"My pet is shedding all over my house! What should I do?!"
Maybe you have this issue. Maybe you can’t wear black out of the house, because your Golden Retriever laid on your clean laundry pile last night and now all you see is hair. Maybe you “throw your hands in the air” in hopeless doubting, wondering if you’ll ever get your house clean enough for your mother-in-law, after your longhair tabby rubbed all over EVERY PIECE of furniture. Does this sound like you?
Don’t worry. You are not alone. Every pet owner, especially those of us with an indoor buddy, has felt this way. Why is your pet shedding so much?
Dog shedding is based on a few factors: breed, health and seasonal changes. There are a handful of breeds that have a more hypoallergenic coat that produce less dander. Dander is what is attached to the hair and what is considered the main, contributing factor to the allergens passed from canine to human. And while no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, according to the American Kennel Club, it is possible to find breeds that produce less dander, with limited shedding and fewer allergies.
Your dog’s health also affects their shedding habits. Stress, poor nutrition or an underlying medical condition can cause abnormal shedding in your furry friend. High quality pet-food manufacturers work hard to offer the correct amount of nutrients for your pet, so that extra supplements may not be needed. Yet, like how every human body is unique and responds to diets in different ways, dogs are similar in their uniqueness as well! You may have to experiment with different brands, or formulas to find that perfect, “fits-like-a-glove” match for your canine companion. Keep an eye out for excessive shedding, bald patches, red skin, bumps, rashes or scabs. If your pet experiences any of these conditions, please contact your veterinarian for advice.
"Let's bubble up, Buster!"
Okay, so now you may be thinking, “I can work with the breed and health factors, but I can’t choose or change the weather!!” Many indoor dogs are not affected by the seasonal changes quite as much as outdoor dogs, so they are more prone to smaller fluctuations of coat thickness and so, they typically shed evenly all year. The best thing for our domesticated doggy is daily brushing, adding moisture to their diet and keeping that vacuum and lint roller handy, for our own convenience. A regular bath is also helpful with shedding management. Depending on the coat type, regular baths can vary from weekly, to every 4-6 weeks, to seasonally. Over-bathing can strip too much oil from your pet’s skin. And be sure to use your canine friendly shampoo! Products specifically for shedding are a huge plus for you AND your canine counterpart.
But what about cats? Cats were created in a way that their regenerative coats are necessary to regulate their temperature. So, why are they shedding? To put it simply, that is how their bodies were designed. And, unless you have a hairless cat, your cat will shed. Maintaining through brushing and occasional baths can help you and your feline family member. The National Cat Groomers of America recommend cats get a bath and blow-dried every 4-6 weeks to keep their coats from getting matted or pelted. For strictly indoor cats, on average, bath time can be even more sparse! An average indoor cat can experience the “heart racing, eyes wide, claws out” bath time only once to twice a year. Choosing the frequency of this experience for you and your cat is up to you! However, remember, that even though baths can help the shedding issue, too often they can strip those healthy, skin oils your feline friend needs.
Health is, of course, another contributing factor to shedding in cats just as in dogs. If your furry feline starts shedding significantly more than normal in a short amount of time, seek counsel from your veterinarian; we are talking about a few days or weeks. Some of those contributing health factors include cat allergies, ringworm, thyroid disease or simply, anxiety, among others. But overall, just remember, shedding is a sign of a healthy cat!
Hair, hair everywhere! Let me guess what you are thinking. “Where there is hair, there is a furry friend. Where there is a furry friend, there are lots of cuddles. Where there are lots of cuddles, there is a lot of love and memories!” Am I right?! Hmm…maybe I should read minds for a living…
Oral health plays a major part of the well being of our furry friends. Just as with human teeth, naturally occurring plaque, that slimy build-up left from eating, will harden and turn into tartar, also called dental calculus, which builds up on the teeth over time. The real issue is what happens right at the junction between the teeth and the gums. As tartar builds up on the teeth, it holds bacteria and plaque against the gums, resulting in inflammation and infection of the gums. Over time this results in the breakdown of the seal between the teeth and gums, allowing infection to travel along the tooth and eventually compromising the tooth root all the way to the tip of the root far beneath the gumline! Once compromised, the tooth most often must be extracted leaving Fluffy with one less of those precious pearly whites!
Home dental care plays an important role in keeping teeth and gums healthy. However, just as we do with our own teeth, our pets teeth periodically need a thorough professional cleaning and evaluation of the gum health.
Schedule an appointment with us today to evaluate your pet for a dental cleaning and for further information about caring for your pets' teeth at home.
We have had a very wet spring in Central Texas, and with the hot, humid weather that describes summer in our Lone Star State, it is the perfect environment for the reproduction and hatching of billions of insects...including those pesky fleas!
Any pet owner who has had trouble with fleas on a dog or cat knows how quickly an infestation of these tiny pests can get out of control. But how does it go from one to hundreds, and thousands, so quickly?
There are 4 stages in the life cycle of a flea:
Eggs are laid on the pet, but then fall off into the environment (like your home or yard) within a few hours
Eggs hatch into larvae (they look like maggots) which develop outdoors in cool, shady areas - where pets rest - as well as indoors in undisturbed, protected sites such as in carpet, under furniture and along your house or apartment's baseboards.
After a few days or weeks, larvae spin whitish cocoons and become pupae. These cocoons can be found in soil, on vegetation, in carpets, under furniture and on animal bedding. Pupae can remain dormant for months, hatching as adult fleas once the weather is favorable (like in the spring).
Once hatched, adult fleas find a host (such as your pet) and begin feeding immediately - usually within a few minutes. Egg production begins within 20-24 hours of females taking their first blood meal. Female fleas can produce 40-50 eggs per day - that's nearly 3,000 fleas in 2 months! During the warm summer months, the entire flea life cycle can be completed in 2-3 weeks.
Fleas are pests that quickly duplicate and take over the environment, and they survive best in warm, humid climates...Texas! How do you get rid of fleas, and keep them away?
While fleas do spend most of their life cycle in the environment, it's important to know that their life cycle begins and ends on your pet. Your dog or cat is the breeding ground for fleas, so to stop the fleas from reproducing you need to eliminate them at their source. Putting your dog or cat on a monthly flea prevention is the best way to get the fleas at their source. The medication kills adult fleas, so consistency is important in order to interrupt their life cycle and kill the adults before they can lay eggs. That is why it is important to keep your dog or cat on a monthly preventative year round. Don't give those pesky fleas a window to begin reproducing! Talk to your veterinarian today about the best product to use on your pet!
Source: DVM360 & AmericanVeterinarian.com
Thank you to Kyle Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful ribbon cutting event on Friday 5/3. We are proud to be a part of the city of Kyle. And feel very blessed to be welcomed by so many people who came out and celebrated our grand opening with us on Friday. With a great opening week behind us, we look forward to continuing to serve Kyle. Our first week was exciting as we were able to help and serve many of our furry friends. Tune in to our blog as we attempt to share with you some of the happenings going on at our clinic. Here at DeepRoots Animal Clinic, Dr. Guzman, and our technicians: Veronica and Patrick look forward to meeting you.