Catahoula leopard dogs shed little to moderate fur. As you will learn later in this guide, the Catahoula leopard dogs were bred for forest and swampy terrains. They are high-energy dogs that were primarily used for herding and hunting. The dog’s fur grows to a few inches and maintains that height for the rest of the Catahoula leopard’s lifetime.
A Catahoula leopard dog’s fur will shed most often during summer. The hot weather dries their skin and increases shedding. The dog will also shed due to nutrient deficiencies or medical complications such as cancer and dermatitis. However, healthy Catahoula leopard dogs are not heavy shedders.
Nevertheless, Catahoula leopard dog shedding is manageable. Washing and grooming your dog occasionally is also essential to reducing and controlling dog shedding. There is a lot to learn on how to care for a shedding Catahoula leopard dog in this guide.
Do Catahoulas have fur or hair?
Many people confuse fur with hair and vice versa. Let me clarify that Catahoula leopard dogs have a short coat of fur. The critical difference between fur and hair is that hair grows on people and animals, but fur grows exclusively on animals.
In addition, hair grows in length over time, but fur will reach a few inches and maintain that length throughout the dog’s life.
Another thing about Catahoula leopard dogs is that their fur lies flat on their skin, unlike other dogs such as the German shepherd with long strands of hair. That makes it even much easier to care for the Catahoula leopard dog.
Brush their fur at least once a week and bathe the dog 4 to 5 times a year or whenever they are dirty, dusty, and muddy.
Brushing your Catahoula leopard dog untangles the fur, ventilates their coat, and removes dead and damaged fur from your dog. Brushing Catahoula is essential to keep dog fur away from your clothes and seats.
By now, you must be wondering if Catahoula leopard dogs shed. I will come to that in the next section. It is worth mentioning that Catahoula leopard dogs are native to the state of Louisiana. Their bodies are covered in fur, and caring for them is pretty straightforward.
If you can match Catahoula’s energy, I recommend adopting one from institutions such as Petfinder and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Do Catahoula leopard dogs shed?
Most definitely, Catahoula leopard dogs shed throughout the year. However, they are not heavy shedders like you would imagine. Catahoula leopard dogs are light to moderate shedders. In other words, the dog’s hair is nothing to worry about if you want to keep a Catahoula.
However, there are exceptions to that natural shedding cycle. The natural process of dog shedding due to warming weather is called blowing coat. Research suggests that Catahoula leopard dogs shed significantly more fur in hot weather than in colder temperatures.
Blowing coat is their mechanism for transitioning from a heavy winter coat to a lighter summer coat. However, Catahoula is not hypoallergenic. Although they shed light to moderate fur, they are not compatible with allergic people. In other words, Catahoula leopard dog fur can transmit allergens through their hair, just like the heavy shedding dogs.
If you are highly allergic to dog saliva and dander, adopt non-allergy dogs such as Bison Frise, Scottish Terrier, or Yorkshire Terrier. However, no dog breed is a hundred percent hypoallergenic. Your reaction to the allergens ranges from mild to severe.
Keep a Catahoula leopard dog if you have little or no allergies to dog fur. If you have mild symptoms and would like to keep a Catahoula, read the next section on how to care for a shedding Catahoula leopard dog.
You will also learn to reduce contact with dog hair as much as possible.
How to care for a shedding Catahoula leopard dog
No dog breed is a hundred percent hypoallergenic. Although Catahoula leopard dogs shed light to moderate fur, they are not compatible with allergic people. Do not keep it if you have a severe allergy to dog hair and dander.
Here are some ways to care for a shedding Catahoula leopard dog:
1. Control parasites
Internal and external parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, and worms can cause hair loss in Catahoula leopard dogs.
The most common worms that will cause dog shedding are hookworms and tapeworms.
A dog with parasites may scratch its skin, have a dull coat, or lose weight. Use flea and tick treatments such as Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo or Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray.
