Q:

What causes dogs to shed excessively?

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Quick Answer

A dog that sheds excessively may be suffering from such ailments as parasitic or fungal infections, allergies, Cushing's disease, allergic reactions to medication, cancer or an immune disorder, according to WebMD. Dogs that lack proper nutrition are also prone to shedding more than normal.

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Full Answer

Excessive shedding may occur if the animal is losing its winter coat. The breed of the canine also determines the amount of shedding.

Feeding a dog a nutritious diet can remedy too much shedding. For instance, avoid dog food that reads "meat" only. This means that the meat is comprised of substandard meat or roadkill. Other poor-quality dog foods may have corn listed as a main ingredient. Avoid dog foods that contain meat by-products as well. Meat by-products can come in the form of hooves, feathers, eyes or fur. Choose soy-free dog food if the animal is allergic to soy.

Serious problems may call for a visit to the vet, reports WebMD. Dogs that constantly lick the paws or have open sores may have underlying conditions. Medical attention is necessary if these problems last more than a week. Too much shedding may indicate such problems as liver, thyroid or kidney disease; however, a dog that is pregnant or lactating can also shed more hair than normal.

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