When it comes to dogs or any pets for that matter, shedding of fur is a natural and inevitable occurrence. And when it comes to basset hounds, this is even more of a problem. So to answer the question “do basset hounds shed a lot?”－Yes, they do. It may seem unlikely at first glance. After all, the basset hound’s fur is short and oily. Surely, the shedding won’t be as worse as the long-haired ones like, say, the Labrador retriever or the Yorkies. Unfortunately, despite the description, this breed shed a lot. Here are some factors that can affect the amount of hair that they take off.
Factors That Affect Basset Hound Shedding
The factors stated here do apply to all dog breeds in general. If you have other dog breeds and even cats residing in your home, you can use this as a checklist especially if they shed excessively as well.
It is easy to say that temperature affects why dogs shed much. After all, it is practically common sense to assume that the hotter the climate, the more possibility that your pooch would leave hairs all over the carpet to shed off the excess fur and cool itself down. But according to studies, it is not the seasonal temperature that affects how basset hound dogs shed a lot. It is the photoperiod, or the phenomenon wherein living beings respond to illumination or daylight. While it does show that hounds shed much during the spring and autumn, it usually is the result of exposure to more extended hours of daylight than the temperature in itself. A study made using indoor pets as test subjects support this. Some indoor pets do not get to experience daylight exposure due to certain circumstances. The temperature inside their homes also rarely change. Yet, they still shed fur. That is because the artificial fluorescent light indoors replaces the low natural daylight outdoors. This artificial daylight exposure means that the shedding of fur in indoor pets may become unpredictable. The downside of this is that indoor pets tend to shed continuously throughout the year, despite the season.
Poor nutrition can significantly affect the condition of the hair follicles. Hair is made up primarily of keratin, a particular type of protein. To keep it healthy, you must supply adequate amounts of protein in your dog’s diet which can be found in meat sources. To make sure that the pet food your dog is eating has adequate amounts of protein, check the ingredients list. A meat source should be included in the top 3 ingredients.
According to studies, 30% of the protein your dog consumes, go to the production of dog fur. Thus, if your dog’s protein intake is not enough, the quality of their hair suffers. It becomes dry, brittle, and easy to pluck. Lack of protein could be the reason why your dog breed shed a lot. Aside from protein, you should also make sure that your dog consumes enough B vitamins, copper, and zinc. All of these nutrients are essential in supporting the proteins in making enough keratin for your dog’s hair.
Some dog breeds shed much, while others do not molt as much. And it’s not just because of hair length. There are some short-haired breeds (like basset hounds) that shed tremendously. Others, like the poodle, may have long hair but tend to keep them in.
This is because of the hair cycle. A typical hair cycle of a dog hair undergoes three stages:
- Anagen, wherein the hair actively starts to grow from the roots;
- Catagen, wherein the hair root breaks away from the skin; and
- Telogen, wherein the hair remains rooted in the follicle (called club hair) and waits until it sheds.
Hypoallergenic breeds or those who have low shedding properties, therefore making them asthma-friendly, have long hair cycles. Short-haired dogs like basset hounds shed a lot because their hair does not need to wait a long time to reach a certain length before dropping. The advantage of short-haired dogs, however, is that even though they shed a lot, their hair is barely noticeable. That is until your kids or guests start sneezing and wheezing from all the fur. An important note: Dog breeds that do not shed AT ALL do not exist as much as we wish them to be. Dog shedding is an essential and natural part of growth and development in dogs.
After birth, the number of hair follicles remains the same until adulthood. Puppies have longer telogen phases because of the young, healthy hair follicles. As they age, however, these follicles grow weaker, causing more shedding fur because they cannot be held up well anymore.
Various hormones govern hair growth. For example, the hormone thyroxin is the main culprit for anagen to take place and to keep the hair growth going until your pet shed much of the fur. Those dogs that suffer from hypothyroidism, a disease that occurs due to thyroid hormone deficiency, commonly have thinning hair in various places of the body.
Another hormone called corticosteroids can significantly delay the growth of hair, causing thinning as well. Female basset hounds sheds particularly after childbirth and during lactation due to their overactive hormones. This primarily occurs if the lady pooch is nervous and anxious about producing milk for their young.
Hair loss during pregnancy may be caused not just by hormones but also by stress, especially if the pooch is a first-time mom. Stress can come in any shape and form. It can be because of a change in environment (such as moving homes or going on a long-term trip), excessive noise, a presence of another human or animal, or change in diet.
This breed of dog does shed a lot because of one or more of these factors. One way for you to remove it is to determine the stress first, then take a plan of action. If the reason is something new and inevitable to them, such as changing homes, you might need to wait for a week or two for them to finally adjust to the change.
You can also ask for a veterinarian’s advice as to what you can do to ease their anxiety (although some dogs find a trip to the vet extra stressful as well, making hounds shed a lot). They might end up prescribing medications to calm your dog down and eventually stop the excessive shedding.
Yes, grooming, particularly bathing, is essential in your dog’s routine. But you must remember that too many baths can make your pet shed a lot. Bathing can easily strip out the natural oils from their coat, causing dryness and premature shedding.
Bathing can particularly lead to excessive shedding if the shampoo used has too high pH concentration. As much as you can, use a dog shampoo that is hypoallergenic and suitable for your dog’s skin pH. Never give the brand of shampoo you use in your own hair. It may be too harsh for your pooch, eventually making your dog shed much.
