Hi, my name’s Irena and I live in Greece on the beautiful island of Crete with Sherlock, my crazy dog who sheds like mad and my three cats, Hammie, Dimitris and Ebony who also do their fair share of shedding.
In this article, I am going to talk about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and how much they shed.
A Little About Shedding
Shedding is common in many dogs. They naturally lose damaged and old hair, but the frequency and amount of hair shed varies on the breed and their health.
It can also depend on what season it is. Many dogs have thicker coats in the winter and shed once the warmer weather comes.
Dogs who are mainly kept indoors tend to shed most of the time at the same level.
You can’t stop healthy dogs from shedding however much you try, but you can reduce the amount they shed.
In this article, we will take a look at what you can do to reduce the amount of hair covering your furniture and clothes.
You may adopt dogs who shed a lot, but sometimes excessive shedding is caused by other factors such as stress, poor diet, allergies or medical problems such as cancer and Cushings Disease.
If your dogs start to shed more than normal it is a good idea to go to your vet for advice.
What are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are toy dogs that originated in the United Kingdom.
Since the year 2000, they have grown in popularity in the U.S. and they are now the 19th most popular purebred dog in the States.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have silky and smooth coats and a smooth undocked tail. They just have one coat which is medium in length.
They are friendly and affectionate dogs and interact well with both children and other animals. However, they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods because they need to be with their people.
They absolutely love human interaction.
Short History of the Breed
As I said, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels originated in the UK.
They were great favorites with upper-class ladies and if you look at paintings by such artists as Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and Stubbs, you will often see Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
It was in the time of the Stuart dynasty that they became favorites with the Royalty and were given the name of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
However, as time went on, they were eventually replaced by Pugs. In the 1920s the breed was revived and became popular again.
In 1945, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were recognized as a proper breed by kennel clubs and now they are often seen at dog shows, such as Crufts.
What are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Coats Like?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have beautiful coats that are medium-length and silky. They don’t have an undercoat which does reduce the amount of shedding.
In addition, they have lengthy feathery bunches on their ears, chest, feet, and tails.
They have beautiful soft fur which comes in four colors. My friend has four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and she has chosen one of each color.
The first color is black and tan. The main color is black, but there are tan markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the chests, inside the ears, and underneath the tails.
The second color is ruby which is a rich red color.
The next is Blenheim which is a white coat with chestnut markings.
The last color is tricolor. These dogs are black and white with tan markings on their cheeks, eyes, ears, the inside of their legs and underneath their tails.
As well as the beautiful markings Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have, they usually have a spot on their very distinctive foreheads.
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed?
The easy answer to this is yes although some will shed more than others. Still, you will have to decide if you can cope with the shedding as you will get hairs all over your furniture and your clothes.
I have decided that I am happy with dog hair as I’d rather have my dog and an imperfect house rather than a pristine house.
There are many people who are allergic to dog hair. Perhaps if you fall into this category the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is not the dog for you.
You will need to look for a dog that doesn’t shed as much such as a poodle or a hairless dog.
How Much do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are considered to be average shedders.
They just have a single coat which means that they have less fur on their body overall. This does mean that they will shed less than their double-coated counterparts.
You can expect a moderate amount of shedding throughout the year which can be helped by grooming. Brushing your dogs can help to reduce the amount of shedding. Make sure you brush them daily.
Spayed females don’t tend to shed as much as ones that haven’t been spayed. Neutered males tend to get a denser coat, but they don’t shed any more or any less.
When do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed the Most?
Time of Year
The time when Cavalier King Charles Spaniels shed the most is in the spring and the fall.
If your dogs are kept indoors a lot and are exposed to indoor lighting, they will probably shed all year to a certain extent. Females will shed more after each heat and if they have a litter.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aren’t born with their adult coat, the same as all dogs. It takes some time before they get their adult coat.
They are usually between one and two years old before they get their permanent coats. When they are puppies, they can shed their coats at any time, not just in the winter or the fall.
Shedding can also be caused by a poor diet. Make sure that you buy a high-quality dog food filled with protein, good carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
Good carbs are fruit and vegetables. Don’t choose food that has empty fillers like wheat, corn, and soy.
