The Irish Wolfhound is a giant-sized breed and one of the tallest canines worldwide. They were initially bred to hunt wolves. They are sweet, kind, loyal, and noble, making excellent family dogs. They love kids, but it’s best not to leave them alone with small kids as accidents can happen because of their size.
However, a straightforward fact about dog ownership is they shed, and there is nothing you can do to stop them from completely shedding. Therefore, it is crucial to understand a particular canine breed’s shedding to know if it is suitable for you and your family. Here is a shedding guide about everything you need to know about Irish Wolfhound shedding.
Do Irish Wolfhounds shed? Yes, they do, like other dogs with hairs. They are considered moderate shedders throughout the year. Luckily, unlike other double-coated canines, Irish Wolfhounds do not shed seasonally. The good news is that you can always reduce and manage their shedding through brushing, proper diet, and bathing, which we will discuss later in the article.
Even though dogs bring us happiness, we all know the widespread of their hair all over the house is annoying and uncomfortable for allergy sufferers. But don’t let that discourage you from owning such a wonderful breed. I will prepare you by informing you of everything you can expect about Irish Wolfhound shedding.
This article will clear up everything and answer all the questions concerning Irish Wolfhound shedding. For instance, how much do Irish Wolfhounds shed, why and when they shed, not forgetting how to minimize shedding. So, let’s dive right in!
How Much Do Irish Wolfhounds Shed
Despite their double coats, the Irish Wolfhound is a moderate shedding canine all year round. They do not shed seasonally, and their shedding isn’t excessive like other double-coated canines. How much your Irish Wolfhound sheds will depend on their environment, physical and mental health, diet, and age.
Despite their size, Irish Wolfhounds do not shed a lot. However, you can expect to find hairs in your home, which you can manage to keep under control. An undercoat rake and a slicker brush is all you need to maintain your Irish Wolfhound’s coat and minimize their shedding. We will discuss more ways of reducing and managing your pup’s shedding later.
Why Do Irish Wolfhounds Shed?
The Irish Wolfhound sheds as most dogs do. It is a natural process that all dogs with hair go through. When the hairs stop growing, they naturally fall out through shedding and are replaced with new growth. Irish Wolfhounds undergo a hair growth cycle that involves three stages. The first stage is when they develop new fur from their hair follicles.
The second stage is when the fur reaches its full length and stops growing. The third and last stage is when the fur eventually falls out and is replaced by new fur. This whole process leads to shedding, and the longer the hair growth cycle, the less the shedding and vice versa. With that being said, always know that your Irish Wolfhound will continuously shed. They will shed to get rid of their old fur and regrow new ones.
While shedding is a natural process in these dogs, keep in mind that it could also be due to an underlying health issue. This is called unhealthy shedding and it’s often characterized by excessive shedding. Keep reading to know what causes unhealthy shedding and what you can do to prevent it.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do Irish Wolfhounds shed? Irish Wolfhounds shed moderately all year round. Despite their double coats, they do not experience the blowing of coat season like other canines. The blowing of the coat is usually that period when dogs with double coats shed more as they adjust to the weather changes. So, the only shedding season Irish Wolfhounds experience is when they are getting rid of their puppy fur and developing permanent adult fur.
I have already mentioned that Irish Wolfhounds do not shed much. So, if you notice that your pup is shedding excessively, you should look into the cause. Some common causes of unhealthy shedding include allergies, stress, poor diet, infections, parasites, and hormonal imbalances in pregnant females. Unhealthy shedding doesn’t just come in form of excessive shedding, so watch out for signs and symptoms like:
- Thinning of the fur
- Dry and dull fur
- Constant face scrubbing and foot licking
- Continuous scratching
- Open sores
- Skin irritation (rashes, bumps, scrabs, and redness)
You should take a trip to your vet if you notice that your Irish Wolfhound is shedding unhealthily. Your vet will be able to determine the cause and recommend solutions to that particular problem affecting your Irish Wolfhound.
What Type of Coat Does Irish Wolfhound Have?
Irish Wolfhounds have a rough and hard coat. They are double-coated canines, meaning they have two layers of fur, the topcoat and the undercoat, which perform different jobs. The topcoat is longer and wirier around the eyes and jaws, whereas the undercoat is dense and thick to help them keep cool in summer and warm in winter.
