We love our dogs, but we don’t always love all the hair they leave behind! Most dog breeds shed, although in differing amounts, and it can be a nuisance in your home. While you can’t prevent your dog from shedding, there are some things that you can do to lessen the amount they shed and remove it from your household efficiently.
Brushing is one of the most effective things you can do to reduce your dog’s shedding. Dogs put heavier coats on in the winter when the weather is cooler, then shed this hair in the summer time when temperatures warm up. Frequent brushing while during shedding season will keep your dog clean and your home relatively hair free. