Your dog is more than just an animal; your dog is a part of your family. While showing your dog love through feeding, playing, and cuddling is common, providing your dog with proper medical care is also important. Unfortunately, there will be times where your dog is causing your family some frustration.

If your dog seems to shed hair all over your clothing, furniture, and floors, you may become frustrated. In these situations, you must remember that shedding is not something your dog can control, so it is important to understand why they are losing an excess amount of hair. With this guide and your veterinarian's help, you will learn a few common causes of excess shedding in dogs.


If your dog is shedding their hair a great deal, it may be due to allergies. Food allergies are one of the most common causes of shedding in dogs. Symptoms of food allergies may include shedding, itchiness, redness around the mouth, scratching, and even vomiting after eating. Your dog also may be suffering from allergies due to environmental conditions that include pollen, dust mites, or mold. In addition, your dog's allergies may stem from an infestation of fleas, mites, or ticks.

Allergy medications may be necessary if your dog is allergic to pollen or dust. Preventing fleas and ticks should be a priority, as well. Flea and tick control medications will keep your dog safe and comfortable while reducing the risk of allergic reactions. Lastly, if your dog has a food allergy, switch to a better quality of food that does not contain grains. Focus on foods with high levels of protein to reduce allergy symptoms.

Allergies may seem severe, but they are usually not life-threatening. Consult your veterinarian about allergy testing to determine if your dog has allergies. If your dog seems to have an allergic reaction and is in great distress, take them to an animal hospital.

Cushing's Disease

Hair loss is one of the first symptoms of Cushing's Disease, so it is important to understand this condition that affects your dog's glands. Cushing's disease is characterized by an excessive exposure of your dog's tissues to the hormone cortisol. This overproduction of cortisol may occur if there is a problem with your dog's pituitary or adrenal gland.

While excessive hair loss is the most common symptom, Cushing's Disease can also lead to dark spots on the skin and an enlargement of your dog's abdomen. Your dog may also have an increased thirst, which leads to heavy consumption of water and constant urination.

Due to the loss of hair, swelling of the abdomen, heavy thirst, and increase in urination, dogs with Cushing's Disease will experience a good amount of discomfort. Surgery to improve the glandular functions and medications to manage the symptoms will be necessary.


You may be surprised to learn that certain breeds are more prone to shedding than others. Most people feel dogs with long hair will shed the most, but that is not actually true, since short-haired dog breeds may shed as much or more than others.

For example, the Saint Bernard has two different types of coat: long and short haired. Unfortunately, both types of coat will shed a drastic amount of hair. The Akita breed has shorter hair compared to a Saint Bernard with longer hair, but the Akita will shed a great deal more than the dog with a longer coat. Bulldogs have short hair, but this breed is likely to shed its short, coarse hair all over your clothing and furniture. A German Shephard's thick coat of hair will also thin out periodically.

It is difficult to find a dog breed that does not shed. However, hypoallergenic breeds are available. If you are searching for a breed to add to your family that does not shed, opt for a type of terrier, schnauzer, or poodle.

If you have a pet, you should be ready for hair around your home. If your dog is shedding excessively, consult a veterinarian to determine the cause of their hair loss.