April 10, 2020 2 min read

Have you noticed your furry friend starting to lose his winter coat? Whether it’s a dog, cat or horse, shedding season is upon us! Learn about this important natural process, and how you can support it.

It’s official: shedding season is here. With warmer weather comes shedding – where your animal replaces his heavy winter undercoat for a lighter one. Seasonal shedding happens again in the fall, when the temperature starts to get cool and animals shed lighter undercoats for thicker, warmer coats. But what is shedding exactly?

The phases of hair growth and shedding

Did you know that all hair shafts go through three phases of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen? These phases affect the rate of hair growth and will vary by animal type, breed, age, hormones, nutrition, environment and overall health.

  1. The anagen phase is when hair is actively growing. Nutrition, proper grooming and making sure your animal has healthy skin are all ways to ensure that their hair is as long and strong as possible.
  2. The catagen phase, is a few week period during which the hair and hair follicle rest.
  3. Finally, there’s the telogen phase, when the hair falls out in preparation for a new anagen phase.

As you can see, shedding is a natural and very important process. Without it, any underlying dead fur can cause matting and skin irritation. However, it can be a messy and itchy time for your animal! If you see your horse rubbing on everything, causing him to rub off his mane or tail, or see that your pet has matted fur – it might be time for you to step in and lend a hand.

Grooming to supportyour animal’s naturally shedding process

Routine grooming, especially during shedding season, is essential for the health of your animal. Not only does it prevent harmful skin diseases and mats, but it also distributes natural, healthy oils throughout the coat. We recommend a vigorous but gentle, daily brushing to help your horse, dog or cat shed that thick winter coat.

But remember, using the right grooming tool is crucial and can make all the difference. Metal grooming tools, for example, are extremely harsh and lack flexibility. They can painfully scrape your animal, as well as fray and rip out hairs that aren’t ready to be shed. The skin and coat of your animal is its first line of defense, so stripping away the natural oils or damaging the hair can lead to a variety of health issues including skin infections. Invest in the proper tool, like the StripHair Gentle Groomer, to remove loose hair without harming your animal’s protective coat.

Shedding season can be a great way to bond with your beloved friend. Brushing your pet or horse every day not only helps their shedding process, but can bring you closer together. What results is a healthy, shiny coat – and a love that lasts a lifetime!