Although vizslas are considered low to moderate shedders, many owners ask me why their vizsla still sheds substantially. With a short single-layered coat, it comes as quite a surprise when the shedding just doesn’t stop… This article explains everything.
If your vizsla is shedding more than you would consider normal, it could be due to a range of reasons including skin and coat condition, overall diet and health, or even the climate where you live.
Why Your Vizsla Sheds More Than Normal
Let’s run through the reasons why your vizsla sheds followed by a section explaining what you can do about it.
1. Vizslas Do Actually Shed!
The first thing to cover is the reality that vizslas do actually shed. At first glance, you wouldn’t really know if they shed, and then when you research online it says everywhere that they are just “low” shedders. However, it’s not quite like that…
Vizslas shed quite consistently and it’s actually normal for this breed to drop hair year-round. Sure, vizslas shouldn’t shed as much as a long-haired double-coated breed like a german shepherd or a husky, but they still give out their fair share.
So keep in mind, there’s a big possibility that your vizsla is in fact shedding at a normal level.
2. Skin and Coat Condition
The strength and condition of the skin and coat have a big impact on both shedding frequency and shedding amount. When the skin or hair is dry and brittle, the hair will be weak and shedding will be more prolific.
There are many different factors that contribute to healthy skin and coat and it starts from within. I will be running explaining these essential tips in the next section, but for now, consider the condition of your vizsla’s coat… Does the coat look dull? shiny? greasy? and is the skin flaky, dry, or neither?
3. The Climate Where You Live
Where you live can also have a big impact on shedding. Although single-layered breeds do not fully “blowout” their coat as a double-coated breed would, shedding does increase on the approach to and throughout warmer weather.
Usually, the colder it is where you live, the less shedding you will deal with as your vizsla’s body will retain hair in order to preserve body heat. But keep in mind, this isn’t always so cut and dry, and often goes through different phases.
4. Diet and Nutrition
The diet and type of food that your vizsla consumes will impact their overall health dramatically. And overall health is one of the main factors that directly affect overall skin and coat condition which I already explained above.
A common reason that veterinarians give for excessive shedding is malnourishment, or just that the dog in question is not receiving enough of a certain nutrient or food group.
Fortunately, there are certain diets, foods, and even supplements that will directly support the health of your vizsla’s skin and coat. All will be covered shortly.
5. Allergies or Other Health Concerns
Allergies can be a big one for many dogs. Allergies can be environmental type allergies, food allergies, and seasonal allergies. Dry skin and brittle hair is a common symptom of a dog suffering from one of many different potential allergies.
Allergens can range from pollen, dust, and washing powder all the way to common food ingredients like chicken, beef, lamb, or pork. Yep! It’s surprising that despite being classed as a common allergen, chicken and beef are in so many dog foods and treats.
The 7 Best Ways To Reduce Vizsla Shedding
Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce and better maintain your vizsla’s shedding. You may find one tip particularly more relevant to you, or maybe you’ll want to try all of them! Let’s get into it!
1. Have The Right Brushing Routine (with the correct brushes)
The first way to better maintain your vizsla’s coat is to brush it regularly. Little and often is the key to any successful brushing routine and will work much better than one giant session here and there.
Opt to brush your vizsla 3 or 4 times per week for around 15-20 minutes each time. It doesn’t need to be any longer than this. Little and often is the key to staying on top of the dead hair.
2. Avoid Overbathing
Vizslas are a very hygienic breed, known to do a lot of self-cleaning. Whether you notice it or not, your vizsla will lick and groom his own coat just as a cat does. This, alongside a regular brushing routine, pretty much makes bathing unnecessary for long periods at a time.
Overbathing with the use of shampoo will dry out your vizsla’s skin and make the hair weak and brittle.
The shampoo will strip away too many of the natural oils that are so crucial to a healthy strong coat in the first place. Only consider bathing once every 6 months, or leave it until absolutely necessary.
3. Consider Changing Protein Source To Salmon (for two reasons)
I know, it can be expensive to try new kibble and it may not even work well, but your vizsla can benefit in two big ways if it does. Salmon is high in essential fatty acids like Omega 3, Omega 6, and DHA.
Essential fatty acids are known to significantly help the skin and coat become stronger and healthier (which will improve the shedding situation).
Not only that, but you may also simultaneously remove an irritable common allergen that your vizsla may not be completely getting on with.
Remember that chicken, beef, lamb, and pork, despite their popularity are all common allergens and are the cause of a lot of upset stomachs.
4. Keep Up The Exercise and Outdoor Exposure
Exercise is crucial for vizslas. A vizsla in their prime years (2-7) should be receiving around 2 hours of intensive exercise per day. If yours currently isn’t, try ramping it up a little.
Exercise improves overall health and body function, which will indirectly improve skin and coat health over time.
Secondly, having more frequent exposure to the outdoors can also help “climatize” your vizsla better. Meaning that their shedding should reduce more in the winter than in summer.
Some veterinarians believe that dogs who spend “too much” time indoors will often shed more consistently for the entire year compared to dogs who are more “in-tune” with the outside temperatures.
5. Omega 3 Treats or Fish Oil Supplement
After having spoken to your veterinarian, you can also include additional essential fatty acids like DHA, Omega 3, and Omega 6 through a handy fish oil supplement.
Fish oil can either be given as capsules or comes as a liquid (in a pump bottle) you can squirt into their normal food. Our favorite option from Zesty Paws <<
There are also such things as Omega 3 treats which are specifically designed to increase daily levels of omega 3 in the form of a treat. Just replace these with whatever treats you were already giving.
Many owners opt to give their vizslas additional fish oil or omega 3 but it is recommended to discuss this with your veterinarian first.
6. Only Ever Use a Natural-Ingredient Shampoo
If you are coming up to a bathing session, be sure to only use a natural ingredient shampoo.
Natural ingredient shampoos are made without the harsh chemicals, parabens, detergents, and alcohol that are all way too strong and damaging. It’s these ingredients that strip the natural oils out of your vizsla’s coat.
Fortunately, natural ingredient shampoos are not any more expensive than regular dog shampoo. One of my favorite natural ingredient shampoos is from 4Legger. I use this shampoo exclusively with my dogs. Check out the reviews on Amazon here.
7. Embrace The Shed!
Remember, the no-shed vizsla is nothing but a legendary myth! Vizslas do shed and you will never be able to stop it completely, regardless of all the awesome tips I just shared!
So, truthfully, this leaves just one last thing to do and that’s to adjust any expectations of having a hair-free home! Look on the bright side, it’s the perfect excuse for a nice new vacuum 🙂
This is original content produced and published by The Puppy Mag | www.thepuppymag.com
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The Products That Help With Shedding
There have been a series of products recommended throughout, so here’s a quick snapshot of all of them below. Each will have a link to where you can find them.
All of the products recommended are high quality with excellent reviews that I suggest checking out for yourself.
There are many ways you can help reduce and keep on top of shedding. Stick to a regular brushing routine, never over-bathe your vizsla, ensure his diet is balanced and working well for him, and consider adding in additional fish oil or omega 3.
If you remain to be unsure about whether or not your vizsla’s shedding habits are normal, scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian is the best thing to do.
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