You’re in luck if you’re in the market for a Boxer but concerned about how much they shed. Unless you really need to limit the dog hair to a bare minimum, you can keep a Boxer looking his best and his shedding under control without much trouble. He’s a seasonal shedder, and his coat will benefit from some basic care.
The Boxer has a personality best described as “bright, fun-loving, and active.” He is playful and affectionate with his family, and he wants to be wherever his people are, even during shedding season. The loveable Boxer is considered a moderate shedder, but how much an individual sheds at a given time depends on many factors.
Whether there’s a member of your household with a dog allergy or you’re just trying to make sure you can keep up with his grooming, how you manage your Boxer’s coat makes a difference. Here are some things to consider as you keep him healthy and minimize his shedding.
At A Glance: Best Products For Boxer Grooming
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The Boxer’s coat is uniformly short, shiny, and smooth. Boxers have a single coat, which means he has no insulating layer, even in winter. If he goes outside in the cold, he may need a blanket. The Boxer’s smooth coat requires only minimal grooming. Toweling him off and brushing him with a hound mitt periodically knocks off most of the dirt and excess hair. Boxers shed seasonally and have a summer and winter coat depending on the lengthening or shortening of the days. They shed most heavily when they lose their winter coat to prepare for summer’s longer, hotter days.
Boxers have two primary base coat colors. They can be either fawn or brindle. Fawn shades vary from the light tan of a young deer to the rich mahogany of fine leather. A Boxer’s
brindle coat varies in intensity of brindling. Some individuals have only light black striping on their fawn coats, while others may be so heavily brindled that they appear relatively dark. Boxers have distinctive black masks, and they may have minimal white markings on their face and body.
Boxer Shedding Frequency
A typical Boxer sheds when the days begin to shorten and when they begin to lengthen. You may hardly notice your dog’s shedding outside of the two heaviest times of the year. Their coat is short and sleek, so the hairs they leave behind are not as noticeable as on a long-haired dog.
As you may expect, as seasonal shedders, they will shed mainly in spring and fall with the change of seasons. Boxers shed most heavily when they lose their winter coat in mid to late spring. Change your grooming routine if your pup sheds more than you’d like during this transition. Brush him daily and bathe him to remove the old coat more quickly and minimize what falls in your home.
You may have heard that some breeds are hypoallergenic, but any dog with hair can trigger an allergy. The proteins in your pet’s urine, saliva, or dead skin cells (known as dander), may cause people with pet allergies to have itchy, watery eyes or a stuffy nose. People with more severe allergies can become short of breath within fifteen to thirty minutes of inhaling these allergens. Sensitive people may also develop a rash on their face, neck, and upper chest.
If you have a family member who is allergic to pet dander, you want to find a breed with hair that won’t create health problems for your human family or a situation where you must rehome your pup. Boxers are not hypoallergenic, but you can take steps to manage their shedding. Remember that any dog, unless it is hairless, will shed and produce dander.
Other Reasons For Losing Hair
Shedding is normal, but abnormal shedding can indicate a health problem. Sometimes excessive shedding originates in the skin, also known as the dermis. Inflammation of the skin is called dermatitis (dermis=skin itis=inflammation) and can have a root cause that is either internal or external in origin.
Boxers are genetically prone to skin allergies and hypothyroidism, both causes of hair loss. If your dog seems to be shedding more than usual and shows patches of severe hair loss (alopecia), you need to examine the skin beneath the hair. In some cases, dogs may have hormonal or autoimmune disorders that cause dermatitis and hair loss. Aging can exacerbate these conditions.
If you notice his skin seems thicker than usual and excessively oily or greasy, has become scaly or red, or has an odor that smells unhealthy, you need to schedule a consultation with your veterinarian. Your Boxer could suffer from a treatable condition that will respond to vitamin or mineral supplementation or a specific care regimen.
Boxer owners worry about lumps and bumps because they could be mast cell tumors (MCTs). Boxers tend to get MCTs more than other breeds. MCTs are common skin tumors found in dogs. They can present in various ways, so you can’t diagnose them by visual examination alone. MCTs can also be cancerous, so make an appointment with your vet if you find a lump on your pup that fails to heal.
Several external causes of hair loss strike all dogs, regardless of breed. Parasitic causes of hair loss include sarcoptic or demodectic mange, to which Boxers may be more susceptible than other breeds. Both fungal and bacterial infections of the skin can cause excessive shedding. Dogs can be allergic to flea bites. If you know you have a flea problem, putting together an effective flea management regimen is the first line of defense. If your buddy is still itchy after the fleas are gone, a visit with your vet is in order. They may perform a “skin scrape” and examine the sample under a microscope to decide the proper course of treatment.
Your dog’s food sensitivities can cause itching to the point of hair loss. Food sensitivities are tough to diagnose. If you suspect your kibble is the source of your dog’s excessive itching and shedding, you might try a special diet with ingredients formulated not to trigger allergic reactions. Ask your vet what brands and formulas they recommend. You should be able to find a blend that keeps your buddy healthy and happy at a price point with which you can live.
