Your dog’s coat goes through various stages of growth. The anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen phases. You certainly know your dog’s hair is at the exogen phase when it falls out and you are constantly cleaning it up! But I bet you didn’t know about the other phases of growth…
Some dogs shed seasonally, such as Collies and Alaskan malamutes. In the fall months, they lose their lighter summer coat for the thicker winter one and in the spring months they lose their winter coat to prepare for the “dog days of summer”.
Similar to the term shedding, ‘blowing the coat’ is used to describe this seasonal event, where dogs seem to explode, leaving hair just about everywhere!
So, what’s the difference between shedding and blowing the coat? Often these two terms are used interchangeably; however, shedding is more of a year-round process where stray hair is found almost constantly. ‘Blowing the coat’ refers to seasonal shedding, where the dog loses clumps of hair all at once.
There are certain breeds of dogs who don’t ‘blow their coats’ seasonally, as they are dropping hair year-round but, since it’s in much smaller amounts, the hairs are less noticeable. Poodles, for instance, have the majority of their hair follicles in the anagen stage year-round, which causes their hairs to grow constantly, requiring routine clippings to control matting.
Luckily, there are ways to control shedding but unfortunately you can’t stop it. In their natural habitat, dogs will rub against trees and other surfaces to get more hairs off but in a domestic setting, you can help by brushing your dog’s coat regularly. There are good products on the market that capture the hair, leaving less hair around your home and many vacuums now come with a pet attachment specifically designed for that pesky hair.