growth cycle of their fur. Just like our hair, a dog’s hair will grow, fall out, and be replaced with new hair. This is why it’s important to brush your Lab regularly throughout the year and during high-shedding seasons. However, some other reasons dogs shed may include:
🐕 Poor Nutrition
If you’ve noticed that your Labrador is shedding more than usual, it could be a sign of poor nutrition. When dogs don’t get enough of the right nutrients, their bodies start to shut down non-essential functions in order to conserve energy. One of these functions is the production of new hair follicles. Without a steady supply of nutrients, the body starts to shed old hair to make room for new growth.
🐕 Lack of Exercise
Just like humans, dogs need to get regular physical activity to stay healthy. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of health problems, including weight gain, joint pain, and even depression. It can also cause the fur to fall out in clumps. So if you want to help your Labrador keep their coat healthy and prevent excessive shedding, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercises.
🐕 Stress or Anxiety
It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. And our furry friends are no exception. Dogs are highly sensitive to the moods and emotions of their owners, so it’s not surprising that they can also suffer from stress and anxiety.
One of the most common ways that stress manifests in dogs is through shedding. When a dog feels anxious or stressed, his body goes into “fight or flight” mode and releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” This increase in cortisol levels can cause the dog’s coat to Thin out and shed excessively.
In some cases, dogs may also lose patches of fur or develop hot spots. While shedding is a normal part of a dog’s life cycle, when it’s caused by stress, it can be much more difficult to control. If your Labrador is shedding excessively, it might indicate he’s feeling anxious or stressed. If you suspect your dog is experiencing stress-related shedding, talk to your veterinarian about possible causes and treatment options.
🐕 Skin Conditions or Allergies
Skin conditions and allergies are common causes of shedding in Labradors. Allergies can be caused by a variety of things, including dust, pollen, and even food. If your dog is allergic to something, it may scratch excessively, leading to hair loss.
Skin conditions such as mange and hot spots can also cause shedding. Mange is a parasitic infection that causes severe itchiness and hair loss, while hot spots are open wounds that can become infected if not treated properly.
If you suspect your dog is shedding due to a skin condition or allergy, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation and treatment. Otherwise, the problem will likely only get worse.
🐕 Hormone Imbalance
Labradors, like all dogs, have hormones that regulate their bodies. If a lab has an imbalance in these hormones, it can lead to excessive shedding. This is because hormones help regulate the growth and maintenance of a dog’s coat.
An imbalance in these hormones can lead to poor fur growth and shedding. Suppose your Labrador is exhibiting signs of a hormone imbalance, such as increased or decreased appetite, changes in energy levels, and excessive shedding. In that case, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation.
🐕 Using The Wrong Shampoo
If you are using the wrong shampoo on your Labrador retriever, it can cause the dog to shed. This is because the wrong shampoo can strip the oils from the fur, which protects the fur and your dog’s skin. When this happens, the fur is more likely to come out in clumps. In addition, using a shampoo that is too harsh can cause irritation and dryness, both of which can lead to shedding.
In order to avoid these problems, it is important to choose a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. These shampoos are typically milder and will not strip away the natural oils in the fur. If you are unsure of which shampoo to use, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Tips On How To Reduce Labrador Shedding
Labrador retriever shedding can be difficult to manage, but you can do a few things to help reduce it.
✅ Use a Deshedding Tool
One way to control your Lab’s shedding is to use a deshedding tool. These tools can help remove loose hair from the coat and reach deep down to the undercoat to remove dead hair and debris.
Using a deshedding tool on a regular basis can help to reduce the amount of hair your Lab sheds, and it can also make the coat softer and shinier. If you’re looking for a quality de-shedding tool, look for one with stainless steel teeth that are sharp but not too sharp. It would be best if you also looked for a tool that is comfortable to hold and that has a good grip.
Finally, be sure to read reviews before purchasing a de-shedding tool to ensure you’re getting a quality product.
✅ Brush Regularly
Another way to reduce shedding in Labradors is to brush them regularly. Brushing helps to remove loose fur and debris from the coat. In addition to removing loose hair, brushing helps to distribute the natural oils that keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking its best.
It also stimulates circulation and allows you to check for any potential health problems, such as lumps, bumps, or hot spots. For best results, brush your Lab at least once a week using a tool designed for thick double coats.
Be sure to go slowly and be gentle, as your dog’s skin is sensitive. With regular brushings, you can help to reduce shedding and keep your lab coat looking its best.
✅ Feed a Balanced Diet
As any dog owner knows, Labs are notorious shedders. But did you know that what you feed your Lab can impact how much he sheds? A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy coat and preventing excess shedding.
Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are essential for keeping the skin moisturized and preventing dryness and itchiness. Meanwhile, antioxidants help protect against environmental damage and promote a healthy coat.
And finally, biotin is important for regulating cell growth and improving the quality of your dog’s coat. By feeding your Lab the best dog food that includes all these nutrients, you can help reduce shedding and keep his coat looking its best.
