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What Nutrients Control Shedding in Your Dog

Guest Post by Mark Young

ID-10032366Shedding is a natural process that just seems to come with the territory when you're a dog owner. In some cases, excessive shedding can be a sign of an underlying nutrient deficiency.  When this happens your dog's hair and skin might be more dry and brittle than usual.  This can cause their hair to fall out more easily, and brittle hair is also prone to splitting and breaking.  Continue reading on if you want to learn more about some key nutrients that can help alleviate this problem.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients when it comes to a dog's overall skin and hair health.  The two main fats your dog will need to keep hair loss under control are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. 

Most dogs already get enough Omega-6 fats in their regular diet, but in most cases, they won't be getting enough Omega-3 fats from a regular commercial dog food. 

You can either supplement your dog's diet with fish oil or flax seed oil since they are both great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.  There are also some dog foods out there that have been specially formulated to control shedding. Alternatively, if you really want to spoil your dog you can feed them grass-fed beef which tends to have a higher Omega-3 content.

When you feed your dog enough of these healthy fats their skin will retain moisture better.  In addition, their hair will look more lustrous since a thin layer of natural oil will protect their hair from drying out and becoming brittle.


Sometimes excessive shedding can be caused by a biotin deficiency.  The signs of biotin deficiency include dry flaky skin,  excessive shedding, and a lot of itching and scratching.  Your dog's nails may also become brittle, and they can suffer joint problems if the biotin deficiency is not corrected.

Luckily biotin is produced in small quantities in your dog's intestines by beneficial bacteria.  If your dog has intestinal problems, though, then the bacteria in their gut might not be producing enough biotin.  Also, if your dog has recently been on a course of antibiotics the beneficial bacteria might have been killed off.

To play it safe you can feed your dog foods that are rich in biotin so you can be sure they are getting enough of this vital nutrient.  Some foods that are excellent sources of biotin include egg yolks, liver, meat, and some leafy green vegetables.


When most people think of hair loss they don't tend to think about protein.  In reality, a dogs hair is made of keratin which is actually 60 to 90 percent protein.   Since dogs have a lot of hair a good percentage of the protein they consume is used to produce all of that keratin. 

Most dogs tend to eat a high protein diet, so we often think that our dog is at least getting enough of this nutrient.  There are cases where a dog might have problems digesting protein, so even if it seems like they are eating enough protein they still might not be absorbing it. 

If your dog has problems digesting protein you can add digestive enzymes to their food.  The digestive enzymes will break down the protein into amino acids, which will be much easier for your dog's intestines to absorb.

If your dog is a picky eater that might also lead to a protein deficiency.  In that case, you will have to figure out a way to get them to eat enough protein by offering them treats, or giving them supplements. 

An average adult dog needs to consume at least 18 percent of their calories in the form of protein.  While puppies will need to eat a diet made up of at least 22 percent protein to fuel their rapid development.   As long as you hit these targets you can be sure a protein deficiency is not at the root of your dog's hair loss problem.

Mark Young is an avid pet lover and writer on ThePetSupplyGuy.com. When he is not writing he spends his time taking care of his wide assortment of pets, and he also volunteers his time at local animal shelters.

Image: Anankkml, Freedigitalphotos.net

$8.28 Adoptions in the "828" - Now Through Nov. 17

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Asheville has been voted the "Quirkiest town in America," and we as a community celebrate the quirky qualities that make our town and residents stand out from the crowd!

Help Asheville Humane Society "Keep Asheville Humane Weird" by celebrating our local, unique pets for adoption! For less than the cost of your next tattoo, give a permanent place in your heart to a forever friend. Whether you're a "cat weirdo" or a "dog weirdo," Asheville Humane has got the pet for you!

Now through Saturday, November 17, all animals over six months old are just $8.28!

Although the love of a pet is priceless, all of the following are still included when you adopt! Each adoption fee includes spay/neuter, all up-to-date vaccines, behavioral training when appropriate, microchip and free 1-year registration, a free starter bag of food, and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian. 

To see available animals, visit www.ashevillehumane.org. The Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market). It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM (Tuesdays until 7 PM). The dog and cat rooms are closed daily for naptime from 1 to 2 PM, giving animals a much-needed break. The lobby remains open where you can speak with staff, enjoy refreshments, read or watch videos!

