Lounging by the pool, road-tripping with the windows down, and watching the sunset from your favorite bench at the dog park are just a few of the activities you and your pet could enjoy this summer. But, when the weather changes, so can your dog’s shedding habits.
So, do dogs shed more in the summer? The short answer—maybe.
In this tell-all guide to summer shedding, we’ll explore a few reasons why your pup might drop more hair than usual during the warm and rainy season. We’ll close with expert tips on summer shedding, from stepping up your grooming to embracing the power of CBD for dogs.
If you’re dreading summer shedding, read on—our experts can help you keep your pup comfortable—and reduce your lint roller budget.
Summer Shedding: Factors to Consider
Numerous factors can impact whether or not your dog will shed more than usual this summer. Depending on your pup’s coat type, local environment, and grooming routine, you may or may not have to deal with a significant seasonal shed.
Learning more about your dog’s coat type will help you predict whether or not your pup will lose some hair this summer—and guide your grooming practices for reducing shedding. You may opt to adopt dogs or cats that don’t shed if you think the maintenance is out of your capabilities. We encourage aspiring pet owners to research the dog breed and learn about grooming care before adopting.
Your dog’s coat falls into one of two categories:1
- A single coat
- A double coat
Single-coated dogs have one layer of hair covering their bodies. Some single-coated breeds include:
- Pit Bulls
Single coats come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Your single-coated pup’s fur may be smooth or coarse, short or long, or curly or straight.
Single-coated dogs are less likely to experience seasonal shedding since they must rely on only one layer of fur to help them regulate their temperature and protect them from pests and skin injuries.
Just as single-coated dogs aren’t always shorthairs, double-coated dogs aren’t always longhairs. Some double-coated dog breeds may surprise you:
- Siberian huskies
- Labrador retrievers
- Golden retrievers
- Border collies
- German shepherds
The undercoat under the outer layer of fur is important for insulation and temperature regulation. While you might expect an undercoat to keep your pup warm in the winter, it also keeps them cool in the summer—the undercoat helps trap air against the skin, helping with circulation and preventing overheating.
But, since the undercoat is primarily used for insulation, double-coated dogs are slightly more likely to shed during the summer—while they need some of their undercoat to keep cool, they’ll still shed some of their winter bulk.
To determine whether or not your dog has a double coat, take a closer look at their skin. When you rub their fur against the grain, can you see a layer of finer, smaller hairs beneath the top layer? If so, you’ve discovered the mysterious, commonly misunderstood undercoat.
Weather trends in your area can determine how easily your pup will keep cool during the summer—and how likely they are to shed.
If you live in a generally warm climate with very hot summers, your pup is more likely to shed some of their coat during the season to increase air circulation and ditch the extra weight.
But, if your summer weather is more temperate—perhaps you hail from the midwest—your dog will probably keep most of their usual coat.
Remember that dogs maintain a slightly higher body temperature than humans—while we bipeds hover around 98.6°F, our canine companions can blaze between 101.0 and 102.5°F.2 To help them maintain their coziness, they’re likely to keep more hair, even during the summer.
Regular baths and brushing can help prevent and reduce shedding.3 Why? Let’s explore:
- Lathering, rinsing, and drying your pup during the bathing process naturally dislodges loose hairs.
- A regular bathing routine can keep your dog’s skin healthy and moisturized, providing a strong foundation for active hair follicles.
- Brushing can help thin your dog’s coat, removing loose or weak hairs and encouraging strong, fresh strands to grow—and stay put.
Your grooming tools will also determine your dog’s likelihood to shed. Imagine that you brushed your shorthaired, single-coated dog with a wide-toothed comb for humans—you probably wouldn’t remove much hair, if any.
Using the proper tools for your dog’s coat type, length, and texture will help them naturally lose hairs during the grooming process, making them less likely to shed much between grooming sessions.
How to Tackle Summer Shedding
We’ve explored the factors that can make your dog more or less likely to shed this summer. But, how will you contend with the pesky hair soon to cover your floors and furniture if your dog is a summer shedder? Let’s explore some shedding prevention techniques for pro dog parents.
Exercising your pup is part and parcel of pet parenthood. But, if you expect your dog to shed this summer, you should consider amping up your exercise routine.
Why? When your dog runs, jumps, rolls in the dirt, and fetches, they’re likely to lose a few loose hairs in the process. Most importantly, they lose those hairs in their outdoor exercise space, keeping them from clogging up your air filter and settling on your kitchen countertops.
