I got my Staffy almost 11 years ago, and over the years I have learned a ton. Going into getting a Staffy I thought I had it all figured out, but sometimes the unexpected hits you. When she was just a puppy she began shedding a lot, and I knew this wasn’t normal, so I set out to find out why.
Why is my Staffy shedding so much? There are several reasons why a Staffy is shedding more than normal. Some shedding is to be expected, but excessive shedding could be a result of:
- Stress & Anxiety
- Improper Nutrition
- Skin Trauma
- Skin Condition
- Underlying Health Issues
After several days of research and a trip to the vet I was able to determine why my Staffy was shedding so much. In our case it was a combination of allergies, a skin condition, parasites, and some added stress. It was a rough week for us both.
I was able to treat my Staffy quickly and effectively, and proactively work towards avoiding this from happening again in the future. In this post I will go over the various reasons why your Staffy is shedding so much, as well as some tips on how to prevent excessive shedding in the future.
Why Is My Staffy Shedding So Much?
Shedding is a natural process that all dogs (except hairless ones) go through. Some dogs shed more than others, but you should expect your Staffy to shed throughout the year. When it becomes a concern is when your Staffy is shedding a lot. Bald spots, large clumps of hair, and excessive shedding can all be signs of some of the following problems.
Allergies can trigger a Staffy to shed a lot. I have had first hand experience with this problem. My Staffy has food allergies and when first detected she was shedding a lot and began developing bald spots on her feet, belly and sides.
Allergies to food, shampoos, household cleaners, and environmental factors like dust and pollen can trigger a reaction. This will cause your Staffy to scratch, chew, and rub their skin because of the irritation and create hairloss.
Consult with a vet about elimination diets if you suspect a food allergy. Avoid using harsh household cleaners, use a hypoallergenic shampoo, and rule out environmental allergies. Once you are able to narrow down what your Staffy is reacting to, the sooner you can treat it and stop the hair loss from happening.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can cause a Staffy to shed more than usual. My Staffy used to be absolutely terrified of the bath and would shed an enormous amount of hair during the process. Even after bath time I would need to give her a good brushing to remove the loose hair.
Never underestimate the power of stress on your dog’s body. A sudden change in environment, a traumatic experience or trigger, a loss of a loved one, can all create stress in your Staffy’s life.
Supplementation can be used to calm stressed and anxious dogs. Natural supplements like CBD oils can be a great option, as well as other easily available supplements. Pet Honestly has a great line of natural supplements that can aid with calming a stressed Staffy.
A well balanced diet can make all the difference in your Staffy’s skin and coat health. Giving your Staffy a premium quality dog food rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and high quality protein will keep their coats happy and healthy.
Additional supplementation of Omega fatty acids, like a Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is something I swear by with my Staffy and American Bully. This additional Omega supplement promotes healthy skin and coats, as well as the additional benefits of joint, heart, and immune system health.
Water intake may also lead to a Staffy shedding a lot more than usual. Dehydrated skin can be why you Staffy is losing hair. Monitor the amount of water your Staffy is drinking. If they are not getting enough water throughout the day this can lead to excessive shedding.
A hormonal imbalance can lead to excessive shedding in your Staffy. Conditions like hypothyroidism will cause excessive shedding, as well as weight gain in your dog. Watch for these signs and consult with your vet for a proper diagnosis.
The over or under production of testosterone, estrogen or progesterone can also lead to excessive shedding in some dogs. This often occurs with dogs that have recently been spayed or neutered at an older age.
Skin trauma will cause a Staffy to shed excessively and in some cases form bald spots. Allergic reactions can trigger skin irritations that lead to heavy scratching, chewing and gnawing that will traumatize the skin and create hair loss.
Sunburn can also cause skin trauma in your Staffy leading to hair loss. Dogs can burn in the sun just like us humans. Staffies are especially prone to sunburn because of their short coats. Monitor the time your Staffy spends in the sun. Provide plenty of shade and don’t keep them out long during peak hours.
Bacteria and fungal infections can create hair loss and excessive shedding in Staffies. Open wounds that become infected, or the build up of yeast can create red, sore, and irritated skin on your Staffy.
