Why Do Dogs Shed in the Fall?


It’s the lesser-known shedding season—but yes, dogs can shed in the fall, too! Did you know some dogs have what’s called a double-coat—a combination of a dense undercoat of stiff hair with longer guard hair on top? The difference between this and a single coat is simple—single coats are even-looking, with no soft undercoat. Single coats can be straight, curly, silky, or wiry.

Dogs will so-called double coats will shed their shorter, lighter summer coat around this time of year.

Seasonal Shedding

Not all dogs experience fall shedding, but it’s common among dogs with double coats, or dogs that shed year round. Double-coat breeds include:

  • Collies
  • Huskies
  • Shelties
  • Chows
  • Akitas

Dogs that can shed year-round include:

  • Shepherds
  • Retrievers
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Beagles
  • Labradors

Heavy seasonal shedding is common for these breeds, but if you suspect there’s an underlying health issue, it’s best to ask your veterinarian. Skin allergies and parasites may trigger shedding, as will a poor diet.

It matters if your dog is an indoor or outdoor dog, too. Indoor dogs don’t experience big temperature swings since the temperature in the house is likely to be regulated, which can lead to more frequent shedding that doesn’t follow a seasonal pattern. If your dog is an outdoor dog, his coat is likely to follow the seasons to keep him insulated from the winter cold or cooler in the summer heat.

Why Dogs Shed

Dogs have several hairs growing from each follicle, and the fur serves to protect their skin and regulate body temperature. Dogs lose old or damaged hair by shedding, usually as seasons change, to allow new hair growth to come in. The amount of shedding in each dog is determined by:

  • Genetics
  • Breed
  • Overall health

Other factors can influence shedding to a lesser extent, including allergies and nutrition.


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