Treat your Catahoula leopard dog against parasites every 30 days until its fur is healthy.
2. Vaccum your dog often
Vacuuming your dog is an effective measure against shedding and having dog fur scattered all-around your house. If you have a vacuum cleaner, purchase a dog grooming attachment that fits it. If it is your dog’s first time vacuuming, turn on the vacuum and call your dog.
That will acclimate the Catahoula to the vacuum and lower his resistance. However, Catahoula is a low-shedding dog with low vacuuming needs. Also, vacuum your home twice a week to keep dog fur and dander from accumulating on surfaces.
3. Bath Catahoula 3-4 times a year
Introduce a healthy grooming routine immediately after you bring a Catahoula leopard dog home. Catahoulas are active and energetic and may get dirty and muddy from playing and digging around your home.
Although the dog likes water, bath him only when he is dirty, dusty, or muddy. Otherwise, a good bathing routine for a Catahoula leopard dog is after every 3 months.
Bathing your dog does not only keep it clean and attractive. It also keeps the dog healthy and free from the parasites I mentioned earlier.
4. Brush your dog once a week
Care for a shedding Catahoula leopard dog by brushing his coat weekly. However, a good brushing session is as good as your tools.
Using the right brush is essential for loosening knots and mats on your Catahoula. Be gentle with your dog because a brush can cling to hair knots and cause pain.
Some brushes to consider for a Catahoula leopard dog are Hertzko Slicker Dog Brush, Pet Neat Deshedding Dog Brush, or the Delomo Grooming Glove Dog Brush.
Brushing your Catahoula once a week distributes their natural oils, leaves their coat shiny, and reduces shedding.
5. Control Catahoula shedding using coconut oil
Home remedies and supplements such as coconut oil can improve Catahoula’s skin and coat condition. Coconut oil is an essential superfood that prevents shedding and also offers significant nutritional benefits to your Catahoula leopard dogs.
Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are efficient against dry skin. MCT moisturizes and hydrates Catahoula skin. The oil also has lauric acid that builds dog immunity whether it’s ingested by the dog or applied topically.
Other essential oils to hydrate your dog’s coat include olive oil and fish oil.
6. Give Catahoula a healthy balanced diet
The Catahoula leopard dog diet should be packed with essential vitamins and minerals. The dog has a large body mass, which requires healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, and ground bones to maintain.
Lack of protein in the Catahoula diet denies the dog sulfur-containing amino acids, which promotes healthy hair on your dog. Feed an adult Catahoula leopard dog with three to five cups of quality dog food daily.
Some best dog foods for Catahoula leopard dogs include Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Lamb Dog Food and Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Dog Food.
Also, give your Catahoula some fatty acid supplements. A healthy balanced diet will keep your dog’s skin healthy and give it a full shiny coat.
7. Be quick to remove newly shed fur from your fabrics
Freshly shed dog fur is easier to remove from fabrics than fur left on the upholstery for a long time.
Leaving fur on your fabrics until later makes them sticky and difficult to remove. Use white vinegar to rinse your clothes and eliminate struck Catahoula fur.
Alternatively, remove newly shed fur from your home upholstery as soon as possible.
8. Cover your car seats and furniture
The best seat cover material against dog hair are canvas, Cordura, and vinyl. If you are concerned about shedding because of how much Catahoula leopard dog shedding messes the house, cover your seats and furniture with dog seat covers made from these materials.
9. Take your dog to a vet
Several medical issues can cause shedding on your dog. A Catahoula leopard dog does not shed its fur very heavily. A shedding Catahoula leopard dog will get the best care from a veterinarian.
The vet can assess and run various tests on your dog to reveal the cause of shedding. Besides, you will get professional advice on bathing, feeding, and exercising your Catahoula.
Texas A&M University. (2022). Time for a summer cut? Tips for warm weather dog grooming. Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical SciencesAmerican Kennel Club. (2022). Catahoula Leopard Dog.