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Do Labs Shed? (Labrador Shedding Guide)

Do Labradors shed? The short answer is yes. Even though they are short-haired dogs, Labradors are famous for their shedding abilities. Their double coats shed a considerable amount, but not up to a point where it is unmanageable. 

do labs shed
Do Labs shed? How much shedding should you expect from a Labrador pup?

So do Labs shed? Yes! Labradors shed all year-round but have two seasons where the shedding reaches its peak. It generally happens in spring and autumn. The Labrador sheds a lot in spring to get rid of their winter coat, and again in autumn to get rid of their summer coat and grow out a winter coat. 

What Is the Labrador Double Coat?

Every Labrador retriever has a type of coat called the double coat. The term “double coat” means that the Labrador has an undercoat and an upper layer of fur. The upper layer of hair is the protective layer, and the undercoat helps to warm the Labrador during colder seasons. 

The double coat helps to keep your Labrador warm throughout the year, but it also means it will most likely shed twice a year and heavily. The dog’s double coat plays a considerable part in a Labrador’s tolerance to cold and rain. 

How Often Do Labradors Shed?

labrador coat being raked
If you own a Lab – get used to some shedding – particularly twice a year during seasonal change

Labradors shed all year round, but they blow their double coat twice a year. This shedding is standard in every dog breed with a double coat. Changes in seasons are an essential factor in coat shedding, but they are not the only reason.

Just because they shed predominantly two times a year doesn’t mean taking care of your dog’s shedding is all fun and games for the rest of the year. If you are serious about taking care of your dog’s shedding, grooming it regularly is required. 

When Do Labradors Shed the Most?

Labs shed the same amount of hair throughout the year, but they shed the most twice a year when changing their coats. This phenomenon is called a molting season, and it takes place every six months. 

The first time a Labrador sheds is when it sheds its thick winter coat at the beginning of spring and grows a thinner one in preparation for summer. The shedding period lasts between two and three weeks, and it is the height of your Labrador’s shedding. 

Labradors also shed their coats at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. They shed their summer coat and grow thicker coats in preparation for winter. Labradors shed a lot because they have double coats, but they don’t shed as much as other dog breeds like Malamutes and Newfoundlands. 

labradors do shed
Labradors do shed, often all year round.

What Triggers Shedding in Labradors?

Besides shedding because of season changes, there are many other reasons your Lab can shed. Reasons they may shed include:

  • Lice
  • Parasites
  • Mites
  • Fleas
  • Skin conditions

A significant factor that increases shedding drastically is stress. If your dog is often placed in stressful situations, you’ll notice that it sheds more often. Your dog can also shed more if it is experiencing allergies. 

Some common allergens are:

  • Grass
  • Weeds
  • Hay
  • Food

If you think your dog has an allergy, check with your dog’s veterinarian to see what you can do to combat it. 

Is Shaving Your Labrador a Good Idea?

Although shaving sounds like the perfect solution to shedding, it can be harmful to your dog. Dog fur isn’t the same as human hair, and although it grows back, it won’t be the same. Here are some reasons to not shave your Labrador’s double coat:

  • The undercoat keeps your Labrador warm and protects it, but when you shave its double coat, you expose your Labrador to harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • If you shave your dog’s soft and thick undercoat, it’ll grow as a coarse and heavy coat instead of its original softness.
  • Shaving your dog’s coat because of your allergies will worsen your allergies because your dog’s coat helps to trap the allergens.
  • Your Labrador has muscles that help move its hair follicles and allow air to pass through both coats. If you shave both, the fur that grows back isn’t as effective as the original.

How Do You Manage Your Labrador’s Shedding?

There are some things that you can do to help you take care of your dog’s shedding. Utilize the following:

  • Deshedding tools
  • Diet
  • Shampoos
  • Supplements 
  • Brushing 

If your Labrador has a gluten or wheat allergy, they will most likely have a skin condition. The skin condition will increase your dog’s rate of shedding. If you notice that your dog is shedding more than usual, you should visit a veterinarian before starting any treatment on your dog. 

Deshedding Tools

a Labrador enjoying being brushed
A Labrador *really* enjoying being brushed

If you want to manage your dog’s shedding, you can make use of deshedding products. Deshedding tools are most important during the two molting periods where your dog grows winter and summer coats, respectively. 

A deshedding brush is different from a standard brush. Deshedding brushes are about the same price as an average dog’s brush, and they help keep dog hair off your floors and furniture. Make sure you use your deshedding brush somewhere you can clean up easily. 

Deshedding brushes help to comb out your dog’s upper layer of hair and take off excess fur, simultaneously going into the undercoat and removing hair that’s about to be shed. The best thing for your dog’s coat is to use deshedding brushes as little as possible each year —maybe twice or three times.  

Diet

the best Labrador dry foods for adults
Choose appropriate food to suit the health and coat needs of your Labrador

Diet has been linked to managing shedding in dogs. Providing your dog with a balanced diet does a lot to aid in their fur health. A balanced diet will help your dog have glossier and healthier fur and make it healthier all-round. 

You must ensure your dog is eating Kibble made with Labradors in mind. It must be rich in fatty acids and omega. This food keeps their double coats smooth, healthy, and shiny. It also helps to improve on shedding because of skin conditions. 

To help improve your dog’s coat and general health, you should add some natural food ingredients like vegetables to their food sometimes. These natural ingredients help provide your dog with minerals and vitamins, which will keep the double coat healthy and smooth. 

Shampoos

The Labrador dog breed has sensitive skin, so the type of shampoo they use is essential. The best kind of shampoo to use is oatmeal shampoo. A bath once a month is an excellent way to take care of your dog’s coat, so you don’t dry out its coat’s natural oils. 

If an oatmeal shampoo isn’t reducing the shedding rate, you can use an anti-shedding shampoo. There are also shampoos for skin conditions if your dog has sensitive skin or skin conditions. 

labrador vs labradoodle
Comparing a Labradoodle vs Labrador to see which breed is best (for your family)

Supplements

Supplements are also a way to reduce shedding in Labradors. If you aren’t feeding your dog with food rich in omega, you can add a fish oil supplement to their diet to balance it out. You can find these supplements in pill and liquid form. 

You can also buy these supplements in chewable forms to improve your Labrador’s double coat. Chewables are great for every dog because you can use them for training your dog while enhancing its coat’s health. 

Many of these formulas have omega fatty acids. These fatty acids help to keep your Labrador’s coat healthy, thereby reducing shedding. 

Brushing

Brushing every week is highly recommended if you have a Labrador. For the best effect, brush your Labrador’s coat twice a week. Brushing your dog on a schedule and making it comfortable with the brushing will reduce the amount of dog hair you see on your furniture and flooring. 

You should brush your dog’s hair outside once in a three-day interval with a solid and durable dog brush. Make sure the brush you buy is strong enough to do the job without harming your dog. 

labrador swimming happily
Even strong swimmers like Labs need a break every now and then

Conclusion

Do Labradors shed? Yes, they do. Of course, this isn’t a surprise. Most dogs shed, and Labradors don’t shed as much as expected in a dog with a double coat. It’s not hard to have a house that isn’t covered in dog hair, even though you have a shedding dog. 

All you need to do is brush and feed your Labrador well, and managing shedding will be much easier. Another pro-tip is choosing to get a Labrador that has a coat color that matches your flooring. Doing this will make the fur less visible.