Other Causes for Excessive Shedding
Fleas and ticks can cause excessive shedding. Your dogs will start to scratch a lot and when you see this you will know that they are due to have their routine anti-parasite medication.
Pregnancy and certain medications can also cause extra shedding.
There’s not a lot you can do if your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are pregnant except wait until the puppies are born. However, if they start to shed when they’ve taken medications, go and see your vet.
How to Combat Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shedding
One of the best ways to reduce excessive shedding is to look at the diet of your dogs.
Cheap dog food is often filled with empty grains like wheat, corn, and soy. None of this does any good towards the health of your dogs.
You need to look for a dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient. Your dogs need a protein-filled diet.
The nutrients in meat-rich food are easily digested and absorbed so promote better health and help to control shedding and dry skin.
Just remember that good dog food will help to prevent too much shedding, but it won’t stop it altogether.
Dogs with food allergies are prone to diet-related shedding.
A good idea is to add olive oil or flaxseed oil to the food. 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of weight should do the trick. These oils contain omega-3 fatty acids which can improve the texture of your dogs’ coats.
Give your dogs ‘human food treats’ now and then as they can also help to reduce shedding. Bananas, cucumbers and lean meats are all good choices, just remember not to give them bones.
In addition, remember that treats should only comprise 5 – 10% of their daily diet.
Make sure that your dogs have access to water at all times. Dehydration can lead to dry skin and shedding.
It’s a good idea to give them some wet food as well as dry as this has extra moisture. I mix the two for Sherlock.
To reduce shedding, also brush your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels regularly.
Grooming removes excess and loose fur and redistributes skin oils which means that the hairs will come out there and then rather than at all times.
Another good option is to bath your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Regular bathing can cause the loose hair to come out in the tub rather than on the furniture.
However, over-bathing can lead to dry skin which causes hair loss.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels should only be washed once a week at the most.
In addition, keep an eye on fleas and other parasites as these can irritate your dogs and cause extra shedding.
They will scratch more leading to hair loss so make sure that they get their flea and tick treatment.
Equipment Which Helps to Combat Cavalier King Charles Spaniels from Shedding
The best brush for dogs with medium length hair is a slicker brush. It has tiny tightly packed short wire pins that can reach through their fur.
However, if your dogs shed excessively you will probably need a de-shedding tool.
A rubber curry comb is ideal for the job. It removes both dust and loose hair from your dogs.
It has rubber teeth that encourage natural oils to be produced. These oils will help the skin to be healthy and the coat shiny.
Health Reasons for Increased Shedding in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are at risk of several diseases, but one illness that causes increased shedding is Cushings Disease.
This is a serious genetic disorder that produces too many hormones from the adrenal glands. It can lead to life-threatening disorders.
As well as hair loss, symptoms include excessive drinking, increased appetite, and lethargy. If your dogs exhibit any of these symptoms it is time to go to the vet.
Extra shedding can also be caused by allergies. Your dogs may be allergic to the food they are given or to shampoo if you bathe them.
If you suspect that it is one or other of these change the product and see if that helps. If this doesn’t work, go to the vet.
Are King Charles Spaniels Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
The simple answer to this is no they are not. The fact is that no dogs are completely hypoallergenic, although some breeds are better than others for allergy sufferers.
Hairless dogs like Peruvian Inca Orchids are the nearest you get to hypoallergenic dogs, but even they can cause allergies from the dander.
However, King Charles Spaniels are not good if you are allergic to hair and fur.
On the other hand, these dogs can be mixed with other breeds to create puppies that are more suited to people with allergies.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are lovely dogs. They make great family dogs as they are loving and affectionate. My friends’ four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are always all over me when I visit.
However, as I have shown in this article, they do shed so you will have to be prepared for a lot of cleaning of furniture and brushing down of yourself as well.
They are not the best dogs for people with allergies, but if you are determined to have these lovely dogs, groom them daily and bathe them weekly to cut down on the shedding.
It will be totally worth it to add such lovely dogs to your family.