Grooming the dog
As a dog owner, the (fur) tatters fly at least twice a year: When changing fur in spring and autumn, numerous dog owners have their hands full, because hair is everywhere: on the carpet, the sofa, behind doors and under furniture. During this time, your vacuum cleaner becomes the most important household helper.In our coat change FAQ (i.e. the most frequently asked questions about changing dogs), we have put together everything you need to know in order to be able to manage the situation. We also give you useful tips to give your darling the best possible support to get this often demanding time behind them:
What happens when the dog changes coat?
Most dog breeds change their coat twice a year, in spring and in autumn. In these weeks it is a matter of the normal seasonal coat change in dogs:
- In spring , your dog loses its warming undercoat to make room for the lighter summer fur and thus adapt to the higher temperatures.
- In autumn, however, the summer fur gives way to the thick winter fur.
How intense the coat change is depends on various criteria:
- Dog breed : In some breeds with a very dense undercoat, the hair loss is immense, in others the coat change is less pronounced.
- Age of the dog: puppies, for example, lose their soft baby fur once, older dogs often lose their hair over a longer period of time than at a younger age. The reason for this is mostly the slower metabolism and the slower cardiovascular system.
- Hormones: Bitches often shed a lot of hair just before they come into heat. Castration can also cause more hair loss.
Caution: If your dog may even lose tufts of hair outside of the seasonal coat change, you should become suspicious. In such cases, a parasite infestation or illness can be behind it. A food allergy or stress can also cause your darling to suffer from hair loss. If you cannot find the cause and therefore cannot take appropriate measures to improve the situation, you should definitely visit a veterinarian with your dog.
When does the coat change begin?
As soon as the temperatures rise, the days get longer and the first early bloomers such as snowdrops and crocuses are stretching their delicate leaves out of the earth, you may already notice the first tufts of hair in the apartment. Here we go, the spring coat change sets in: You should now keep vacuum cleaners, brushes and curry combs ready to hand.
In autumn the fur changes begin with falling temperatures, the winter fur replaces the summer fur; in some dogs the warming undercoat is now also formed.
Depending on the temperature profile, the coat change always begins at different times.
How long does the change of coat take in the dog?
The length of time it takes to change fur in dogs varies: with some dogs, the change takes less than six weeks, with some it takes more than eight weeks.
What does the change of coat mean for your dog?
While your dog may seem like changing fur is not a problem for them, some dogs actually has difficulties and shows some side effects that affect their normal condition:
- Scaly skin and itching: Especially in spring, when the heaters are still on at home, some dogs struggle with scaly skin and itching. If you can rule out an allergy or parasite infestation as the cause of this inconvenience, it could be due to the dry heating air.
- Odor development: During the change of coat, regular grooming by brushing and combing is particularly important. This is the only way to prevent bacteria and dirt from giving the fur an unpleasant scent.
- Dull fur: Dull fur will not so much unsettle your darling as it may unsettle you. But even that is quite normal in moderation: If the coat changes from summer to winter coat or vice versa, these types of coat mix at times, which can look quite strange. In general, however, a healthy coat is shiny. So dull fur can also indicate a temporary lack of nutrients. If in doubt, and especially if there are bald spots in the fur, you should check whether a disease is the cause.
Nevertheless: most dogs get through the coat change without any problems and have no complaints.
Our tip: What does the change of coat mean for you? If you are not passionate about cleaning or vacuuming, you too will be challenged during this time. Therefore, be prepared for a few weeks in which you will reach for the vacuum cleaner, rubber broom and lint roller more often than usual. Incidentally, some pet owners swear by window pullers to remove the annoying hair from the sofa, upholstery and co. Give it a try!
4 tips to help your dog change coat
Would you like to accelerate your dog's coat change or at least support your darling as best you can during this time? Then these 5 tips will help you:
- Appropriate brushes and grooming utensils:
Depending on how strong the coat changes, you should consider actually brushing your darling every day. For a bit of routine you can always choose a similar time and withdraw with your dog and brush, comb or groom it extensively. This not only speeds up the change of coat, but also enables you to control the hair loss: You can remove the tufts of hair directly from the brush and dispose of them. A pleasant side effect: once the hair has been removed, it cannot cause itching.
- Relieve itching when changing fur:
If dry heating air is a possible reason for dry and flaky skin, which in turn causes annoying itching, a humidifier on the radiator can help. Regularly brushing out the undercoat and the dwindling dog fur also help against the itching. If the cause is more likely to be traced back to a parasite infestation, you should seek advice from the pharmacy or directly from the vet as to which medical shampoos with the right active ingredient can get rid of the annoying nuisances.
- Adjust nutrition optimally:
When changing coat, your favorite's organism has to invest a lot in hair growth. Because of this, your dog needs a lot more minerals, vitamins and proteins than usual because these nutrients are needed for coat growth. In addition to protein, B vitamins, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids (such as those contained in high-quality fish oil) are particularly beneficial.
- Preventing dull fur: A popular remedy to make dull fur shine again is brewer's yeast. This natural raw material contains a lot of vitamin B, which not only strengthens the immune system, but also has a beneficial effect on skin and hair. In combination with zinc, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids you have put together a good repertoire of helpers. In order to compensate for this temporarily increased need for nutrients, dietary supplements are recommended. Changing the feed only for the duration of the coat change is not advisable as long as you are feeding conventionally. If your dog receives BARF, you can more easily adapt the individual feed components and nutrients to the increased need.
In the case of permanently dull fur, however, changing the conventional feed can also help. Your vet will give you more detailed advice here.
Conclusion: With the right grooming equipment , regular grooming and a little patience, you not only have the coat change under control, but also get through it quickly.