Hair Shedding


I have a husky and he sheds a lot! I vacuumed every day sometimes twice a day. If I skip a day, it looks like the fur is taking over and I have tumbleweeds of fur piles blowing through my house. No exactly a sight you want people to see when they visit.


Now everybody knows when you have a pet they shed a lot especially when they have a lot of hair.  It’s a constant struggle to keep the loose hair under control but there are some ways to help stop the constant shedding or at least control it a little better.


 First, let’s talk about hair— did you know that your pet’s coat grows in cycles?  This is a normal and it’s a necessary process just like your hair comes out of your head.  The initial phase is when the hair shaft is actually growing then the hair (actually the shaft) matures and as it comes to a mature length it enters what they call a resting phase.  After that resting phase the shaft actually loosens and falls out and that’s when the cycle begins all again. Most of your pets go through this process unless they’re the type that do not shed.  Those of you that have the breed of dog that doesn’t shed have probably chosen that dog for that very reason!


Did you realize that the shedding process begins because it’s actually influenced by the amount of light in the day.  For example, when the time changes and the days gets longer with more daylight hours you will notice that your dog will start shedding and when August rolls around especially late August you’ll start seeing that they shed less because the days are getting shorter and they’re starting to keep their hair in preparation for the winter.  It’s funny, that your pet is trying to get their winter coat but it’s still hot outside!  On the flip side, even though they still need their winter coat in February, as the days get longer, they start shedding so my rugs are filled with hair constantly.  Additionally, the health of your pet along with their DNA gene pool also plays into how much your pet will shed their coat.


Now sometimes you can think that the hair is an allergen but it depends on whether you’re actually allergic, like my husband is allergic to pet dander; however, it’s not actually the hair that causes the problem. It seems that it’s the dander that causes the allergic reaction in him so I have to keep the house very clean.


Be aware that cutting your pet’s hair doesn’t really stop the shedding—your pet is never going to stop shedding no matter what the length of the hair.  Short hair will not stop it from falling out.  Basically, in the war of the excessive hair –you can do a lot of de-shedding and brushing your pet which does help a lot.  If you had a really brave pet, you could actually vacuum them.  My dog doesn’t like the noise of the vacuum so I actually have to let him outside or have my husband take him for a walk while I’m vacuuming. (which is probably an evil plan hatched by the dog to get more walks)


Also, sometimes when your pet is nervous or stressed their hair will start falling out just like you’ll notice changes in your body when you’re nervous and stressed out.  Hair loss can occur especially if your pet is stressed for any length of time.  You may have noticed that if you’re going to a vet appointment it will trigger a stress-related issue with your pet.   Pets may lose more hair for a couple days if they actually go to the groomers, which sometimes stresses out a pet immensely.  So you may see them actually lose more hair.  In order to combat this stress response, you could try to keep them well-groomed at home by doing it yourself.   As you probably already know, it’s just a constant battle to eliminate those wonderful fibers of glistening joy out of your pet!  On the bright side, daily routine grooming will help control the mess that you have on your floor and the more you do it the easier it will be on your pet.  They just get used to it!


I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures of a Husky who has been shed out and there is a whole other husky sitting next to you!  I used to have that –I actually still do have it with my husky and I used to have that with my horse too.   I figured all those magical fibers of love will help a whole lot of birds when nest building in the spring!  Since your pet is probably shedding right now because spring is coming, I gather the hair and throw it outside for the birds.   So that’s helping the birds is one positive aspect of shedding.  Some talented people can actually make things out of the collected loose hair but I have no talent in that area.