Living with a dog or cat brings some challenges in the hair department.  Most of us are familiar with pets “blowing their coats” every spring and all the fur tumbleweeds associated with this process. Many clients become concerned when their pets seem to be losing a lot of hair outside of the traditional spring shed season. How can you know if shedding is normal or excessive for your pet?

Typically, pets lose a larger amount of hair than normal in both the spring and the fall. This is triggered by changes in day length and help them accommodate for the upcoming seasons. Excess fur loss can also be seen if there is a change in the amount of light they are exposed to on a regular basis. For example, if there is a new schedule in the house this could cause more or less fur loss for your companion compared to previous years. 

Stress can also contribute to noticeable changes in the amount of shedding dogs and cats experience. This is a little trickier to put your finger on because it can come from a number of sources including household changes or stress from a medical condition. Talking through a couple of possible causes for hair loss is the best way to make sure your worries are investigated.

Your vet or their staff is the best place to start the conversation. There are many reasons a pet may be losing hair more than normal which might require a trained medical workup to investigate fully. 

If you are continuing to worry about a change, try to think through other differences you may have noticed in your pet’s life or behavior recently. 

  • Have you noticed any changes to their scratching, eating, water intake or bathroom behavior?
  • Are there bald patches?
  • Are there any big life changes you are experiencing that may contribute to a shift in your pet’s routine? 

This will help your veterinarian to decide how to approach the hair loss situation to make sure that they can investigate this clue at the level appropriate for your pet.  You know your animal best and if you are troubled it helps to reach out to an expert with your concerns. Hopefully you can get a plan to move your home to a place where there is less time spent cleaning stray fur and more time for enjoying your furry companion.

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