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It’s a simple, albeit, unfortunate fact of dog ownership: dogs shed. Even a short-coated Boxer can leave behind a substantial mass of loose hair for you to clean up, making it exceedingly difficult to keep the house looking clean.
Thankfully, Boxers don’t shed as much as some breeds, though they’re certainly not hypoallergenic. Even so, many factors can affect your Boxer’s shedding, which we’ll discuss in this article.
So, how can you stop your Boxer from shedding so much?
To reduce your Boxer’s shedding, ensure you’re feeding them a balanced diet of high-quality food and supplying plenty of clean water to keep your dog hydrated. You’ll also want to implement a daily brushing regimen and start bathing your Boxer as often as once each week and remove environmental stressors when possible.
Each of these can aid you in your efforts to reduce your Boxer’s shedding, and we’ll further discuss them in detail below. But at times, your Boxer’s excessive shedding is caused by something specific. It can be helpful to understand the underlying cause behind your Boxer’s shedding, so we’ll also cover the main reasons why your Boxer is shedding so much.
A Bit About Boxer Coats
Before we talk about why your Boxer is shedding so much, it’s important that we understand what a Boxer’s coat is typically like.
Boxers display a single coat of very short hair. It should be shiny and healthy, requiring little grooming under normal circumstances.
Overall, Boxers are considered to be clean dogs with low maintenance needs. They only need minimal grooming and bathing.
For the most part, Boxers are also low-shedding dogs. This means that they rarely shed a lot at once. Rather, they tend to shed a small amount all year round.
Still, it’s possible for your Boxer’s shedding to increase when temperatures start to get warm, so expect a bit of extra hair to clean up around the summer transition each year.
Thankfully, the single coat that Boxers sport makes it easy to keep the mess from shedding to a minimum. It won’t trap dead or loose hairs like the double coat of a Rottweiler or German Shepherd can- that makes the entire grooming process much easier.
Why Does My Boxer Shed So Much?
As we’ve mentioned, compared to other domestic dog breeds, Boxers don’t shed all that much. They definitely do shed though, and they will continue to shed year-round.
When you’re trying hard to keep your home presentable, this constant reincarnation of the hair piles you clean each day can become a major frustration.
In some cases, things are made even worse by the addition of extraneous factors that contribute to excess shedding. Even a Boxer can shed enough to drive you mad under certain circumstances.
Unfortunately, there are many things that can make your Boxer shed more than normal. If you think your Boxer is shedding more than normal, look for signs of any of the following conditions.
Even though Boxers shed all year, you’re still likely to notice the shedding increase at certain times, such as when temperatures start to climb at the start of summer. During these seasonal changes, if you notice that there’s more loose dog hair around your home than usual, it’s nothing to be alarmed about.
One of the biggest contributors to a Boxer’s skin and coat health is their diet.
A poor diet can ruin the appearance of a dog’s coat, but it can also dry out the skin and cause excessive shedding.
Ironically, your Boxer can experience ill effects from eating too much or too little of particular nutrients. This can happen when feeding your Boxer a homemade diet or commercial food if either contains nutrient deficiencies or excesses.
Even on a commercial diet of high-quality dog food, your Boxer may require supplementation to keep its coat and skin at peak health.
Right along with adequate nutrition, sufficient hydration is necessary to ensure your dog’s overall health, and specifically, skin and coat health. A dehydrated Boxer will also have dehydrated skin, and that can lead to accelerated hair loss.
Stress and Anxiety
If your Boxer is overly stressed or anxious, they could start losing their coat much quicker. Excess shedding is common in dogs that are experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.
Unfortunately, stress and anxiety can both be caused by a myriad of factors. Determining the cause of your Boxer’s stress might take some work, but if you can help alleviate that stress and anxiety, then you might be able to reduce the amount of extra hair your Boxer is shedding.
Boxers can be allergic to all sorts of things, and hair loss is a normal side effect of many allergies.
Canine allergies are split into four categories: flea allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and genetic allergies. If your Boxer has any type of allergy, it could be causing undue shedding. You’ll probably need a vet’s help to diagnose the underlying allergy though.
The Wrong Shampoo
You may not give your Boxer’s shampoo much thought other than ensuring it keeps your pooch clean and fragrant. Boxers aren’t very dirty or smelly dogs to start with, so this is usually pretty easy to achieve.
