Do cavapoo shed and what to do about it

Cavapoo is often marketed as a cross breed that doesn’t shed. But is that really so? How much do cavapoo shed?

To begin with, each and every dog sheds. To put it even better, every animal sheds, including humans (you know all that hair in your bathtub?) Cavapoo is a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. As is always the case with mixed breeds, it’s hard to predict how many genes a particular puppy will inherit from the spaniel, and how many (and which) from poodle.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels shed fur in moderate amounts, like most dogs. Poodles are considered a fairly low-shedding breed with their wiry and curly coat.

Whether your cavapoo puppy will be more on the high or low shedding side, really depends on how much of his or her coat genes are inherited from the poodle as opposed to the spaniel. If the poodle genes dominate in this particular puppy, you can expect your new love to be fairly low-shedding. Their coat will look and feel much more like a poodle’s sleek and curly coat than a spaniel’s soft one.

If your puppy has inherited more of a spaniel’s goat genes, you will be able to see it too. It will have longer and smoother fur and will likely shed about as much as a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel would.

Now, even if your puppy has more of proud poodle genes in them and their coat is totally coily and curled, it doesn’t mean they won’t shed. You will likely still notice minimal shedding – on your clothes, carpet or a new couch. As it will be minimal, it probably won’t bother you too much (and cavapoo are so worth it anyway!)

One thing you need to know when you have a new cavapoo puppy is that puppies have their own puppy coat that is different from the coat the adult cavapoo will have. Cavapoo puppy coat is a softer, fluffier coat which your cavapoo puppy will have until they are around six months old.

The puppy coat protects your little cavapoo from cold and also serves as a soft padding for the clumsy puppy exploring the world. As your cavapoopuppy matures, it will gradually lose its puppy coat which will slowly be replaced by a harder, denser adult coat. In the process of maturing and changing coats, your cavapoo will shed.

How much will depend on the genes and some other individual factors, however this period of shedding may be quite noticeable. It shouldn’t worry you though: this is a very natural process for a puppy and you likely won’t notice so much shedding at any other stage of your cavapoo’s life again, especially if they inherited more of the poodle genes.

As your puppy loses its puppy coat, it is important to regularly groom them. Brush your cavapoo out every day if you can, for as long as 10 – 20 minutes.

This is a really great habit both short-term and long-term. Short term it will allow you to help your cavapoo puppy get rid of the fur that can otherwise get trapped in the still growing hair and cause matting. Matting can be hard to deal with and painful for the dog: it’s not very easy to get those tangled hair clumps out of their fur!

Brushing your puppy will also help you trap all that loose hair before it gets spread all over the house, your carpet, your sofa and your clothes. If there is anyone in the house with dog hair allergies, preventing hairs from spreading will help curb those.

The other bonus is that, by brushing your cavapoo, you cause more shedding to happen more quickly thus reducing the length of this shading stage of your puppy’s life. Shorter shedding = happier owners = clean house!

In addition to that, if you groom your cavapoo regularly for prolonged periods of time since puppy-hood, you dog will get used to it and grow to enjoy it. This will ensure better bonding between you and your puppy and also will make it easier for you to groom them in the future.

And if you have lots of other types of bonding time with your puppy and would like to delegate the brushing responsibility to someone else, you can always contact a groomer and take your puppy for a professional grooming! A lot of cavapoo owners provide regular professional grooming sessions to their dogs, and it can be beneficial to start your puppy young!

Yes, even after the puppy shedding stage is over, your adult cavapoo will still shed. The amount of shedding in an adult dog will depend on several factors.

Spaniel/ poodle genes

As we already mentioned, you may get yourself a very low-shedding cavapoo if it has inherited more of the poodle hair genes than that of a spaniel. That pesky spaniel fur will require more care/grooming to minimise shedding effects.

Temperature/season/day light

You may have noticed that your dog (or cat!) sheds more in the spring/summer season than in any other season of the year. That is because the amount of shedding in all animals is influenced by the length of day light time. As the day light time begins to increase in spring, so does the amount of shedding for almost all animals. That happens whether the animal lives outside or in the house, although it is more pronounced in outdoor animals.

But even indoor dogs and cats start shedding more in the spring time. Temperature may also be a factor, although less important than day time. This type of seasonality is simply to be expected. You will notice that your cavapoo sheds much less during winter and fall!

Nutrition

Nutrition plays a huge role in the overall health of your cavapoo, and particularly in the health of their coat. Unbalanced nutrition can cause nutrient deficiencies in your pet. For example, protein deficiency will exacerbate shedding, as hair follicles and hair growth in general depends on the amount of protein your cavapoo gets in their diet.

Too little protein will lead to weakened hair follicles and thus more shedding. (It can also cause faded, matted look of your cavapoo coat.) Dry kibble is often to blame for lack of protein in your cavapoo’s diet (and overabundance of carbohydrate which can cause your dog to gain weight!) We talk more about best food for cavapoo in this article, but here it’s enough to say that it’s always a good idea to do thorough research on the food type (kibble / wet food / natural food / raw food) that you want to feed your cavapoo, and the brand.

Whatever type / brand of food your choose, make sure it has at least 20 – 25% protein content which is necessary for the health of an adult dog.

The other important minerals and nutrients for your dog’s coat health and low shedding are zinc, chrome and B vitamins.

Just like puppies, older dogs can experience more shedding. If your cavapoo is middle-aged and older, it may have age-related shedding, as dogs will shed more when they get into their older age. Some age-related diseases can also cause excessive shedding.

Hormones

Hormonal changes can cause shedding, as it is highly effected by the hormonal status of the animal. Female cavapoo will experience higher periods of shedding after being in heat or if she has just had puppies and is lactating. Unbalanced thyroid hormones can also cause extra shedding if your dog suffers from hypothyroidism.

Stress

Have you ever heard of people losing their hair during difficult and stressful life situations? Dogs can experience the same! If your cavapoo has to deal with a lot of stress (such as a high conflict home, lots of noise, abuse, or even boredom and lack of stimulation!) it may cause some additional shedding! It is just as important to help your pet maintain their psychological health as it is with their physical health.

Washing/ bathing your dog is a great habit that ensures proper hygiene and often can be an enjoyable activity for both the dog and their human. However, if you bathe your cavapoo too often, it can dry out their skin which will cause excessive shedding. The other reason behind your cavapoo losing too much hair can be using the wrong bathing products such as soap or shampoo.

Never use human shampoos on dogs! Dogs and humans have different skin pH levels and it is necessary to choose the shampoo that will work well with that pH balance. Use only specialised dog shampoos, and try to pick the brand that won’t dry out your cavapoo’s skin. If you notice any changes in your dog’s skin or coat after bathing them (such as dry skin, red patches, any type of inflammation or sore spots), discontinue the shampoo.

You can also get professional advise from a groomer or even a vet as they always know the best products and best approaches to keeping your cavapoo’s coat healthy, shiny and minimally shedding.

If you are just getting (or thinking about getting) your first cavapoo, don’t buy into the promises of a 100% non-shedding dog. That is never the case, and in fact should be a red flag in terms of how much you can trust a breeder, if they promise such thing as a non-shedding dog. There is just no such thing 🙂 Even poodles shed, and they are considered one of the most minimally shedding dogs on the planet.

Expect your new cavapoo puppy to shed a moderate amount. However, don’t be intimidated by that. You will not be finding huge clumps of hair all over your house, even if your puppy sheds more than minimally. They are still a very small dog and the amount of shedding is really quite tolerable for most of cavapoo owners.