These types of infections can be caused from a variety of factors. Everything from high humidity, to allergic reactions causing scratching, to congenital and hormonal factors. Consult with your vet if you notice any signs of infection.
One of the main causes of my Staffy puppy getting bald spots when she was very young was demodex mange. Small skin mites that are found on all dogs, but when over infested cause some serious skin issues and hair loss.
Mites, fleas, ticks and other parasites can lead to excessive shedding and hair loss with your Staffy. Whether they have an allergic reaction to a bite, or the skin becomes irritated leading to scratching. Get regular flea and tick treatments for your dog, and consult your vet if you notice excessive scratching or bumps from bite marks.
Pregnancy can lead to excessive shedding due to a depletion in calcium and minerals. Along with the hormonal imbalances that may occur during pregnancy and lactation. If you Staffy has recently been pregnant, is pregnant, or is nursing, this could be a major reason why they are shedding so much.
Underlying Health Issues
Underlying health issues can be a cause of hair loss and shedding in your Staffy. Conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Cushing’s disease, and Thyroid disease can all lead to skin conditions causing hair loss.
Always consult with your vet if your Staffy is showing symptoms of any underlying health issues, including excessive shedding. Treatment and health management of your Staffy can be better assessed by a professional.
How To Stop Your Staffy From Shedding A Lot
Despite having a short coat your Staffy will still shed throughout the year. My Staffy tends to shed a little bit more when the warmer weather rolls around. This requires some additional maintenance, but as a whole a Staffy shouldn’t shed excessive amounts of hair.
To prevent excessive shedding with your Staffy there are a few important tips to keep in mind. Excluding possible health conditions these are the things you can do to stop your Staffy from shedding a lot.
Brushing your Staffy one or twice a week will keep the loose hair off your floors and furniture and keep their coats clean and healthy. Aside from removing any loose hair you will also redistribute some of the natural oils in their coat which keeps them shiny, and skin healthy.
I use the King Komb on my Staffy and it is a fantastic dog grooming brush. See my video below for the full review.
A high quality diet rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and high quality proteins is not only good for your Staffy’s overall health, but great for their skin and coats. Providing a nutritious diet will promote strong hair follicles, healthy skin, and less shedding.
Added supplementation in your Staffy’s diet to promote skin and coat health is recommended. Even the highest quality dog foods will lack some of the essential fatty acids. I give my dog Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil each and everyday to give them that added Omega 3 their skin and coats love.
Keep Them Hydrated
Hydration is very important in keeping your dog’s skin moisturized and healthy. Make sure they have plenty of clean water at all times and watch for any changes in water intake. Dehydration can cause excessive shedding and a Staffy not drinking could be a symptom of other health problems. Monitor their water intake.
A regular bathing routine for your Staffy will keep them clean, and their skin and coats healthy. You don’t want to overbath them as this can dry out and irritate their skin, so I recommend a bath every 2-3 months.
Make sure you are using a gentle, oatmeal based, hypoallergenic dog shampoo on your Staffy. These types of shampoos are specifically formulated for your dogs PH levels and leave their skin moisturized, clean, and smelling great.
I use Wahl Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs – Oatmeal Formula on both my dogs and I love it. Smells amazing, great for their skin, and leaves their coats healthy and shiny.
Tick & Flea Medications
Regular tick and flea medications should be something you keep in your calendar. Giving your Staffy annual or season treatments for fleas and ticks will keep those nasty critters away, and your dog happy. Consult with your vet on a regular schedule of treatments.
Regular Vet Visits
Keep your dog’s health a top priority and visit your vet regularly. Regular check ups will ensure your Staffy is staying healthy and can continue to stay healthy for years to come. I always jot down questions to ask my vet when we are approaching our visit to get as much information as I can, and to provide them with any potential symptoms of health issues.
In all my years of being a Staffy owner I have had to piece together many things. Finding the causes of my Staffy’s excessive shedding in her early years was both frustrating and expensive. Countless vet visits and many hours of research before the internet was as robust with information as it is today.
With this post I hope I am able to save you both time and money in finding why your Staffy is shedding so much. Following some of the tips mentioned above has given my Staffy years of healthy coat and skin. Despite her allergies we have managed to provide her with a very happy and comfortable life free of excessive shedding.