Managing Boxer’s Shedding
Even though Boxers are a low to moderate shedding breed, they still need to be appropriately groomed. Choosing the suitable brushes for his short, fine hair ensures a pleasant grooming session for you both. Here are the best ways to manage their coat and reduce shedding.
Kong Dog ZoomGroom
Paws & Pals 6-in-1
ConairPRO Pet-It Boar
Your buddy’s individual coat and the time of year dictate how much you need to brush him. . When seasons change, your Boxer will shed more than usual and will benefit from increased brushing. He could go days between brushings for the rest of the year but give him a once-over daily during spring and fall with a hound mitt or grooming glove to minimize shed hairs. He’ll feel like you’re just petting him, but you’ll improve the health of his skin by stimulating the production of natural oils and distributing them through his haircoat.
Types Of Brushes
Choose your grooming tools with care. A Boxer’s short, fine hair grooms much like horsehair. A rubber curry, hound mitt, or grooming glove stimulates the production of oils in his skin. After the initial curry loosens hairs and distributes the oils through his coat, brushing him with a soft bristle brush in short, quick strokes in the direction of the hair’s growth can polish him to a mirror shine.
Always choose a dog-safe shampoo. If your pup’s skin is sensitive, choose a shampoo specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Even with a gentle shampoo, shampooing your Boxer too frequently can strip the natural oils from his coat and dry his skin, so limit baths to once every few months.
Your Boxer’s coat directly reflects his health, and health begins with good nutrition. Feeding dog food that does not contain known allergens is the first building block of coat health. Many dogs are allergic to chicken in commercial dog foods. If you’re worried your pup may have a food sensitivity, try a chicken-free formula.
Nutritional deficiencies from lower-quality dog foods can also cause dermatitis and excessive shedding. Finding a quality food with ingredients your particular dog can tolerate may take a bit of leg work at first, but in the long run, it will save you money in additional supplements and vet bills. More importantly, it will keep your best friend from unnecessary discomfort.
The brand you choose should include omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties considered beneficial for dogs’ skin and coats. Research has shown that omega-3s have health benefits for dogs beyond just making their coats shine. They reduce inflammation in the body, keeping your buddy more comfortable and keeping itchy skin at bay.
Omega-3 supplements and treats make adding more omega fats into your Boxer’s diet easy, and the goodies will overjoy him. Fish oils add omega-3s to promote a healthy coat and reduce shedding. Some supplements contain a blend of fish and plant-based oils to provide a balanced ratio of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
You can minimize how much your Boxer sheds with good nutrition and frequent grooming, but you can’t stop him from shedding. Adding air purification to your home has benefits beyond tackling dog hair, but it’s one more way to reduce the amount of hair in your home and the allergens in the air. The most significant allergen dogs introduce is dander, the dead skin cells constantly sloughing and falling along with shed hairs.
Dog dander is roughly 2.5 microns, although it may be larger. An air purifier that effectively eliminates airborne particulates smaller than this can significantly reduce the amount of pet dander available to trigger allergic symptoms. The Filtrete Air PurifierFAP-C03BA-G2 claims to capture 99.97% of airborne particles (as small as 0.3 microns), including dust, lint, dust mite debris, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, smog, bacteria, viruses, exhaust particles, and ultrafine particles.
While vacuuming is nothing fun, it is one more tool in the arsenal against pet hair. If your air purifier eliminates the airborne particulates that trigger your allergies, a mechanical vacuum can take care of anything that lands on surfaces in your home or car. The best vacuum is lightweight so you’ll use it frequently, and versatile enough to tackle multiple surfaces in your home and elsewhere.
While it is a traditional handheld stick vacuum, the Bissell Featherweight Cordless XRT also includes specialized pet tools. It converts to a handheld vacuum with a crevice tool and upholstery brush to get pet hair wherever it settles. This lightweight vacuum handles hard surfaces and area rugs but may not have the power for a home with wall-to-wall carpets. Carpet is a significant factor in how much hair and dander stay trapped in a room. You may consider the more powerful Bissell ICONPet Edge for fully carpeted homes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Boxers Shed A Lot?
Compared to other breeds of dogs, Boxers are minimal to moderate shedders. Depending on the season, you’ll notice a difference in how much hair he loses. You can increase the frequency you brush him to help his coat shed out more quickly.
When Is It Time To Take My Boxer To The Vet?
If your dog is shedding more than expected, inspect the skin beneath his coat. If you notice that his skin seems thick, greasy, scaly, red, or foul-smelling, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian.
If you’ve brought a Boxer into your life, it is probably for their sometimes dignified, sometimes goofy, always loving personality. Unfortunately, Boxers may not suit you if you have severe allergies. You can minimize their shedding with proper care, but you’ll need to check with your doctor to help manage your allergies.
Care for your Boxer’s coat with the proper tools and the occasional mild shampoo. Feed him a quality diet with omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and keep his skin healthy from the inside out. Shedding is normal for a Boxer, and you can’t stop the change of seasons. With proper management, his seasonal shedding doesn’t have to be a problem in your home.