Unless you've got a hairless dog, you can expect shedding to be a part of life.
Most dogs shed year-round, even single-coated, shorthaired breeds like Dobermans and Weimaraners. But it's the wooly and long-haired dogs that you've got to watch out for. These dogs are notorious for leaving tufts of hair all over the house all year long. It's even worse in the spring - and late fall for some breeds - when many dogs blow out their undercoats, leading to massive amounts of loose fur flying around.
If you've got a dog that regularly gifts you fur on your clothes and furniture, here are several tips for how to reduce your dog's shedding.
Give Your Dog Regular Baths
Regularly bathing your dog is a good decision for many reasons. It keeps your dog's fur and skin clean -- and smelling nice! And it removes dead skin and hair that if allowed to sit around can turn into mats and cause a number of problems. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners help keep your dog's fur soft and manageable. Making brushing a pain-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your pooch.
Commit to Daily or Weekly Brushing
Brushing your medium to long-haired dogs is one of the most important things you can do to keep their coat healthy and minimize shedding. For one, brushing helps remove dead hairs. Meaning you'll find a lot less of them floating around your home! And by removing dead hair, you prevent the buildup of mats that will require more extensive grooming. Two, brushing helps mix the natural oils of your dog's skin into her fur. Keeping it shiny, but also making it stronger.
Choose The Right Brush
- A bristle brush is good for all coat types. They come in several bristle lengths and thicknesses. Longer bristles are good for dogs with long fur, while stiff bristles are good for dogs with coarse fur.
- A wire-pin brush is good for dogs with curly, woolly coats such as Poodles and Bichons.
- Combs can also be helpful for removing dead hair from your dog's undercoat or getting through mats.
- Slicker brushes are made with fine wire bristles and are great for removing mats, tangles, and loose hair.
Add a De-Shedder To The Mix
A de-shedding tool is not the same as a regular dog brush. But it's one of the best ways to stop dog shedding. De-shedders target your dog's undercoat, which is where most fur is shed from. Regular brushes target your dog's outer layer of fur, though some can get into the denser undercoat.
Because dogs can shed all year long, you may want to add a weekly or bi-monthly de-shedder session to your grooming schedule. How often it's needed will depend on what type of dog you have. For all dogs, except super short-haired breeds, you may want to consider adding a de-shedding session in the spring, when most pooches shed their thicker winter coats.
Feed Your Dog a Balanced, Nutritious Diet
Did you know your dog's coat is made up almost entirely of protein? It's no wonder vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin B2, biotin, and omega fatty acids, are essential to protect it. To keep your pup's fur in the best shape possible, you need to ensure you're feeding him a fully balanced diet.
It's when your dog's diet doesn't contain the right nutrients that her hair might fall out or become dry, weak, and brittle. Check the ingredients of your dog food and, if you're unsure, reach out to us to see about switching.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
One of the most commonly and easily overlooked causes of hair loss is dehydrated skin. While not technically the same as shedding, hydration-related hair loss will present similarly -- loose fur that detaches easily. And, of course, the results are the same when it comes to the furry tumbleweeds attached to your couch cushions and clothing.
The fix? Simple. Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. This is particularly true in colder months when the forced heat in your home dries out the air. During these months, you may also want to consider putting a humidifier in the room(s) your dog spends the most time.