Incorporate the following exercise ideas into your summer adventures with your pup:
- Longer walks
- Explorations in the woods
- Trips to the dog park
- Puppy play dates
- A dip in a nearby lake or a trip to the beach
If you’re not at the top of your grooming game, summer is an excellent time to get started—ideally, you should start grooming your summer shedder before the heat kicks in.
Amp up your grooming routine by:
- Taking your pet to their groomer more frequently
- Incorporating daily brushes
- Bathing in cool water at least once per week
While you might be tempted to shave your dog, resist the urge—double-coated dogs need their undercoat to help keep them cool, and single-coated dogs need at least an inch of hair to protect them from bug bites, skin injuries, and sunburn.1
Just like humans, dogs’ hydration needs change when the weather warms up. While your pup might not pant or race to their water bowl every 20 minutes in the fall, they’ll certainly need more water to stay comfortable and cool once temperatures rise.
Staying hydrated can help stave off shedding for a few reasons:
- Water helps their skin stay hydrated, preventing flakiness and hair loss.
- Your pup needs water to grow strong hairs that won’t break or fall off.
- A hydrated pup will stay cool more easily without having to shed excess hair.
Try Coat-Friendly Foods
Healthy, strong hairs are less likely to fall out. If your pup is susceptible to increased summer shedding, incorporate healthy coat foods and supplements to help your dog’s hair withstand the heat.
Veterinarians have identified a few crucial nutrients that positively contribute to canine skin health. Make sure your pet is reaching their recommended daily values for:4
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to:
- Protect skin from injuries and dehydration
- Keep dogs’ coats shiny
- Prevent inflammation
- Linoleic acid, which prevents dandruff and dry skin
- Zinc, which helps skin retain moisture
- B vitamins, which aid fat synthesis in the body and regulate oil production
Talk to Your Vet
Being a pet parent isn’t all sunshine, roses, treats, and fetch—you’ll try your best to protect your pet from illness, but they’re bound to encounter bacteria, viruses, or irritants that could cause skin and coat issues.
If you notice your dog is shedding a lot during the summer months, keep a watchful eye on your pup’s coat—significant hair loss could be a sign of a more serious health issue.
Visiting your vet if you suspect hair loss could help you diagnose and treat conditions like:5
- Fungal infections
- Seasonal and food allergies
- Bacterial infections
- Parasites, like mites, fleas, lice, and ticks
- Immune issues
- Sunburn or skin cancer
- Medication side effects
- Anxiety or stress
- Adrenal issues
Prevention is the best medicine—doing your due diligence when you suspect a skin or coat issue can help keep your pet healthy, safe, and happy.
Families of fur babies continue to embrace the power of CBD for pets. But, how can CBD help with excessive summer shedding?
All mammals—including dogs—possess an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which may interact with cannabinoids like CBD to relieve redness and aches.6
Red or irritated skin can cause discomfort and lead to itching. And, any seasoned pet parent can tell you that persistent itching can exacerbate existing skin issues, including excessive shedding.
While CBD research is ongoing, early evidence suggests that the cannabinoid may reduce irritation when administered orally or topically.7 So, why not harness the soothing potential of CBD to help relieve itches and prevent excess shedding?
Canna-Pet: Organic CBD for All Seasons
Do dogs shed more in the summer? Your pet might be one of the lucky pups that loses a little extra fur once the weather warms up. If your dog is a summer super-shedder, you can take steps to help address and prevent shedding—including an addition of CBD.
For organic, high-quality CBD extracts in tasty treats even your pickiest pups will love, look no further than Canna-Pet. If you’re anything like our team of pet-lovers, you only give your furry family the best possible ingredients recommended by vets—that philosophy informs our entire mission.
With CBD products for dogs, cats, and horses, Canna-Pet can help you find the missing piece in your pet’s wellness puzzle.
- American Kennel Club. is It Okay to Shave Your Dog’s Coat?. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/is-it-ok-to-shave-your-dog/
- VCA ANimal Hospitals. Taking Your Pet’s Temperature. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/taking-your-pets-temperature
- American Kennel Club. Summer Grooming Tips to Keep Dogs Cool. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/at-home-grooming-tips-to-keep-your-pup-comfortable-in-the-warmer-weather/
- VCA Animal Hospitals. The Importance of Your Pet’s Skin and Coat and the Role of Diet. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/the-importance-of-your-pets-skin-and-coat-and-the-role-of-diet
- Fetch by WebMD. Dog Shedding. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/excessive-shedding-dogs
- CBD Clinicals. Does CBD OIl Help Dogs with Itchy Skin? https://cbdclinicals.com/does-cbd-oil-help-dogs-with-itchy-skin/
- Harvard Medical School. Cannabidiol (CBD) – What We Know and What We Don’t. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476