Dogs naturally shed their hair, and the amount they shed has to do with their overall health, breed and the time of year. If a dog is shedding excessively, it may be a sign of poor nutrition, stress or a medical condition.
There is no way to keep a dog from shedding, and some breeds shed more than others. However, regular brushing can reduce the amount of hair a dog sheds. Many dogs, especially those living in colder climates, will grow a winter coat that they will eventually shed as the weather turns warmer.
Dogs that shed excessively should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out medical issues. Some causes for excessive shedding may be parasites, medications, pregnancy, immune disease or thyroid disease.
Some breeds such as German shepherds and cocker spaniels have a higher instance of allergies to grains and chicken that can cause itchy skin and hair loss, according to WebMD. The only way to diagnose this type of allergy is by elimination and substitution.
If the dog exhibits signs such as skin irritation that includes bumps, rashes, scabs, bald spots, open sores or hair that pulls out easily, it should be taken to the vet immediately as these may be a sign of a serious condition.