One thing you find in a home with a Labrador is hair, hair, and hair everywhere. You find it in your bed, your sofa, on your dresses or even maybe in your teacup. Although shedding is pretty common with Labradors, this hair fall can be a menace to you if your Lab is shedding excessively.
So firstly you have to find out whether the hair fall is excessive or normal. If it is normal, it can be considered as the normal shedding process. But if it is excessive, then comes the major questions, why is your Labrador losing hair? and how to stop Labrador hair fall?
Actually, there is no stopping but the correct word here is regulating. Regulating to an extent you are comfortable with.
Now find How to stop Labrador hair fall
Before you find out the solution, i want you to understand two other questions
Why do dogs shed hair?
Do you know that you shed your hair daily? Similarly, all animals shed their hair. The process of hair growth and shedding is very normal in all living beings. Thus even dogs shed their hair as we humans do.
But sometimes dogs undergo more shedding along with seasonal changes, and sometimes they shed excessively because of other reasons. Apart from the seasonal shedding routine, the other reasons that cause excessive shedding can be considered as your Labrador hair loss problem.
People usually confuse the normal shedding process and excessive hair fall. Both of them have a thin line of difference. Seasonal Labrador shedding is a pretty normal process and this should not be confused with your Labrador hair fall issue.
Shedding is a simple protective mechanism for your dog. Why do you wear a winter coat during cold winters? and why do you take off your coat during hot summers? Similarly, a dog’s fur is like your thick winter coat which helps to regulate its body temperature with respect to the external surroundings.
Your dog generally sheds twice a year, firstly before summer to shed off its thick winter coat and get ready for summer and before winter to prepare its coat for winter.
Why does a Labrador shed a lot?
Have you seen your Labrador’s thick, dense, beautiful coat? Among the short-haired breeds, Labradors are the ones that shed a lot. This happens because of something which is known as the Labrador double coat.
The double coat consists of a waterproof outer coat and a dense undercoat. This outer coat makes your Lab a natural water repellent and the undercoat helps these natural swimmers to keep their body warm even in cold waters.
Presence of this double coat is the main reason that makes your Lab to shed a lot. Dogs without this kind of double coat don’t usually shed, and they are categorised as non-shedding dog breeds.
Proven solutions to stop Labrador hair fall
Apart from the regular shedding, if you notice excessive hair loss in your Labrador, this can be due to certain issues which need to be corrected. Have a look at the best Labrador hair fall solutions you could provide to your Lab to correct its hair fall issue.
1.High quality Food
Healthy skin and hair is a manifestation of what you eat and the same principle applies even to your dog. Lack of high-quality dog food can sometimes be the reason for your Lab’s hair fall problem. Thus generally the hair fall problem can be corrected when corrections are made in your dog’s diet.
Your dog’s food should be high in proteins, moderate in fats and very low in carbohydrates along with other essential vitamins and minerals. Hence feeding high-quality protein-rich food to your dog is very essential.
Your dog’s hair contains mostly a protein called keratin. Various issues like dry hair and hair fall can be a signal that your dog is lacking enough protein in its diet. Ensuring a high proportion of meat in its diet will supply the daily requirement of protein for your dog.
Make its diet nutrient-rich by adding the required amount of vegetables to its diet. Thus feeding nutrient-dense food keeps your dog’s hair healthy and prevent excess falling of hair from the follicles.
Inexpensive low-quality foods contain cheap fillers like cereal by-products, cottonseed hulls, peanut hulls and straw and these foods are low in its nutrient value. So feeding these kinds of foods may fill your dog’s stomach but may lead to nutritional deficiency in your dog.
Your dog requires sufficient amounts of proteins, vitamins like A, B, D, E, K, etc, minerals like calcium, phosphorous etc and essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 for a healthy coat.
Try to prepare homemade food for your dog which includes all these nutrients in it. If it is difficult for you to invest time and energy in the preparation of homemade food, go for the best commercial foods available in the market. After my research, i found out these best foods for your dog.
2. Brush regularly
Brushing your dog at least three times a week works like a wonder for your Labrador hair fall control. Brushing spreads the essential oils produced all over your dog’s skin and reduces excess fur loss and shedding all over the house to a great extent. You can stay comfortable even if your dog rolls on your new bed.
But it is important to choose the right brush to get rid of your Lab’s excess hair. I personally recommend this and this. You can thus use a slicker brush to comb its outer coat and a shedding rake for its undercoat. This can remove all the damaged dead hair and dirt from your dog.
I personally use Furminator for my Lab’s undercoat, it reaches the undercoat very well and it is useful in keeping my dog’s undercoat well maintained.
My 3 years old dog used to suffer from excessive hair fall in spite of good health. Brushing my dog regularly reduced his hair fall to a great extent.
3. Massage with Coconut oil
Do you know that lauric acid which is the main component in coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties? Topical application of coconut oil can heal wounds, cuts, dry skin and improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat. The application process is fairly simple.
Take lukewarm coconut oil into your hands and apply it all over the body of your pet and massage the oil onto his coat and skin. Concentrate more on areas of excess hair fall and leave it for 10 minutes in order to get it absorbed into the skin.
Always prefer to use virgin cold-pressed coconut oil like this or this one, as it is not harmful even if your dog licks it. If necessary give your dog a quick wash with a gentle shampoo. Take care that the oil is washed away completely or else your dog gathers dirt all over its coat
4. Add Olive oil to the diet
Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and Vitamin E. The antioxidants present in the oil help in the reduction of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is one of the reasons for hair loss in dogs and thus olive oil can help in the reduction of hair loss.
You can add one teaspoon of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil per day to your dog’s diet. The Omega 3 fatty acids present in Olive oil enhances your dog’s skin and promotes hair quality.
Introduce it to your dog slowly in order to give him time to get habituated to eat cooking oils. Prefer to use extra virgin olive oil of high quality like this.
Always remember that the olive oil you feed your dog should is 100 per cent pure.
Check for other conditions that cause excessive hair fall
Even though shedding is normal in dogs, sometimes excessive shedding might be due to other underlying reasons such as
Parasites such as fleas and mites
Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Allergies due to food and other factors such as flea saliva
Kidney or Liver disease
Trauma due to lick granuloma
All these conditions can trigger excessive hair loss and it is important to consult your Vet to determine which health condition is causing excessive hair fall in your Lab.
With a proper diagnosis, your Labrador hair fall problem can be treated effectively. Unless your dog is affected by the above said health conditions, hair loss is not a serious problem and can be easily managed.
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