Saint Bernard is a kind, loving, and intelligent dog breed. You might not know, but they used to rescue people from snowy mountains. They are giant and muscular dogs that can reach a height of 30 inches and a weight of 180 pounds.
Saint Bernards can have short and long hairs, but unfortunately, the shedding will remain excessive in both variants.
Do Saint Bernards shed? Without a doubt, Saint Bernards do shed and they shed a lot. Apart from excessive drooling, Saint Bernards are one of the top shedding dogs out there. They are heavy shedder and usually blow their coats twice a year. If you own one, expect a considerable amount of shedding throughout the year apart from seasonal shedding.
If you are a neat person and loves a tidy place around you, then sorry to inform you that Saint Bernard is not the best option for you. They shed heavily due to their dense, thick double coat.
Shedding Periods of Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards shed the most during spring and autumn. Shedding at this time is normal, and there is nothing to worry about if you see a lot of hair inside of your house.
It is a natural process in which every dog goes through. Some Saint Bernards shed less, and some shed more. This shedding is to prepare them for the coming winter or summer.
Times have changed, and the dog’s environment has been changed with time as well. Before Saint Bernards were kept outdoor most of the time. Nowadays, there are places where Saint Bernard stays inside more than the outside.
The changes in your dog’s environment change the amount of shedding as well. Staying indoors for most of the time disturb the natural process of shedding, and these dogs tend to shave heavily throughout the year. This phenomenon is known as False Shedding.
Saint Bernard Coat Type
This beautiful and massive dog can have two types of coats. It can be either rough or smooth, but both coats are dense to protect them from harsh winters.
They have feathering on their legs and thighs. In a rough coat, the hairs tend to be longer than a smooth coat. Keep in mind that a rough coat can take a longer time for grooming.
With their massive size and a dense coat, prepare yourself for a lot of shedding. Like any other massive dog breeds, Saint Bernard shedding can be reduced by taking the right steps and by grooming them continuously.
Their amount of shedding can drive you crazy, and you might want to take some steps to keep it at bay.
How to Reduce Shedding in Saint Bernard?
There some tricks to use on your Saint Bernard when you are having a tough time with his shedding. Let’s have a look at some options.
Prepare yourself to spend a considerable amount of grooming of your Saint Bernard. Don’t panic as the amount of time you spend on grooming will be worthwhile in the end as it will help to deal with less shedding. Regardless of the coat type, smooth or rough, the shedding will be extreme in both cases.
Long-hair Saint Bernards are most likely to develop tangles and knots in their coat, so brushing is extremely important and should be done on a daily basis. Especially in the spring and autumn, when their shedding will be on the peak.
If your Saint Bernard has short hairs, then you will need a rubber curry brush, and if you have a long-haired Saint Bernard, then you will require a pin brush and 2 in 1 comb.
The typical line brushing method should be followed when you are brushing Saint Bernard. Although it may take a long time because of the size of a dog, it is a necessary process and should not be avoided.
Using a comb on stubborn hairs and tangles is a good idea. Use divide and rule formula on knots and tangles to make them smooth. Thighs and behind the ears are prone to tangles and should be looked at carefully.
If you are brushing your Saint Bernard 3 to 4 times a week, then it might be enough. But when it is the seasonal shedding period, you will have to increase the number.
Some owners recommend using shedding blade a curved, toothed brushing tool on Saint Bernard once a week to reduce shedding.
Brushing daily or 3 to 4 times per week will help your dog to shed less. You are most like to pick up loose or dead hairs from your dog’s coat, which are about to shed on your floor or furniture. Regular brushing will eliminate the chances of developing knots and tangles as well.
Baths are not required often for Saint Bernards. You can bathe your Saint Bernard as require and only when he is dirty or stinks. Bathing a dog frequently will reduce the amount of body oil present in their coat.
This body oil keeps the hair and coats healthy, and eliminating this oil can lead to dry skin and ultimately to more shedding.
Bathing a Saint Bernard can be a challenging situation unless you have a big walk-in shower. It is best to bath your dog outside with a garden hose unless it is too cold outside. Use a canine shampoo on your Saint Bernard and make sure to use conditioner if your dog has long hairs.
Lather and rinse thoroughly. Towel dry your dog and give them a thorough brush on all the body to keep the hairs clean and smooth. This brushing will help your dog to maintain his coat healthy.
A healthier coat means less shedding. It is as essential to give them a brush before bathing. This brushing will help in avoiding tangles.
Diet and Supplements
Food plays a significant role in your dog’s health. A healthy diet ensures that your dog is happy and fit. Excessive shedding is a common problem when nutrients and vitamins are missing from your dog’s diet.
Always check with the vet to confirm what diet should be given to your Saint Bernard as the size and requirement of diet can be different for each dog.
Supplements can be given to maintain their hairs healthy. Omega 3, Omega 6, and fish oils are famously used in dogs to reduce shedding. It is a good idea to run it through a vet before giving any supplement to a dog.
Can You Give Saint Bernard a Haircut?