However, you might want to start giving your dog’s shampoo a little more consideration. The wrong shampoo can dry out your Boxer’s skin and cause them to shed more than they should.
One common shampoo mistake is to use human shampoo on your Boxer. If it’s good enough for you it should be good enough for you pooch too, right? Actually, no.
Human shampoos are much harsher than the shampoos made for dogs. That’s because our skin is more acidic.
Shampoo for humans is designed to wash away the top layer of our skin called the acid mantle. Using that shampoo on your Boxer will disrupt your dog’s acid mantle, which can leave them very susceptible to a variety of infections including viruses and parasites that cause hair loss.
When your Boxer is pregnant, she’s going through a lot of hormonal changes and stress. This commonly results in excessive hair loss since your dog’s normal shedding and regrowth cycles have been interrupted.
Luckily, your Boxer’s hair will return, as will her normal shedding and hair growth cycles. The excessive shedding will cease a short time after giving birth.
Some skin orders are the result of hormonal imbalances. For example, Alopecia is caused when reproductive hormones are out of balance. It then leads to hair loss, eventually progressing into baldness.
Boxers are specifically at risk for such hormonal conditions since females can be affected by estrogen-responsive ovarian imbalance II and they can be caused in males by excess buildup of estrogen from testicular tumors.
Many types of infections can result in excessive shedding. Parasites, mites, fleas, and ticks are all relatively common infections for Boxers. All of these infections can cause your dog to shed more than is normal.
It’s not just infections that cause hair loss and extreme shedding. Other health problems can have the same result, including cancer.
Excess hair loss can be a symptom of many underlying health issues, so if your Boxer is shedding far more than they should be, you might want to schedule a trip to the vet and see why.
6 Ways To Reduce a Boxer’s Shedding
Under normal conditions, your Boxer shouldn’t be shedding excessively. Even so, the daily pileup of hair in every corner of your home can become a frustrating nuisance.
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can reduce your Boxer’s shedding, whether they’re shedding a normal amount or something is causing excess shedding.
As you’ve seen, excessive shedding can have many underlying causes that range from common and treatable to rare and deadly. Either way, these tips can help keep your Boxer’s shedding under control.
1. Brush Every Day
Your Boxer’s hair is continually falling out and new hair is growing in place of the lost hairs. Removing all of those loose, dead hairs is a surefire way to reduce the amount of shedding occurring in your home.
As it is, those dead hairs are slowly falling off your Boxer as they walk around your home. This causes those errant hairs to pile up in corners and under furniture. More of it will stick to surfaces that your Boxer comes into contact; particularly, the textiles like your furniture and clothing.
When you brush your Boxer, you can remove all those dead hairs at once, including any loose hairs that haven’t fallen out naturally. This enables you to get a jump on the mess, concentrating it all into one area at one time where it’s easily managed.
What Brush to Use on a Boxer
For Boxers, you have several brush options to choose from. A bristle brush with firm bristles is generally a great choice for a short coat like a Boxer’s They’re great at removing loose and dead hair and will leave your Boxer’s coat looking shiny and new.
Brushes with rubber bristles or nubs are also a great choice for Boxers since the rubber nubs will massage your dog’s skin while also collecting and removing the loose hairs.
If you want to get the best of both worlds, you can opt for a brush like this premium short hair dog brush that offers firm bristles on one side and rubber bristles on the other. It makes grooming time a lot easier!
2. Optimize Your Boxer’s Nutrition
As we’ve mentioned, nutritional issues can cause your boxer to shed more than normal. These issues include nutrient deficiencies and the opposite; excess intake of any particular nutrient.
Such problems tend to occur more often in dogs that eat homemade diets. Canines on high-quality commercial dog food aren’t as likely to experience such dietary issues, though it can still happen.
For most Boxers, simply switching to a high-quality commercial blend will ensure adequate nutrition. Look for something that’s high in essential fatty acids as these are vital to ensure your Boxer has healthy skin and hair.
Another option is to supplement your Boxer’s current diet with essential fatty acids. I suggest checking out the Zesty Paws Omega 3 Alaskin Fish Oil Chew Treats that are packed with essential fatty acids to keep your Boxer’s coat and skin healthy while offering support for the heart, brain, and joints.
3. Ensure Adequate Hydration
When your Boxer becomes dehydrated, even slightly, their skin will also dehydrate, becoming dry and flaky. This can cause your Boxer’s shedding to increase, leaving more of a mess around your home.
