It’s pretty bothersome when your pet starts shedding fur. You find pet hair all over the house – on the couch, on the bed sheets, on carpets, and perhaps even in food. Gross! It can be a pain to get fur out of fabric, and even more of a pain to keep on top of grooming, especially if your pet has a lot of fur (or if they don’t like being brushed).
However, sometimes, shedding can be more than just a nuisance. It can be an indicator that something is wrong. In this blog, we want to discuss the link between shedding and your pet’s diet, and help you with some basic troubleshooting so your pets can have a gorgeous fur coat and be happy, healthy little babies.
Normal vs Excessive Shedding
As a pet owner, you probably know that some amount of shedding is normal, and to be expected. This is also known as seasonal shedding, and is particularly noticeable in cold climate species in the Spring. They develop a thick fur coat in preparation for the winter, and then shed it in Spring to regulate their body temperature in summer.
Many pet owners believe that long haired species shed more than their short haired relatives. This is untrue. The illusion is caused by the fact that long-haired species have more noticeable fur, so you see it easier on your floors and furniture.
This type of shedding is healthy and necessary, and is even throughout the animal’s body. However, if your pet is starting to shed excessive amounts of fur or has patchy, uneven fur, it may mean something is wrong.
Excessive shedding can be caused by parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, allergies, hormonal imbalances, stress, and even sunburn. Apart from these causes, there’s another that may be causing your pet’s fur to shed – a poor diet.
Understanding the Link
Just like we humans need a balanced diet for proper growth and maintenance, so do our pets. If we lack a healthy diet, our body can suffer in numerous ways – and unhealthy or damaged skin, hair and nails is one of those ways. It’s the same when it comes to your dog or cat. If their diet is lacking in nutrients that they need to grow and maintain a healthy, shiny fur coat, they may start to shed.
While a poor diet will result in shedding, a meat-rich diet with some fresh fruits and veggies will do the opposite – it will promote overall health, and improve the strength and resistance of your pet’s fur coat. It will also help them develop a more luscious fur coat, so they’re comfortable in the winter, and look super fluffy. If your pet gets the necessary nutrients and vitamins, their hair follicles will have the sustenance they need to grow strong and do their job well.
Bear in mind, however, that feeding your pet a healthy diet is an ongoing process. It isn’t like taking health supplements. You need to give them healthy food consistently, because if you switch to a poor diet, you will once again notice a fall in the quality of their fur, and possibly shedding.
How to Groom a Shedding Dog or Cat
First things first, use the right brush. Different types of brushes have different purposes, so make sure you’re using the right tool for the job. Get hold of all the tools you will need, and brush your pet’s hair on a weekly basis. The rule of thumb is to brush once a week normally, once a day when they’re shedding, and twice a day for heavy shedders.
When you brush their hair regularly, it gets rid of loose hair and therefore reduces the chances of loose hair falling onto the floor or getting stuck on furniture.
For grooming cats, try using a 6-8 inch-long fine-toothed metal comb. It will catch dead hair, get rid of mats, and give your feline a delicious massage. For short-haired cats, a grooming glove would be a good idea. It’s easy to use, and gets rid of loose hair effectively.
For dogs with double coats, use an undercoat rake. The trick is to run the comb through their hair till it runs through smoothly without getting too much hair out. If your dog isn’t comfortable with rough tools, you may need to use gentler ones such as a sticky roll while you get them used to the new tools.
How to Keep Your Home Clean When Your Pets Shed
If you have multiple pets and their diet is lacking, shedding can become a serious problem at home. Staying on top of things and managing the mess is important on a daily basis so it doesn’t build up and become a pain in the behind. Here are some tips for keeping your home clean:
- Cover your car seats – Fur can be especially hard to get out of car seats, with all their nooks and crannies, so it’s a good idea to cover them or put down a towel before you let your pet into the vehicle.
- Cover the furniture – Upholstery seems to positively attract fur, and is a beast to get fur out of. Use throws to keep pet hair out of your furniture, and to keep your house smelling better. This’ll take care of the problem with minimum fuss.
- Vacuum your home – Staying on top of the vacuuming is super important if you want to keep your home fur-free. Vacuum as often as necessary, depending on how much your pets shed.
- Remove pet hair immediately – Don’t let your pet’s fur sit on upholstery, or it will work its way into the upholstery fabric and become a menace to get out. Something like a tape roller will make quick work of this. Put a couple of them around the house, or around places where your pets like to lie down.
How to Change Their Diet
Some pet owners are lucky, in that they have pets that aren’t choosy when it comes to food. However, most pet owners know the struggle of getting your pet to eat something they don’t like. So, when you hear about changing their diet completely, you may be concerned – after all, what if your pet doesn’t like the new food? Don’t worry; we’ve got some tips that will help you make the change gradually.
First of all, remember that the key word is gradually. Don’t change their diet all at once.
Over a period of 1-2 weeks, slowly mix in an increasing proportion of the new food, so your pet has time to get used to the new food and how it tastes and smells. Start out by mixing in 25% of the new food with 75% old. Feed them this mix for 3-4 days. Then, give them a 50-50 mix of both for a couple days. Then, mix in 75% new and 25% old for a couple days. If your pet accepts it, you are now ready to switch them over to 100% new food.
All animals are different, so some pets may be easier to transition than others. Just remember to be patient, and to make the change gradually. If the 25-50-75 system doesn’t work, try making the change a little more gradually, with more time in between changes. If your pet has an upset stomach after eating the new food, slow down. If the problem persists, contact a vet.
Spring Naturals: Healthy Food for a Healthy Pet
It’s important to make the right choices when it comes to feeding your pet, and choosing a good pet food brand is one of those choices. Spring Naturals offers products that are made with only real meat, no meal, no grains, and which contains whole foods. Our products never contain any fillers, byproducts or split proteins. Your pets are part of your family, and we understand that. You wouldn’t feed them junk, and neither would we.
Our products are packed full of superfoods that are great for your pets – including quinoa, blueberries, cranberries, and more. These superfoods offer a variety of health benefits to pets, and are loaded with flavor, so your little darling can enjoy his or her meals as much as you do yours!
Here are some of our bestselling products:
Grain-free Chicken Dinner for Dogs: Nutritionally balanced kibble that helps build lean muscle mass and support bone health. It contains all-natural chicken and eggs, and no meat-meal. The fruits and vegetables in this product are whole, grain-free and market-fresh.
Senior Dinner for Dogs: Senior dogs have special dietary needs, and this kibble fulfills those needs with all-natural chicken and eggs, and whole, market-fresh fruits and veggies. It also includes superfoods such as blueberries to give your pet an extra boost of nutrients.
Grain-free Chicken Dinner for Cats: Poultry helps build lean muscle mass, and the essential amino acids and glucosamine content support bone health. 90-95% of the protein in this cat food is all-natural chicken and eggs, and it contains no starches.
Grain-free Turkey Dinner for Cats: This low-glycemic, limited ingredient cat food is made so it’s a perfectly-balanced and complete recipe. With all-natural turkey and eggs, market-fresh fruits and veggies, and superfoods like quinoa and blueberries, it truly is something you can call dinner!