When spring and summer arrive, does it feel like your pup is losing an entire dog’s worth of fur every day? If you recognize yourself in the image above, your dog may be suffering from excessive shedding.
What causes my dog to shed so much during the spring and summer?
Although there are many possible causes for severe hair loss, diet is often the main culprit. Despite the convenience of commercial dog food kibble, one of the biggest drawbacks is the inability to maintain the quality and potency of an essential nutrient: Omega fatty acids.
Known as essential fatty acidsA dog’s body is unable to produce Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, and therefore these must be obtained through diet (hence the name essential).
In recent years, science has come to understand many of the benefits of essential fatty acids. According to Dr. Steve Marsden, DVM, prescribes VCA“Fatty acid supplements can reduce shedding, promote undercoat growth, reduce the tendency to become inflammatory and help resolve inflammation.”
Related: The 10 Best Fish Oil Supplements for Dogs
But wait, doesn’t my dog’s food contain Omega-3?
Although many dog foods claim to contain Omega-3 fatty acids, they often cannot withstand the intense heat and pressure required to produce dog food chunks, and are therefore not bioavailable to your dog. Even if they survive production, they tend to go rancid in the dog food before being consumed. For this reason, many choose other options besides commercial dog food to meet their dog’s needs.
Simple ways to include Omega-3 in your dog’s daily diet
Adding fresh fish to your dog’s diet is a fantastic way to increase intake of high-quality omega fatty acids. Many veterinarians recommend adding fish 2-3 times a week.
Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is switching to a raw diet or a prey model diet. Raw, unadulterated foods usually contain high levels of essential fatty acids.
Related: Best Salmon Oil for Dogs Reviewed
Some owners find adding fresh fish or raw foods time-consuming and expensive, and as a result, the use of omega fatty acid supplements has increased in popularity in recent years.
What Makes a Good Omega-3 Supplement?
One of the most popular supplements for many dog owners is pure salmon oil. While salmon oil has its benefits, we tend to gravitate towards fish sources lower on the food chain (such as krill or anchovies), and are therefore less susceptible to the build-up of heavy metals such as mercury in the fish.
Many pet owners also turn to soft omega chews for their palatability and ability to replenish other nutrients that also benefit the skin and coat.
Besides diet, there are many other methods to control your dog’s shedding. Make sure you brush your dog regularly, wash it enough (but not too much) and use flea prevention.
Keep in mind that shedding in itself is not a health problem, but excessive shedding can be a sign of more serious issues. Be sure to consult your vet about your dog’s shedding problems. There may also be other problems such as high stress, immune problems, hormonal imbalances, yeast infections or parasites.
Learn more about supplementing your dog’s diet with our happy, healthy Omega 3-6-9 Select Soft Chews
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare provider.