Some of the groomers advise strongly against a haircut in Saint Bernard. Most of the people believe that haircut is not for Saint Bernard mainly because it is unhealthy for the dog.
Some advice to trim or shave your Saint Bernard only at the vet’s recommendation. If they have a wound in one place, then it can be shaved to apply medication or to regrow hair from scrape.
Some people give a puppy cut to their Saint Bernard. Because they want the dog to be low maintenance, although shedding of the dog is not connected to the shaving or haircut.
If you are living in a scorching climate, then trimming your dog’s hair might be acceptable to keep your dog cool in summer.
Always keep the side effects of shaving or trimming in Saint Bernard. They are more likely to get a sunburn if they lose their coat, and in some cases, their hair might not grow back to the original condition.
They could be more exposed to parasites, and chances of bites from fleas and ticks are increased.
Hair Loss in Saint Bernards
Almost all of the dog breeds face some kind of hair loss. Some are most likely to be affected by health issues, while others can spend a healthier life. The good news is that Saint Bernard is not prone to many skin issues that can lead to hair loss.
However, there are still some health issues that can lead to hair loss in Saint Bernard such as parasites, pyoderma, and other skin infections.
Pyoderma is also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis. It is a bacterial skin infection that can lead to hair loss in your dog. This condition involves hot spots and wet eczema. Saint Bernard is prone to this skin infection because of their wrinkled skin and dense coat.
The bacteria that cause Pyoderma is a permanent resident in your dog’s skin but does not pose any harm to a healthy dog. Any problem with the immune system causes this bacteria to go out of control and develop a skin infection.
Any dog’s reaction to hot spots is to lick or scratch it. Saint Bernard does precisely the same and starts to scratch it, which leads to more skin infection and irritation.
Antibiotics are prescribed for this condition, and sometimes medical shampoo is recommended by the vet.
Pyoderma is famously known to cause hair loss in Saint Bernard. Your dog’s scratching and licking to the hot spot will only help in losing the hair of the dog.
Other Skin Infections
Saint Bernard’s wrinkled skin and thick coat invite some other pathogens as well. Pyoderma is not the only skin infection that affects this dog breed. Different bacterias like mange, fungal infections, and ringworm are big worry if you own this massive dog.
On top of that, infections are hard to locate in the dense fur and hair of this big dog, and treating them with an ointment is another problem because of the volume of hair present on the skin.
How to Prevent Skin Infections in Saint Bernard?
Routine inspection and constant grooming of Saint Bernard is the only way to prevent any skin infection your dog might have. Try to inspect your dog once in a week from head to toe. It might be a time-consuming job, but it will help you and your dog in the long run.
Brushing your dog daily will help as well. Dead hairs can foster infections, and regular brushing will help you to get rid of them. Try to keep your Saint Bernard away from any chemicals in the house.
Pollen and dander of other animals can cause skin allergies to Saint Bernard that will eventually lead to irritation and hair loss.
To a flying flea, your Saint Bernard is a paradise that offers plenty of food. Your dog can feed a surprising amount of insects on his own, and the amount of fleas is going to multiply day by day. Mites can also affect your Saint Bernard that causes hair loss in the dog and skin damage.
For all the reasons mentioned above, pest control should be a top priority in a house where Saint Bernard lives. Flea bites and parasites can cause painful infection and hair loss to your dog. It is not a lovely sight to look at.
Always take precautions to avoid any parasite attack on your dog. If you are not confident about how you can do it, have a chat with the vet to get guidance.
How to Deal With Shedding Inside the House?
Whether you like it or not. There will be hairs in your house when you have a Saint Bernard. Now the important part is how to deal with all the hairs.
Luckily, we have some tips at hand to help you get along with the shedding and to ease the cleaning process of your Saint Bernard’s hair.
- Lint rollers are lifesaver tool when you are dealing with hair inside the house. Stock up a good amount of them as they will come in handy all the time.
- Get rid of the brush and get the vacuum. Sweeping the floor is only going to make your life hell as you will never be able to pick up the hairs. Use a powerful vacuum daily to suck up the hair in one shot.
- Buy some cover for couches and beds. These cover will save you from cleaning when you are short of time, just toss them into the dryer to clean them later when they are full of hairs.
- Brushing your dog will help you to clean your home. The more hair you take from the dog’s coat, the less hair there is to pick from the floor.
Saint Bernard is highly intelligent and one of the best dogs for a family because of its personality and temperament. Keep in mind that substantial shedding is not for everybody, think twice before deciding to buy or adopt this dog breed.
In the end, even after the amount of shedding, Saint Bernard is a dog worth to keep beside you.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.
Thursday 14th of July 2022
Great realistic article. We have 6!!
Thursday 7th of July 2022
I have a question for you. I have a 3-year-old St. Bernard. We used to take him to Petco to have him bath and groomed. He has been shedding way too much and it looks like someone has been pulling out his hair. I noticed this after we went to Petco. When they bathe him, they used a deshedder on him. Can this be why he is shedding so badly?