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How Can I Tell If My Dog’s Shedding is Abnormal or a Sign of an Underlying Health Issue?

Female poodle dog seated on the wooden floor with red brush deside.

Ah, shedding season: a time when your dog’s fur is all over the place, and you’re constantly vacuuming and lint rolling. But how can you tell if your fur buddy’s shedding is normal or a sign of an underlying health issue? Sometimes, abnormal shedding can be the first indication of a more serious problem. Don’t fret, dog lovers! Keep reading to know more about the causes and signs of abnormal shedding in dogs.

What is Deshedding and Why is it Important? Click here to find out.

Causes of Abnormal Shedding

Is your furry friend leaving more fur behind than usual? It could be more than just seasonal shedding! As a dog parent, it’s important to be aware of the possible causes of abnormal shedding in dogs. Let’s dive into the thick of these causes.

Food Allergies

Your furry friend’s shedding could be due to a food allergy! Yes, just like us humans, dogs can also have allergies to certain foods. When dogs are allergic to a certain food, their immune system sees it as a threat and tries to fight it off. This leads to inflammation in the body, which can cause a range of symptoms, including excessive shedding.


Stray dog having hair loss lying on the floor.

Can I Deshed My Dog at Home or Should I Take Them to a Professional Groomer? Click here to find out.

Woof, listen up pup-parents! Infections can be a real “ruff” time for your furry friend. Bacterial or fungal infections can cause your pup’s coat to look awfully patchy, and make them shed more fur than they usually do.

These infections can wreak havoc on your dog’s skin. This can cause irritation and inflammation, and can eventually lead to excessive shedding. So, if you notice that your doggo is shedding more than usual, it’s important to check for any signs of infection.


If your four-legged friend is on medication, it could be the culprit behind abnormal shedding. Some medications, such as chemotherapy or corticosteroids, are a major cause of fur shedding in dogs. If you suspect this is the case, consult your vet immediately. Check if there are alternative medications or treatments available.

Liver Issues

Our canine companions’ livers do more than just process treats; they play a significant role in overall health.

Liver issues, like hepatitis or liver failure, can lead to hair loss and other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you’re worried your dog’s shedding could be linked to liver problems, schedule a check-up with your veterinarian pronto.


Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned too! Overexposure to the sun can damage their skin and cause hair loss. Sunburn is more common in dogs with light or thin fur, as well as breeds with naturally short coats. To protect your pooch, avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, and consider using pet-safe sunscreen.

How Can I Tell If My Dog is Shedding Excessively?

Grey mortel dog with excessive hair loss.

Are you drowning in dog hair and wondering if it’s time to call in the fur busters? Let’s sniff out the signs that your dog might be shedding more than usual.

Bald Spots or Thinning Fur

If your dog’s luxurious coat is starting to look patchy or thin in certain areas, it’s a clear sign that something’s up. Keep a close eye on any hair loss that seems uneven or concentrated in specific spots, as this could indicate an underlying health issue or excessive shedding. Don’t hesitate to consult your vet if you notice these changes in your pup’s fur.

Increased Scratching or Licking

Is your dog scratching like there’s no tomorrow or obsessively licking certain areas? This behavior could be a sign that they’re experiencing discomfort due to excessive shedding. Inflammation, itchiness, or even pain can cause your dog to focus on these areas, which may lead to more hair loss. If your dog’s scratching or licking seems out of the ordinary, it might be a sign and cause of excessive shedding.

Visible Dandruff or Flaky Skin

Female poodle dog with diaper seated on wooden floor.

When your pup’s shedding goes into overdrive, you might notice dandruff or flaky skin accompanying the fur storm. Seeing white flakes amidst the fur pile is a sign that something’s not quite right. Dry, flaky skin can be caused by various factors, such as allergies or skin infections, both of which can lead to excessive shedding.

Hair Loss After Brushing

Sure, brushing your dog is bound to remove some hair, but it might be a red flag if you’re left with a brush full of fur every single time. Excessive hair loss during brushing sessions could indicate that your dog’s shedding is more than just the usual seasonal occurrence. Monitor your dog’s hair loss during grooming; if it seems excessive, consult your veterinarian for advice.

Constant Presence of Hair Around Your Home

If you’re starting to feel like your home is slowly transforming into a dog hair sanctuary, it could be a sign that your pup’s shedding is out of control. While some hair around the house is normal, an excessive amount that requires constant cleaning could indicate a problem. Pay attention to the amount of fur you find on furniture, floors, and even your clothes.

How Long Does the Deshedding Process Take?

Woman hand holding a dog brush with poodle hair stuck to the metal bristle.

Are you watching the fur fly and wondering how long this de-shedding rollercoaster will last?

Short answer: 2-4 weeks.

The duration of the de-shedding process varies for each dog. This often leaves many dog owners scratching their heads in confusion. Firstly, it’s essential to understand that dogs shed their coats at different rates. This depends on many factors, such as breed, age, and overall health.

For some dogs, shedding is a year-round affair, with just a few hairs here and there. For others, it might leave you feeling like you are living in a fur wonderland during peak shedding season. Typically, dogs go through two major shedding periods yearly: one in the spring to shed their thick winter coats. The second in the fall to prepare for the colder months ahead. During these times, you might feel like you’re on fur patrol 24/7, but fear not! Most dogs complete their de-shedding process within two to four weeks.

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