What is shedding and what can we learn about it?
Dog shedding is the natural process of the coat ridding itself of hair that is old, detached, and in some cases, damaged. Once older hair is shed, room for new and healthy hair can be made. The shedding process is completely normal for all canines but it can be frustrating for pet owners who feel like all they do is vacuum up piles of fluff!
The frequency and amount of hair that is shed depends on several factors, including the dog’s breed, weather conditions, diet, potential allergies, and much more. Regardless of the cause, it is possible to keep shedding under control through at-home grooming and proper diet. But if you are doing all of this and still find yourself wading through a sea of loose dog hair and dander, check out these tips and tricks to reducing shedding.
Different breeds shed at different times and rates throughout the year. Some dogs shed seasonally in the spring and fall, while other dogs shed all year long. One common misconception is that a hypoallergenic dog won’t shed or cause an allergic reaction. The reality is that truly hypoallergenic dogs are simply those that produce less dander.
How to Reduce Dog Shedding
Of course, no one likes tumbleweeds of dog hair floating across the floor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep your dog’s coat, undercoat, and dander under control all throughout the year, regardless of their breed. It may surprise you to learn that most of these tips to control dog shedding will cost you little to nothing to implement.
Brushing your dog’s hair
Depending on your dog’s coat type, you may need to brush your dog every day or only once a month! There are several different types of brushes:
Bristle Brush: This brush is good for all coat types, but a brush with more widely spaced and longer bristles should be used on dogs with a longer coat. Coarser hair may require stiffer bristles.
Wire-Pin Brush: This type of brush is good for curly, woolly coats that range in length from medium to long.
Slicker Brush: Made with fine wire bristles, a slicker brush is useful for removing mats and tangles.
Combs: Rubber curry combs massage your dog’s skin and help to remove dead hair from short-haired dogs.
Choose a Shedding Tool
Whether your dog sheds seasonally or year-round, choosing a shedding tool that is designed specifically to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat can help reduce the tufts you find drifting around your home. Some shedding tools are brushes with closely spaced, stainless steel tines that work on removing the undercoat, while others are shedding blades with serrated teeth.
Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
A dog who eats a complete and balanced dog food will consume the vitamins and nutrients they need to keep their hair follicles growing strong and resilient to breakage. Some dogs benefit from a dietary supplement of Omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy hair growth, in addition to supporting joint, heart, and immune health. Before starting your dog on supplements, speak with your veterinarian to determine the benefits for your dog.
Increase Water Intake
Knowing how much your dog is drinking can be tricky, but if your dog is shedding more than usual, you may want to keep an eye on their water bowl. The general rule is that a dog should drink an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. This means that a 10-pound dog needs a little over a cup of clean water. Dehydrated skin is a major cause of hair loss and can easily increase the amount of loose fur you have to clean up around the house.
Consider Frequent Bathing and De-shedding Treatments
Bathing your dog not only cleans their coat, but also helps to remove dead hair, which often intertwines itself with healthy hair. De-shedding shampoos and conditioners contain moisturizers and Omega-3 fatty acids that hydrate your dog’s skin and fur to create healthier, stronger follicles, while simultaneously detangling old, dead hair from new, healthy hair.
These shampoos and conditioners can also help loosen and remove your dog’s excess undercoat. Bathing your dog regularly and grooming them using brushes or de-shedding tools once they’re dry can significantly help to combat shedding.
Reward With Some Fun
Remember, regular brushing and grooming not only helps to keep their coat healthy, but also gives you and your pup an opportunity to bond. You can also follow up grooming time with a walk, a game of fetch, or by simply hanging out together.
Trying one or more of our tips to help minimize your dog’s shedding can save you time and money in the long run, as well as stop heaps of hair from piling up in your home. You can also use the time spent brushing and grooming your dog to do an overall health check: Look for any new cuts, lumps, dry skin, lesions, or parasites that may need to be treated by your vet.
The Pawsh Dog offers a wide range of grooming treatments which our professionally trained groomers will tailor to your dog’s requirements. For more information about dog grooming or our prices please contact us directly by telephone at 289-272-6979