Hello and Welcome everyone!!! I hope you are all doing great.
In today’s topic we will be discussing further about a Cocker Spaniel puppy’s coat growth. Before, we talked about how these adorable munchkins grow and thanks to your interest, we are adding this new section to our ‘Cocker Spaniel 101 Guide’. So, let’s start.
Born with a single soft puppy coat, Cocker Spaniel puppies generally shed their first coat at the age of four to six months old. The second coat that comes is comparably stiffer and thicker, suited for their adult lifestyle.
But why does this happen??? Let’s find out.
Why do puppies shed their baby coats?
A normal biological process for all canines, shedding their puppy coat means welcoming a new change. This way they are also getting rid of all dirt that must have accumulated on their fragile bodies, and hence keep themselves healthy.
When puppies are born (regardless if they are double or single coated) they are born with a single coat. This puppy coat serves as their thermostat, as the only work it serves in the initial phases is to regulate their body temperature and nothing else.
So, as they develop, this layer of fur is also replaced with a new shinier, thicker one that gives them the final look of their adult life. When shedding their first coat a Cocker Spaniel puppy may seem to be changing its colour, appearing flaky, patchy and little ruffled, also known to be passing through their ‘ugly phase’.
Is the shedding gradual or instant?
Shedding is a gradual process for every canine and hence the difference might be barely visible. Everyday they lose some hair and gain some more. This continues on till they are four to six months old, when finally the transition takes place.
However, this change is not constant with every Cocker Spaniel puppy. Depending upon their parent’s progeny and living conditions, some pups may have a gradual change while in others the changes might be so quick as to create a dramatic difference in their before and after pictures. Some other factors playing a major role in this include their feeding regime, grooming needs, and health conditions.
How to groom my Spaniel puppy when they are shedding their first coat?
With shedding being the ultimate fear of pet owners, this is when you will need to follow strict grooming guidelines to prevent your entire home from being flocked with loose fur.
From brushing them with a soft slicker brush to clipping their nails, pet parents have to be utmost ready with their professional grooming tools during this phase. Even though brushing them won’t be enough to get all loose hair, this will definitely make a great difference as compared to not brushing them at all.
While brushing, make sure the brush gets all the way into their thick fur layers. Spaniels are known for their voluminous fur and hence simply rolling the brush won’t give you any result. You will have to comb through their hair gently as any pressure may lead to damaging their puppy coat even further. Moreover, the pulling and tagging may also cause pain to your pupper, so always brush with gentle pressure.
Afterwards, bathe them with a nice, mild, dog-friendly shampoo to get any remnant fur off their body and thus help them look good. You can also use a high-quality dry dog shampoo in case your puppy is too small for its first wet bath. Dry them with a dog-specific vacuum, as human use vacuums might be too hard for their new fur. You can also apply a small coat of a good leave-in hair conditioner to prevent matting.
How should I deal with the shedding?
While there is nothing much to do apart from regular grooming, pet parents can focus on providing their growing puppers with highly nutritious dog feed. As discussed previously, the feeding regime plays a major role in their growing phase. And hence by adding antioxidants, or Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids into their regular diets can be a good supplement for their skin and coats.
However, no matter what, always make sure to have the feed tested out by your vet for safety before administering to your pup. Your pup may have intolerance to certain food items that you might be unaware of, leading to severe allergic reactions.
When does the shedding become a problem?
Every dog goes through its puppy coat shedding phase, and even though it’s an entirely normal process, some cases may be exceptional. So, if you have recently seen swollen pink areas, or bald patches it’s high time to take the woofer to a vet. A regular puppy coat shedding doesn’t result in such circumstances and there might be something else that has been triggering the effects.
Some of these include:
- Alopecia– a skin conditions caused by infestation of fleas, ticks, mites, or bacterial and fungal infections
- Cushing’s disease– a health condition where the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol in their body
- Hormone imbalance
- Skin infections
- Poor nutrition
- High stress levels
These serious conditions require specialised care and therefore the soon you get them diagnosed by a vet, the better.
What happens after the shedding is complete?
Once the shedding is done and over with, your Cocker Spaniel puppy will have a new adult coat. There might also be noticeable colour differences, for instance, the new adult coat might be a tad longer, thicker, and darker than their previous puppy coat or vice versa.
This adult coat is however still not a permanent coat. Their wavy double coat moderately sheds all year-round, with two peak shedding seasons. This is when all of their coat falls off and is renewed by a new coat type depending upon the season. So, in the hot months of summer, they have a way thinner summer coat to keep their little bodies cool and a much thicker fur for when the winter chills come through. This goes on all their life and that’s why you need to be fully prepared before welcoming one of these regal puppies home.
So, this was all about the Cocker Spaniel puppy and their shedding pattern starting from their very first puppy coat shedding. For more topics like these, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list.
Until next time, take care!
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