October 22, 2009
Shedding & Healthy Coats
by Dr Jane Bicks, Healthy Pet newsletter
The splendor of summer is right around the bend. We are approaching the season when children, freed from studies, populate the neighborhood, friends and families hold cook-outs, and we find ourselves preoccupied with the health our pet’s coats.
There’s a reason for our annual fixation. Dogs usually begin to lose their winter coats in early spring, when it is gradually replaced by a shorter, lighter coat suited to the summer months. The amount of shedding varies widely from breed to breed. For example, the pet parents of German Shepherds will groan about the amount of shedding all year long, while those of us with poodles rarely have to get out the broom or vacuum, even with the arrival of summer.
While we’ve seen that growth cycles can be affected by mood, hormones, and nutrition, changes primarily occur due to fluctuations in the amount of daylight and temperature.
The length of daylight hours is believed to have a greater impact on the shedding cycle than temperature, which is why all pets shed during particular times of the year. Even artificial indoor lighting can have an effect, especially on companion animals who stay primarily indoors.
And companion animals experience big differences in temperature when leaving and entering your home, which is most extreme in the summer and winter months. These differences induce a constant state of change, setting up conditions that lead to increased shedding throughout the year.
And an unhealthy coat can have negative impacts on pet parents, too, in the form of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, hair is not the culprit of allergies in humans, but rather dander and proteins in the oil produced by glands in the skin.
For all of the hair support systems to function properly, they require a variety of nutrients, including fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Additionally, a healthy coat requires a great deal of protein. Almost 95% of the protein that’s ingested is used by the body to support hair production and maintenance. Fortunately, nutritious foods like Life’s Abundance and Instinctive Choice provide the protein content necessary to supply your pet’s body with the protein necessary to help maintain a healthy coat.
Just as it is important to feed a high-quality, nutrient-dense food, it is also advisable to give your companion animals a balanced supplement that provides the additional nutritional support necessary to achieve the utmost in a healthy coat and skin.