✅ Incorporate More Baths
Labradors, like all dogs, shed a certain amount of hair. But if your Lab is shedding excessively, consider adding more baths to his grooming routine. Baths help remove excess dirt and oil from the fur, leading to less shedding over time. In addition, bathing helps to prevent the build-up of dander and allergens, which can help reduce allergy symptoms in humans.
Some experts claim that bathing labs only once every few months is sufficient, while others assert that bathing them once a month is preferable. Whether on a timetable or whenever you decide it’s time, there is no fixed rule for how frequently you should wash your dog.
However, it is important to use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoos can be too harsh, leading to irritation and dryness of the skin. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the best type of shampoo to use.
✅ Increase Water Intake
It’s no secret that dogs and cats love water. They often can be found playing in puddles, swimming in lakes, or even taking a dip in the pool. However, you may not know that water is essential to your pet’s health. Water helps to flush toxins from the body, lubricate joints, and maintain a healthy coat.
For dogs prone to shedding, increasing water intake can be an effective way to reduce shedding. By drinking more water, your pet will be better able to flush out toxins and excess fur. In addition, increased water intake can help to keep the skin and coat hydrated, which can minimize shedding; therefore, if you’re looking for a natural way to reduce your pet’s shedding, start by increasing their water intake.
✅ Stay Up-to-Date With Flea Treatment
Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of your pet. Dogs with fleas often experience excessive itching and scratching, which can lead to increased shedding. In order to reduce this, it is important to stay up-to-date with flea treatment. Talk to your veterinarian about the best flea prevention product for your Lab, as well as when and how often you should apply it.
✅ Reduce Stress in Your Lab
When your Lab is agitated or anxious, it sheds more. Do you recall ever noticing this? If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that your dog hair tends to shed more when it enters the clinic. Any additional stressful situations, such as meeting new people, unfamiliar large dogs, or visiting new locations, might cause your dog to start shedding.
Different activities stress different dogs in different ways. However, your dog blows its coat as soon as it becomes anxious. Its hair was flying everywhere, and you could see it. You might refer to this as stress-related dog shedding.
Therefore, reduce stress in your Lab by providing it with a safe and comfortable environment. Go slow when introducing new people or places, and stay with your Lab in unfamiliar situations. Playing with your Lab and providing it with plenty of exercises will help it stay calm and relaxed, reducing shedding. Those are some of the strategies to reduce labrador shedding.
✅ Invest in a Vacuum Cleaner
Finally, investing in a good vacuum cleaner is an effective way to reduce shedding. Vacuuming regularly helps to remove excess fur and dander from carpets and furniture, making them easier to clean. It also helps reduce the number of allergens in the air, which can benefit both you and your pet.
When investing in a vacuum cleaner for pet owners, be sure to look for one specifically designed for pet hair. These vacuums are often equipped with special filters and attachments that help to remove dog hair more effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does normal shedding look like?
A: Normal shedding typically looks like small amounts of fur left on furniture, clothing, or carpets. Your pet may also have fur in its bedding or around the house. If you notice patches of baldness or large clumps of hair, it may be a sign that something else is going on, and you should speak to your veterinarian.
Q: Does dog breed affect how much my pet sheds?
A: Yes, some dog breeds are known to shed more than others. Labrador Retrievers, for example, are known to shed more than other breeds. This doesn’t mean that Labs can’t be kept as pets, but it does mean that they require more grooming and attention.
Q: How can I make my Labrador hair softer?
A: To make your Labrador’s hair softer, you should brush it regularly and use a moisturizing shampoo or conditioner. You can also use a leave-in conditioner to help keep your hair soft and healthy. Additionally, adding omega-3 fatty acids to your Lab’s diet can help to reduce shedding and keep their coat soft and shiny.
Q: Does my pet’s hair growth cycle change throughout the year?
A: Yes, your pet’s hair growth cycle may vary depending on the seasons. For example, many dogs tend to shed more in the spring and summer months, as this is when they grow their new coats. Additionally, puppies tend to shed more than adult dogs, as their coats are still developing.
Q: Why does healthy skin lead to less shedding?
A: Healthy skin is important for reducing shedding, as it helps the fur follicles stay strong and resilient. A healthy skin and coat will help to keep the fur from easily falling out, thus reducing shedding. Moreover, healthy skin will also be less prone to irritation, which can also lead to excessive shedding.
Abnormal shedding of your Labrador retriever needs to be addressed to rule out any health issues. If you are concerned about excessive shedding, it is best to consult your veterinarian for advice and treatment options. Furthermore, by following the tips outlined in this article, you can help to reduce your Lab’s shedding and keep its coat healthy and beautiful.
Finally, it is important to remember that shedding is a perfectly normal process for all dogs, and, unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate it. By committing to regular brushing, vacuuming, and flea prevention, however, you can help keep your Lab’s shedding under control and ensure they have a healthy coat all year round.