Your dog’s fur may stop growing for a while after hair clipping because the scalp undergoes cell renewal. While this may look concerning, it is actually beneficial since cell renewal can lead to the formation of a more protective layer in the outer part of the skin.
Once the epidermis is renewed, the hair growth rate goes back up again. Too much hair clipping can make your doggy shed a lot, so limit your grooming trips to a month or until your dog’s hair becomes too long that it hinders its daily activities.
Some diseases have symptoms that include excessive hair sheddings, such as flea infestation, ringworm, or other skin ailments. This dog breed shed a lot if the scalp in itself is damaged by bacterial or viral infection, or if foreign bodies are attacking the new cells.
Thankfully, once treated, the hair goes back to its healthy growth. However, it might take a while since damaged skin can bring a slower cell renewal.
How To Protect Your Home From All The Shedding
Now that you know what circumstances can affect the amount of hair your pet shed, you can finally do something about it. Here are some tips on how to groom your basset without shedding too much of their hair in the process.
Adjust Your Schedule For A Basset Hound
Before getting a basset hound, you must first take the time to research about them. Now that you know that dog breed shed a lot, the next step is to prepare your home for it. That means removing the carpet where your dog will roam, establishing some house rules (such as if your dog is allowed in the couch or not), and preparing for an obedience training, among others.
Of course, adjusting your schedule also includes having regular cleaning time to remove all the excess hairs that they shed. Don’t wait for them to accumulate or until guests come in. Clean them up right away!
Make Your Basset Hound Undergo Obedience Training
As mentioned earlier, establishing house rules prevent the hassle of having to clean up after your pet shed of their fur on your carpet or furniture.
Firstly, you must establish boundaries as to where your pooch is allowed to roam or lounge around. Is it permissible to sleep on the couch? Is it allowed on the carpet? Is it prohibited from entering the house? The answers to these questions can further help you in protecting your home from all the excessive shedding.
Another way to endure a home where basset hounds shed a lot is to provide a special private space for your dog. Prepare a dog bed that they can use as a lounge or bed so that it may not end up choosing your couch or carpet. This space can also serve as its sanctuary from all the human noise and stress it feels while under your roof.
Keep A Lint Roller or Packing Tape Handy
If your basset hound pet shed of its fur on the couch or carpet no matter how much you try to reprimand them, do the adjustment yourself. Have a lint roller or packing tape near the furniture or on a place where they frequent so that you can quickly remove any excess hair as soon as you see them.
Lint rollers can be a useful tool for removing excess hair from the couch. But some homemakers observed that it is not as effective in removing the fur from the carpet. For this, you might have to use packing tape. You might need a lot of it, though, since the tape can only clean a small patch.
The good side of investing in a packing tape is that you can also use it not just on the carpet but also on the couch and your clothes as well. Before going out of the house, run a packing tape on your clothes to remove all the fur.
An Alternative: Have Couch Covers or Blankets
Another way to endure living in a home where this breed dog shed a lot is to have blankets or covers you can put on your furniture. Basset hounds may not be clingy. They do, however, prefer to be in the presence of their family, so it really is inevitable for them to jump on the couch just to feel your warmth.
To prepare yourself for this (and to lessen the hassle of having to remove excess hair from the furniture), use couch covers. After three days or so, replace them with a new one.
Invest In A Humidifier
Broadway singers swear by the efficacy of humidifier in keeping their environment moist and cozy. This leads to healthy skin and a protected voice.
But did you know that humidifiers can help ease your excess hair problem? The moisture they can bring in a given area keeps the dog hair from clinging into your furniture, particularly on the carpet. This gives you less time to clean up the mess.
Schedule Baths Accordingly
Bathing your basset hound is required only if you noticed that its hair is dull or if it’s too oily to the touch. Some owners bath their dogs once per three months.
However, during the spring and autumn season, bathing frequency increases to about once every three weeks or so, or if the dog becomes dirty from rolling itself in mud or dirt. This is because they shed a lot. One way to remove the excess hair is to clean them off.
On days when there is no bath schedule, you can do a sponge bath by rubbing your dog’s fur with a wet wash cloth or sponge. This is to remove the excess sweat, dust, and other hair that sheds.
Have A Weekly Brushing Session With Your Dog
Not only does it help you keep all the shed fur in one place for easy clean-up. It also encourages bonding time with your dog. I can assure you that it would surely love the attention and the relaxing feeling the brush sends.
In brushing your dog’s fur, use light strokes to avoid irritating their skin. Go towards the direction of the hair growth. Finally, the size of the brush you will use is just as essential in making sure that you remove all the excess fur thoroughly.
This breed dog shed a lot during the spring and autumn so you might have to increase the brushing sessions to twice a week once these seasons roll in.
Some owners who are living with basset hounds that shed a lot swears by the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in keeping all the excess shedding at a manageable amount. Not only does it help reduce the shedding, it also gives your dog healthy skin and body.
It Takes Patience to Love
Yes, this breed sheds much. That does not mean that they are any less lovable or loyal enough to be a family pet. It takes a bucketload of patience, perhaps more, to love a basset hound unconditionally. But please believe me when I say that it’s worth it. Their loyalty, warmth, and friendliness would just grow on you that you would barely notice the problem of excess fur all over your home. In fact, you would be happy enough to clean it up, knowing that the rewards are greater than the costs. That is, a lifetime companionship with a basset hound that shed a lot.