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Help me, my German Shepherd is shedding like crazy! I know what I signed up for, but this amount of extra dead hair doesn’t seem right. What am I doing wrong? Is my dog sick? How can I make it stop?

I received this message a few days ago, and I wasn’t really surprised. A lot of dogs, including German Shepherds, can have problems with excessive shedding. 

While it often may be a sign of poor grooming, extra hair loss can also mean there could be some hidden, underlying problems with your dog’s health. 

How to prevent and stop shedding, as well as how to ensure your dog has a nice coat, is waiting for you in this article. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful like the person who first sent me the message. 

1. Pick A Healthy Canine Diet

german shepherd looks at kibble dog foodgerman shepherd looks at kibble dog food

Everything starts with a good diet. You can’t feed your dog meals that are poor in nutrients and expect him to thrive from it. 

All dogs need health and balanced meals to make them feel good on the inside and look good on the outside. 

If some nutrients like vitamins or omega-3 fatty acids are lacking from your dog’s diet, chances are his coat will look terrible, without any shine and full of tangles. 

As always, vets recommend premium dog kibble you can find in specialized pet stores. However, as a huge GSD lover and an expert, I recommend you go with the raw diet. It’s extremely beneficial for dogs like German Shepherds.

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You can read more guidelines on a raw diet for GSDs here.

2. Brush Your Dog Regularly

owner brushes his german shepherdowner brushes his german shepherd

Dogs like German Shepherds must be brushed regularly. It would be ideal if you could devote some 10 to 15 minutes a day to brushing your German Shepherd. 

As you already know, these are thick-coated dogs with a double coat. Some specimens of the breed have a longer coat, and it’s even more important to keep them on a regular brushing schedule.

When you don’t brush your dog, the hair will become tangled and the entire coat will start to look scruffy and sad. Soon enough, your GSD will start shedding like crazy. And, they don’t call them German Shedders for nothing.

Brushing helps distribute natural coat oils throughout the coat, which gives it shine. In addition, it helps remove dead skin flakes and stimulates new hair growth.

3. Don’t Overbathe Your Dog

A nice German shepherd dog takes a bath with soapA nice German shepherd dog takes a bath with soap

Bathing a German Shepherd can be a nightmare. Trust me… I know it from my personal experience. However, my dogs got used to it. But, I believe if I bathed them more often, they would still hate it.

That’s just one reason why I recommend bathing German Shepherds every three to four months. The other reason is the fact that they shouldn’t be bathed too often or they’ll lose their natural oils and their hair will start falling out. 

Use mild shampoos and conditioners that will actually feed the dog’s hair and give it shine and flexibility. I prefer natural ingredients.

In the meantime, if your dog gets a bit dirty, use dog wipes or wipe him down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris.

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4. Use Good Grooming Tools

Close up shot of a man coming out fur of a German Shepherd dog, grooming process.Close up shot of a man coming out fur of a German Shepherd dog, grooming process.

If you’re new to owning a dog, you probably didn’t realize that not every grooming tool suits every dog breed. For example, German Shepherds shouldn’t be using rubber or bristle brushes because they do almost nothing to their coat.

What every GSD owner should buy are undercoat rakes, slicker brushes, and occasionally pin brushes. 

Undercoat rakes work wonders for removing tangles from the undercoat. I wouldn’t skip them by any means. Slickers help you brush your dog thoroughly and remove dead hair. Trust me… you’ll see a lot of it on the brush, so clean it regularly.

Lastly, pin brushes are good, but I love them for massaging my dogs and stimulating hair growth.

READ MORE: Best Brushes For German Shepherds

5. Add Supplements To His Diet

raw food with dietary supplementsraw food with dietary supplements

Your German Shepherd might be shedding because he’s probably missing something in his diet. This only applies if you have a normal grooming routine and you believe his diet is somewhat okay.

Sometimes, it can be one tiny nutrient that isn’t in the right dosage that could make a difference in the coat’s condition. Usually, dogs lack fatty acids like omega-3, EPA, or DHA. If you add those supplements, you’ll notice a huge difference in your dog’s skin and coat.

Dogs with enough of these nutrients don’t have itchy skin, they don’t shed, and they certainly don’t lack shine in their coat.

6. Consult The Vet For Diagnosis

vet checks the health of a german shepherdvet checks the health of a german shepherd

In case everything fails, there’s always the good old vet. 

Sometimes, the shedding isn’t because of poor nutrition or irregular grooming habits. Sometimes, the reason may be lying deep in your dog. Certain health conditions can be the reason behind all that shedding. 

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Your vet will run tests, of course, but these are the most common health issues that affect shedding:

  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver conditions
  • Cancer
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Thyroid issues
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasites like ticks and fleas
  • Stress

Only when you rule out major health issues can you be sure of what’s causing your dog’s excessive shedding.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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