Understanding Your Lab Shedding and How to Deal With It

Pet Care

petvblog

May 21, 2020
lab-shedding

Labs shed their hair, and it’s absolutely normal, so don’t be shaken if you notice some amount of hair gathering on your carpet, at the sofas, on your car seats, or even at the corners of your rooms. The appearance of the beautiful short-haired dogs is largely attributed to their shedding. 

If you are still reading this, you are probably wondering why is your dog shedding. How often does it occur? Is there abnormal shedding? How to deal with it? Well, you’re not alone. Most people who own a Labrador always have concerns over their shedding, which is totally fine. Understanding how your dog’s coat works is essential. Otherwise, you may get frustrated to the point of selling or donating your furry buddy. So, let’s get started.

Why is Lab Shedding a Thing?

There is a process called molting that wild animals like wolves and foxes go through twice a year. The process involves changing coats to adapt to the changing seasons.

Typically, this occurs as spring is about to start when the temperatures are beginning to rise. During this time, these animals will shed off their thick winter coats in preparation for summer, as thin coats will help them stay cool. The process is then repeated just before winter in preparation for the colder weather.

Labs do this as well. Unfortunately for Labrador owners, these beautiful dogs shed throughout the year. The Labs have a double coat made up of a sleek outer layer of hair and a topcoat. This double coat is what helps the dog adapt to the different weather. During the cold season, i.e., in the winter, the outer layer grows thick, therefore keeps the dog warm. During the hot season, i.e., in the summer, this coat grows thin, keeping the dog cool.

The outer coat or the topcoat is waterproof, and its purpose is to protect the dog from getting wet and cold when in water. It also protects the skin from getting dry.

When Do Labs Shed?

Shedding is one thing you will have to face if you are a human Lab parent. Labs shed small amounts throughout the year. However, the shedding increases twice a year during the molting season – towards winter and summer. In spring, for two to three weeks, expect your canine friend to shed off the winter hair in preparation for summer. Again, in autumn, your buddy will do the same. He will lose the thin summer hairs and grow thick ones to keep warm during winter.

Do Labs Shed a lot of Hair? It is not easy to quantify the amount of hair your dog gets rid of. But, if you are used to other breeds like the Poodle, which sheds very little, you may feel the amount of hair that a Lab sheds is a lot. Labradors shed a lot regardless of their color. Black Lab shedding is more visible on non-white surfaces than yellow Lab shedding.

How to Deal With Lab Shedding 

You’re probably wondering what’s the best way to deal with all that hair around. Here are two things you can do:

  • Set some limits

Keep your dog away from the furniture, carpet, and especially away from the kitchen. As much as you would like to have your dog with you and your dog would love to be with you most of the time, setting limits will help you manage the excessive Labrador hair all over your house. Keep your dog in the yard or in a separate spot, like the balcony, which is easy to clean. 

  • Groom your Lab

One advantage of grooming is that your Lab gets used to being handled. You can do this by brushing their coat regularly, especially during the molting season. It’s advisable to do it at least once a day during the shedding season and a couple of times per week throughout the year. Do not allow the dead hair to fall everywhere in your house; just brush that dog!

There are items in the market like brushes, shampoos, conditioners, and basins that can help you through this process of grooming. Remember to be gentle when cleaning your furry buddy so you don’t damage the coat or hurt the skin, which could leave your canine friend vulnerable to sunburn and dry skin. The tummy and the lower legs have less hair, so be more careful when brushing these areas.

When Is Your Lab Shedding Too Much?

Labrador shedding can, at times, be considered excessive. If you suspect your dog is shedding more than they usually do, consider consulting a vet. Again, note that fur loss and shedding are not the same thing. The two are different. Fur loss is usually caused by illness and is characterized by loss of hair in certain parts of the dog’s body.

If you feed your dog with more healthy foods, it will show on the outside. Adding healthy fat such as tuna and salmon to the diet through a supplement or whole food can be a better way to deal with excessive fur loss. 

Causes of Excessive Shedding 

Excess shedding may be a sign of a health problem. If your Lab is shedding a lot, they may be suffering from:

  • Allergies

An allergic reaction from food can be the problem. It can even be a single ingredient. Also, allergies are sometimes caused by pest bites, medicine, or soap. The best way to deal with allergy problems is to diagnose an allergic response. Do away with everything you suspect may be causing the allergy, then carefully introduce items one after the other. This will help you understand what’s causing your four-legged friend’s allergic reaction.

  • Hormones

Hormone imbalance can cause your Lab to shed more than usual. If you suspect this might be the cause, pay a visit to your veterinarian. After some tests, the vet will be able to provide a solution.

  • Stress

Just like humans, dogs too can experience stress. Considering the dog’s emotions is essential. Conflicts, loss of a loved one, or even change of homes are some of the issues that may be causing your Lab’s excessive hair loss. You can add a few supplements to the diet to support hair growth, such as flax oils and brewer’s yeast (you can find them as dog tablets). These two supplements are rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, Shed-X Dermaplex Liquid, Vet’s Best Healthy Coat Shed & Itch Relief dog supplement, or any other remedy you can find at your local pet store.

Is Shaving Your Labrador a Good Idea?

Labrador retriever shedding can be frustrating, especially during the summer, when the molting is at its worst. The dead hairs will be everywhere. Even cleaning won’t help much because the dog will leave a trail of hair the next time he passes through a room. At one point, you may be tempted to shave your canine friend and do away with the hair. While you may think this to be a good idea, please don’t do it.

The process of shaving can hurt the dog’s skin, making it vulnerable to sunburn and dry skin. Again, shaving will interfere with the dog’s temperature regulation. Let your dog enjoy its double coat in peace.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get your dog’s shedding under control:

  1. Feed your pet with a well-balanced diet. Consider adding supplements.
  2. Give them a weekly bath with de-shedding shampoo and conditioner, but only during the shedding season.
  3. Brush your dog with a de-brushing brush on a daily basis.

How to Keep Your Home Clean

You cannot stop the dog from shedding, and training it to stay off the furniture can be difficult. Also, cleaning the area you set for your dog is often not that easy. However, if you clean your home regularly, you’ll be able to keep the loose dog hair under control. Wash and sanitize your living space. Pay special attention to your furniture and floors, since that’s where most of your puppy’s dead hair usually ends up.

Getting yourself a high-quality vacuum will save you a lot of time and energy during the cleaning process. If, in any case, you do not have enough time to clean the house, getting a robot vacuum can be a smart move.

Takeaway

Shedding is one of the major concerns when it comes to Labradors. Some shed more than others. Maybe if it wasn’t so severe, everyone would be a Lab owner.

However, Labrador retrievers are still great dogs – kind, friendly, fun – a perfect companion. We hope this article has helped you understand shedding and how to deal with it more conveniently and efficiently.

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