pet hairOwners of certain breeds know well the impact a little extra pet hair can have on daily life. Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Great Pyrenees, and German Shepherds are all famous for their top shedding abilities, whereas Poodles, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas are known to shed the least fur. Likewise, Persians and Maine Coons out-shed other cat breeds like Siamese, Burmese, and of course, the Sphinx.

All pet owners know that additional housekeeping comes with the territory when you’ve got furry family members, and most of the time pet hair is a non-issue. However, seasonal dips in temperature and reduced exposure to sunlight signal the brain to ramp up hair production. What does this result in?

Hint: Your vacuum knows the answer!

Have No Fear

If you feel frustrated with your duties as a pet hair custodian, you are not alone. Many other pet owners lament the near-constant cleaning that occurs in the spring and fall. Indeed, loose or fallen fur can quickly take flight, only to land on virtually every horizontal surface in your home. As the tumbleweeds in the wild west version of pet ownership, pet hair commonly settles in corners, beneath furniture, and in the places you’d rather not think about.

Examine the Root

Shedding is a normal process – except when it isn’t. Pet hair grows in three cyclical phases: growing, transitional, and resting. The main catalysts for these phases are the amount of daylight a pet is exposed to, and changes in environmental temperatures.

Various other factors can also affect pet hair and shedding:

  • Nutrition – A well-balanced diet goes a long way toward the health of the skin and reduced shedding. Sometimes, an omega fatty acid supplement can aid in this, too.
  • Hormones – Pregnant or nursing mothers are more likely to shed, as well as in-heat females and males “on the prowl” have higher shedding rates.
  • Overall Health – Stress and anxiety play big roles in shedding pet hair. In fact, they cause the hair follicles to loosen. Socialize and train your pet, and let us know if you need help with your pet’s wellness or minimizing stress in your pet’s life.

Don’t Let Pet Hair Get You Down

There are many ways to deal with pet hair, including:

  • Brushing your pet’s coat thoroughly on a regular basis. Remember, the more hair in your brush, the less will wind up on the floor.
  • Bathing can result in less hair loss over a longer period of time, but because it loosens hair follicles, the first few days after a bath typically produce more hair. Tip: Only pet-safe shampoos should be applied to your pet’s coat. Many products can dry out the skin and cause more shedding.

Warning Signs

Bald areas, excessive licking, or skin that is inflamed, itchy, crusty or flaky should be tended to immediately. While there isn’t a cure-all for shedding, there are ways to stay in top of it so it doesn’t rule over your time and energy.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about pet hair and shedding. Clairmont Animal Hospital is always here for you!