Unlike other double-coated canine breeds, Irish Wolfhounds do not shed seasonally in spring and fall. They also don’t shed their undercoat. Their coat is easier to maintain since you only need to brush it regularly. Their fur comes in different colors like brindle, black, red, grey, fawn, and white.
How to Manage and Reduce Irish Wolfhound Shedding
After answering the question, do Irish Wolfhounds shed and rectified any health-related issues, we can now look at ways to reduce and manage their shedding. The first point to keep in mind is shedding is a normal process in dogs and can never be stopped completely. Your pup will continually lose hair and grow ones.
Therefore, the only thing you can do is learn to manage and reduce it. The most effective way to enjoy a fur-free home is to remove all the dead, loose hairs before they get the chance to fall off. This can easily be achieved through a regular grooming routine and providing a proper diet and supplements, among other things.
Irish Wolfhound Grooming
Grooming is mandatory when it comes to managing your Irish Wolfhound’s shedding. And the best way to do that is by brushing your pup. The Irish Wolfhound’s coat is easier to maintain because all you need to do is brush it regularly with a slicker brush and an undercoat rake.
A slicker brush helps to remove excess dirt and dust from your dog’s fur, whereas an undercoat rake helps collect all the loose hairs from his undercoat, thus reducing the amount of fur your pup sheds. So, generally, brushing helps to remove dead, loose hairs from your dog’s fur before they fall inside your house.
It also helps distribute the natural oils on their skin, thus promoting a healthier fur that sheds when necessary. This entire process might be a little tedious and time-consuming for first-time owners, but it’s worth the effort because it benefits you and your dog.
Irish Wolfhound Diet
As I mentioned earlier, diet affects how much your Irish Wolfhound sheds. The higher the quality of food your feed your pup, the healthier their fur and the less the shedding. So, ensure you feed your Irish Wolfhound an optimal diet rich in Omega fatty acids that helps to maintain a healthier fur.
Foods rich in Omega fatty acids include salmon, sardine, flaxseed, and soybeans. Remember, consistency is vital. You can also ask your vet to recommend the best canine food for your Irish Wolfhound. The goal is to ensure your dog’s diet promotes healthy fur that will shed healthily.
Bathing can also help to reduce and manage your Irish Wolfhound’s shedding. Like brushing, bathing also washes away dead, loose hairs from your dog’s coat, thus reducing the amount of fur which falls in your house. However, do not over bathe your pup because overbathing can cause dryness by washing off all the natural oils on their skin. And dry and irritated skin is prone to more shedding.
Dietary supplements can also help to maintain healthy fur and reduce shedding. So, if your dog isn’t getting all the necessary nutrients in their regular diet, talk to your vet to recommend the best dietary supplements for your Irish Wolfhound. Some Irish Wolfhound owners recommend the fish oil supplement since it promotes healthy fur that only sheds when necessary.
Are Irish Wolfhounds Hypoallergenic
Before we answer this question, let’s first explain what hypoallergenic means. A hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to aggravate an allergic reaction. People often assume that it is the fur that causes dog allergies. That’s not true because a protein found in the dog’s saliva, urine, and dander is responsible for disturbing a person’s immune system when inhaled.
But saliva, urine, and dander attach themselves on the fur and are released into the environment during shedding and become airborne. So, fur only acts as a transmitter of the protein produced by dogs. With this in mind, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic because they all produce the protein.
Allergy-friendly dogs are those that shed less, drool less, and produce less dander, hence less likely to cause allergies. Examples include the Poodle, Schnauzer, Basenji, Yorkshire Terrier, etc.
Back to the Irish Wolfhound, this breed is not hypoallergenic mainly because they shed regularly. In addition, they are massive in size, which means they produce more dander than a smaller dog.
But if you have your heart set on the Irish Wolfhound, here are a few tips to help you reduce the likeliness of your allergies flaring up:
- Do not allow them to lick you.
- Brush your Irish Wolfhound regularly and outside the house
- Avoid having carpets in your home because fur sticks on them
- Invest in a HEPA air filter to help collect all the airborne allergens
- Do not allow your pup to sleep on your bed or couch
- Train them to pee in a designated area
- Vacuum your house regularly
- Seek medication from your doctor to help contain your allergies