Although moulting in pets is natural, the amount of fur coming off your pet can seem never-ending.
Vet Nurse Nina Downing is on hand to explain why and when pets moult and what you can do to help your furry family member.
Why do pets moult?
Moulting is the body’s way of replacing old, dead, or damaged fur to make way for new fur.
Some animals shed more than others, depending on breed, coat type, season, diet and stress levels.
Although it can happen all year round, moulting is often more noticeable in the spring or autumn.
How long do pets moult for?
Several things determine this, but it’s essentially down to the individual animal and their environment.
Some animals shed all year round and some shed more at specific times of year.
It’s important to learn what’s normal for your pet so you can identify any change that might indicate a problem.
Many factors affect moulting, including the time of year, exposure to heat and light, anxiety and stress, hormones – like when your pet is in season or pregnant, or if your pet has a health condition.
When should I be concerned about my pet’s moulting?
You only need to be concerned about your pet losing fur if new fur does not grow back in its place, if the skin underneath looks red or if your pet is itching more than usual.
If you notice bald patches in your furry friend’s coat, they could have a skin condition or could be over-grooming due to stress, injury or pain.
The best thing to do is visit your vet so they can examine your pet and give you advice on what to do
Is there anything I can do to help my pet while they’re moulting?
While it’s impossible to stop your pet shedding completely, keeping on top of their grooming requirements will mean they’re less likely to shed all over the house.
This can be achieved through a professional groom or brushing them at home.
If you are brushing them at home, pick a time when they’re relaxed, and every so often offer them low calories treats throughout the process to make it a positive experience.
Diet and nutrition
As well as regular grooming, your pet’s nutrition and general health can affect moulting.
It’s good to review your furry friend’s diet from time to time, as nutritional requirements vary during their life. A good diet supports a healthy coat and skin, so it’s important to feed a diet suitable for your pets life stage.
Maintaining a regular flea treatment programme will prevent your pet from scratching, which can cause scurfy and sore areas, so helps to ensure your pet has clear and healthy skin.
Watching out for signs of allergies in your pet is important, such as scratching, carpet surfing (dragging themselves along the carpet), or shaking their head excessively.
If you notice any of these signs, contact your vet for advice.
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