If your German Shepherd has been shedding a lot then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be shedding a lot and a number of possible solutions.
So, why is my German Shepherd shedding a lot? German Shepherds naturally shed a lot all year round. They shed more when it’s getting hotter by shedding their undercoat and they shed more when it’s getting colder by shedding their overcoat and having denser undercoats.
There are actually a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be shedding a lot especially if the shedding seems to be very sudden. There are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd sheds a lot
There are a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be shedding a lot and there will usually be some clues that come with them.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd will shed a lot and the signs to look for.
It’s getting warmer
When it is getting warmer your German Shepherd will shed its undercoat so that it is able to deal with the heat more effectively.
This means that if summer is approaching and your German Shepherd has begun to shed more then it is likely to be because it has been shedding its undercoat. This would not be something to be concerned with.
It’s getting colder
When it is getting colder your German Shepherd will shed more hair on its overcoat and its undercoat will become denser.
This means that if it is getting colder and it has begun to shed more then it is likely shedding its overcoat. This is also not something to be concerned with.
It sheds a lot naturally
German Shepherds will also shed, naturally, throughout the year even when the weather hasn’t been changing much.
This means that if your German Shepherd has not suddenly started to shed a lot more than usual then it is likely to be shedding a natural amount and you shouldn’t be concerned.
Stress can cause German Shepherds to begin to shed more. It can also cause them to act differently and to scratch themselves more which can further increase the shedding.
If your German Shepherd started acting differently at around the same time that it started shedding then it would make it more likely that it is due to stress.
It would help to consider what sort of things that occurred at around the same time that your German Shepherd started shedding that might have caused it to become stressed.
Possible causes could be:
- A change in its diet
- A change in its schedule
- A family member moved away
- Another pet died
Related post: Why is my German Shepherd always afraid?
A poor diet can also cause a German Shepherd to start shedding. This is because it might not be getting the nutrients that it needs from its food.
A poor diet would be more likely to be the reason if it started shedding more at around the same time that you started to feed it different foods.
You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.
If you are unsure of what food to get for your German Shepherd, consider getting dog food designed specifically for German Shepherds. You can get a GSD specific dog food on Amazon here and one for GSD puppies on Chewy here.
The reason that your German Shepherd has been shedding more could be that it has a skin irritation or flees.
This would be more likely if it has been scratching itself more, the shedding was sudden or if there are bald patches or less thick areas.
In this case, it would be the best option to take it to see a vet.
The cause of your German Shepherds shedding could be that it has gotten an illness.
This would be more likely if it has also been acting unusually in other ways as well such as it has become more lethargic or it has shown other signs of being ill.
If it has shown signs of being ill in addition to the shedding then it would also be the best option to take it to see a vet.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd has been shedding so much.
Below, I will mention a couple of particularly useful things to consider.
If it sheds evenly or there are bald spots
It would help to consider whether or not the shed is even or if there are certain areas where there is no fur or very little. If there are then it would make it more likely that it is ill, has a skin irritation or flees and it would be a better option to take it to a vet.
If the shed is even then it would be a lot more likely that it is just a natural shed ahead of winter or summer or that it is just shedding its natural amount.
If it has been acting unusually and its shed was very sudden
It would also help to consider whether or not it started to act differently at around the same time that it started shedding.
If it suddenly started shedding a lot and it started to act unusually as well then it would make it more likely that it is due to something such as illness, stress or a change in its diet.
It would help to consider what else changed at around the same time that it started to shed a lot more.
What you can do about your German Shepherd shedding
While German Shepherds do shed a lot naturally there are still a number of things that you can do to reduce the shedding and to reduce how much hair goes on you.
Brush it with a de-shedding brush
If your German Shepherd has started shedding a lot more then one option you have is to de-shed it using a de-shedding brush.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
Make sure that it is getting a good diet
Since its diet could be contributing to the shedding it is important to ensure that it is eating the right foods.
Generally, it is recommended that you avoid the cheapest dog foods, make sure to give it enough protein and avoid gluten-free foods (source).
You can look here to see what the experts recommend that you feed your German Shepherd.
Get rid of fleas
If fleas are causing your German Shepherd to scratch itself a lot it would help to talk to your vet about what you should do to get rid of the flees. There are oral treatments that they can recommend that can be very effective in getting rid of fleas. There are also sprays and combs that you can buy.
It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by:
- Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
- Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
- Applying an environmental flee control
- Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
- Continue to treat your German Shepherd with a monthly preventative
Bathe it monthly
Another thing that you can do is to bathe your German Shepherd on a monthly basis.
Doing so will help to get rid of excess hair and it will make it easier to brush it afterward. It will also help to prevent it from getting smelly.
Have a vacuum and lint roller ready
German Shepherds. naturally, shed all year. With that being the case, you will have many loose hairs on your furniture and clothes. To get rid of them it would help to have a vacuum and lint roller on hand whenever you need them.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of what might be causing your German Shepherd to shed a lot then it would help to take it to a vet where you will be able to get an expert opinion.
Most Recommended For German Shepherds
Best German Shepherd Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.