Hard 2 Recycle - Arden, Nov. 17

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 4.05.47 PMThe next Hard 2 Recycle event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 AM to 2 PM at TC Roberson High School, 250 Overlook Road, Arden/Asheville, NC. In addition to books, cardboard, electronic items, batteries, printer cartridges, and more, you can drop off the following items for Asheville Humane Society:

  • plastic totes
  • shoe boxes
  • crates (wire/plastic)
  • towels, blankets
  • pet toys, non-pellet stuffed animals
  • leashes (non-retractable)
  • unopened dry pet food
  • clay kitty litter
  • cleaning supplies

For further details, visit: https://www.ashevillegreenworks.org/hard-2-recycle.html

Hiking Hounds - Asheville, Nov. 18

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, November 18. Start time is 9 AM for repeat hikers and 8:30 AM for new hikers. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.

A Guide to Adopting Your First Dog

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

Editor's Note: While most Carolina Mountain Dog readers already have dogs, this article will be very helpful if you plan to adopt another dog. Or, please pass it along to a first-time adopter.

AngelinaLitvin-unsplash.comWhen you get the idea to adopt a dog, it’s hard to shake. Suddenly you see floppy ears, furry paws and wet noses everywhere you go. Dogs provide their owners with unending and unconditional love. They are always excited to see their humans walk through the front door no matter how long they’ve been away from home.

Each dog has their own personality and moods, but all-in-all pups are cheerful, kind, funny and completely lovable. Owning a dog is also healthy. Having a canine companion provides plenty of exercise and dog ownership has been shown to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness

Convinced adopting a dog is right for you? Read on for advice on picking out a pup and helping them adjust to your home those first few weeks.

Finding a Lifestyle Companion

The best dog for you is the one that is going to fit into your lifestyle. For instance, if you are an active person who likes to spend their weekends running trails and hiking mountains, adopting an active breed that can keep up with you for miles means you have a new exercise buddy that is always game. People who live in apartments or homes without yards, on the other hand, would do better with a lazier pup that prefers the comforts of the great indoors over being exposed to the elements. Talk with an animal adoption specialist about what you expect from pet ownership so they can make the best match possible.

Preparing Your Home for Pet Ownership

Bringing your new best friend home for the first time may be exciting for you, but entering a new environment full of strange sights and smells can be overwhelming for a dog. To make it easier, have everything clean and set up before you bring your dog home. Have water and food bowls set in their designated spot where it is easy for your pup to find them. Have plenty of treats, chews, and a good supply of limited-ingredient dog food on hand. Setting up a bed for your dog to enjoy in communal living areas gives them a space to sit so they aren’t jumping on furniture and taking up your spot on the couch. When you bring your pup home, let them explore these areas and figure things out themselves and they’ll settle in no time.

Beyond preparing your home for your dog, you also want to prepare yourself. Having everything you may need to address an emergency (or maybe not-so-emergency) situations. Pick out a veterinarian and schedule a meet-and-greet visit shortly after you adopt. Locate an animal emergency clinic nearby so you don’t have to waste time looking up options if your dog needs immediate medical help.

Also invest in plenty of cleaning supplies that combat pet hair, dander, and drool. This includes having a quality vacuum cleaner. Keeping a pet-friendly model like the Dirt Devil Razor Pet in a common room gives you access to dirt-busting power anytime you see a tumbleweed of hair blow across your floor.

Adopt Don’t Shop

People might like to buy purebred dogs because they are predictable. But unless you plan to show or breed, there really isn’t a good reason to drop $500 to $3,000 minimum on a pet when there are hundreds of thousands of animals in shelters waiting for a person like you to take them home. If you buy a dog at a pet store, you are very likely supporting puppy mills, which typically raise dogs in horrible conditions. Sure, shelters have their fair share of problem pooches. However, if you work with an adoption specialist at your local shelter you can find a canine companion that fits perfectly into your home and lifestyle.

When you adopt a shelter animal:

  • Another spot at the shelter opens for another animal in need
  • You make the marketplace less profitable for puppy mills
  • Your new pup comes with some basic training via shelter employees
  • You save money on adoption fees, microchips, and initial vet costs
  • The money you give to the shelter goes back into a good cause
  • The dog you adopt is forever grateful for what you’ve done
  • You save a dog’s life

If you are interested in dog ownership, don’t go for purebred unless you are looking to show or breed. Instead, turn to your local shelter to find the perfect lifestyle companion while doing some good. You perfect dog is going to be the kind that reflects your likes and interests. For instance, active people should pick out a dog that can play for hours. When preparing the home for the dog’s arrival, make sure it’s ready by having all of the pup’s possessions out and ready to be used. Furthermore, prepare yourself with vet information and cleaning supplies that take care of all kinds of emergencies.

Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at https://spiritfinder.org/

Image: Unsplash.com