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Labrador Retriever vs. Golden Retriever Shedding

Golden retriever laying on the floor on its side being brushed with a metal shedding brush

Both Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are notorious for shedding a lot of hair. Although the double coat of these breeds sheds heavily throughout the year, things become worse during the shedding season.

Labradors have a shorter coat than Goldens and won’t require regular trimming. However, you will still need to groom them regularly to maintain their beautiful appearance. On the other hand, the long fur of Golden Retrievers can develop mats if regular trimming is not ensured. Keep reading to know about the reasons why these dogs shed and learn how to control your pups’ shedding.

Why Dogs Shed?

Black Labrador Retriever laying next to a pile of hair on a hardwood floor

Many owners start worrying as soon as they see crazy amounts of hair on their furniture, carpets, and floor. Although shedding can be a symptom of some serious problems, it is not always the case. This is because some breeds are genetically programmed to shed a lot. Therefore, it’s very important to differentiate natural shedding from abnormal shedding to limit this problem. Read on to learn about some major causes that can make a Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever shed.  

Seasonal Shedding

Yellow Lab with a red bandana around its neck laying in snow

Some dog breeds come with double coats and tend to shed their undercoat during the fall and spring. This is a natural mechanism to save these pups from the cold weather and replace their old hair. Labrador Retriever is included in this list of heavy-shedding breeds because it has an undercoat.

Poor Nutrition

Bowl of dog food with food scattered around the bowl on dark hardwood floors

Lack of essential nutrients, like fatty acids, in your dog’s diet can also lead to excessive shedding. DVM Roy Cruzen declares poor diet as the biggest reason for abnormal shedding in dogs.

He explains that many people buy cheap dog foods from discount stores to save some money. Although these foods fulfill the basic nutritional requirements of canines, they lack some useful nutrients. Hence, your pooch can develop health issues, like excessive shedding.  


Yellow lab sitting in grass scratching its chest with its hind paw

Dogs can develop a variety of allergic reactions, and abnormal hair loss can be one of the symptoms. Many environmental irritants, such as dust mites, mold, and pollen can cause allergies to dogs.

Food allergies are also quite common in canines because several human foods can be harmful to them. For example, onion, garlic, chocolate, raisins, and raw meat are dangerous for dogs. Similarly, some pups can be allergic to beef, wheat, corn, and dairy. Last but not least, some medications can also trigger an allergic reaction in dogs.

Skin Trauma and Other Diseases

Close up of a patch of missing fur on a black dog

Any kind of stress to the skin can result in inflammation and excessive shedding. For instance, over-grooming and sunburn have the potential to cause abnormal hair loss. Likewise, a parasitic attack from fleas, ticks, and mites can also result in inflammation. This will make your pooch scratch or lick the affected area rigorously. Therefore, the chances of abnormal shedding will increase.

Several diseases can also lead to unhealthy loss of hair in dogs. For example, cancer, Cushing’s disease, thyroid problems, and kidney disease are some of the most popular ailments.


Chocolate Lab laying on a rug with his head between his front paws

A massive change in your dog’s surroundings can also increase the rate of shedding. This is because canines tend to shed more hair when they are stressed.

If that’s the case with your pup, schedule an immediate appointment with your vet. He will either recommend a qualified veterinary behaviorist or give some anti-anxiety medications for your pooch. In some cases, a combination of both these techniques is also used.

Steps to Control Dog Shedding

Human hand on the back of a dog with the hand laying face up and full of dog hair

If your pup is shedding heavily, it’s important not to panic and try to determine the underlying cause. Once you have done that, it will become easier to minimize the shedding by countering the problem. Some useful tips that can help you to control dog shedding are as follows.  

Make Sure that the Shedding is Abnormal

Some dog breeds naturally shed a lot of hair, even when nothing is wrong with them. For example, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are both heavy shedders. If you own such a canine, it’s imperative to identify abnormal shedding before finding a solution. The following symptoms can mean that something’s wrong with your pup.

  • Excessive licking and itching
  • Severely thin coat
  • Bald spots
  • Rashes, redness, and/or bumps

Rule Out Medical Conditions

Human hand pulling out large amounts of fur from a dogs coat

Visiting your vet should be your first step if your dog is experiencing abnormal shedding. This will allow you to find out the underlying reason that is causing this trouble. Some common medical conditions that can cause heavy shedding include diseases, parasitic attacks, infections, and allergies. If your vet determines that one of these factors is responsible for excessive shedding, he/she will prescribe the best possible treatment.

Ensure Proper Nutrition

Golden retriever eating in a kitchen from a metal dog food bowl

Give your dog a healthy and balanced diet to make sure that he/she is getting all the necessary nutrients. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for healthy hair growth. Similarly, several vitamins and minerals are responsible for keeping the hair follicles strong. If you don’t want to change your pooch’s regular diet, you can add some supplements to it after consulting your vet.

Dehydration is another massive reason for hair loss. Therefore, your pooch must drink sufficient water to minimize shedding. If you have a finicky pet, try a pet fountain or pour some flavored water in his/her water bowl.

Reduce Stress

Yellow Labrador Retriever laying in a wooded area smiling.

If your dog is suffering from stress-induced shedding, try to ease the discomfort of your pooch. Dogs are a creature of routine and any variation in their daily activities can disturb their mental peace. Hence, it’s important to carefully set up their routine and then stick to it. For example, feed them at the same time every day and have a fixed time for training.

Which Dog Breeds Shed Most Hair?

tan dog fur laying in the shape of a heart next to a shedding comb on a grey background.

Both Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever are among the breeds that shed a lot of hair. The following list contains some of the heaviest shedders among canines.

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Chow Chow
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky

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