The solution to this problem is clear and simple: make sure your boxer has constant access to as much clean drinking water as it needs. Ensure that your Boxer’s water dish is in an easy-to-reach area and check it several times daily so you can be certain that there’s always plenty of water available.
4. Increase Frequency of Bathing
Boxers aren’t dogs that get especially dirty or smelly, so most owners bathe their Boxers a minimal amount. But if your Boxer is shedding more than you’re comfortable with, bathing a little more often could aid in reducing the issue. Most boxers don’t mind water, even if they’re not very good swimmers, so bath time is usually pretty straightforward.
When you bathe your Boxer, you’ll be removing all of the dead hair that’s already loose, as well as the hairs that haven’t yet let go.
If you want to take things even further, try using a de-shedding shampoo made for dogs. Whatever you do, don’t use a shampoo for humans as this can actually exacerbate your Boxer’s existing shedding issues.
The world of dog shampoo can be pretty confusing but we’ve recommended this mild shampoo from Earthbath before (even though it’s more for puppies) and you can check it on Amazon.
5. Reduce Your Boxer’s Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are the often unseen forces that can have a marked effect on your Boxer’s shedding.
Too much stress can lead to hair loss, so removing stressors from your dog’s environment can help to reduce the amount of hair loss occurring. Pay attention to the people and incidents that cause your dog to act stressed and do your best to mitigate or eliminate these stressors.
Another way to reduce your dog’s stress is to increase the amount of exercise they’re getting. Adding in a few walks each day or an additional play session can do wonders for relieving your Boxer’s stress. You could even work in some basic agility to really take things to the next level of exercise. Whatever you do, just keep your boxer active!
Sometimes, there are no clear stressors for you to remove but your Boxer is stressed often or even all the time. In such cases, you should take your dog to the vet and let them investigate. There could be an underlying medical condition causing your Boxer’s stress, and the cure might require professional help, such as medications to alleviate anxiety.
6. Have Your Boxer Checked for Allergies and Illness
Invisible stressors aren’t the only things you might need a vet to help you diagnose. As we’ve discussed, there are a variety of underlying medical conditions that can result in hair loss or excessive shedding.
Your Boxer’s excess shedding could be caused by something as simple as a food allergy or something as dangerous and serious as cancer. The only way to know for sure is to take your dog to the vet and get a professional evaluation.
A good vet should be able to check for a wide range of potential health concerns. After diagnosing your Boxer’s health condition, your vet should also be able to provide a solution of some sort, or advice on how to move forward, at the least.
How to Know When Your Boxer is Shedding Too Much
Boxers aren’t very heavy shedders. They do shed all the time, but they generally don’t shed very much hair at once.
It can be difficult to determine if your Boxer is shedding a healthy amount or more than is normal. For this reason, it’s vital to pay attention to your Boxer’s shedding while they’re young, so you can easily tell if there’s a change.
If your Boxer starts to display bald patches or their coat starts to look thin in places, then it’s a good bet that your dog is shedding too much.
Similarly, if you’re finding large piles of hair around the home every day despite your best efforts to clean them up, then your Boxer is likely over-shedding. It’s normal to find loose hair from your Boxer’s coat daily; it’s not normal to find large amounts of it.
How to Tell if Your Boxer’s Coat Is Healthy
When your Boxer’s coat and skin are healthy, the hair should be smooth and shiny with soft skin that doesn’t flake and isn’t greasy.
Brittle or coarse hair is an indication of poor coat health. Bumpy, flaky, greasy, or dry skin are all signs that your Boxer’s skin health is leaving something to be desired.
If you’ve got a Boxer in the family, then finding loose hair around the home each day is par for the course. Boxers shed every day of the year, but because they have short single coats, their shedding shouldn’t accumulate too much.
Should you feel that your Boxer is shedding more than is normal, then there might be an underlying condition such as allergies, illness, poor diet, or stress. Most causes of excessive shedding are easy to manage or cure, but some, such as underlying illness, might require professional veterinary attention.
No matter why your Boxer is shedding so much, you can help to reduce the problem with daily grooming, more frequent bathing, dietary improvements, and ensuring adequate hydration with constant access to clean water.
Hopefully, I’ve been able to help you determine the cause of your Boxer’s copious shedding and a solution to help mitigate the issue. Just make sure to keep an observant eye on your Boxer’s coat for continuing indication of coat and skin health so you can tell if your efforts are working!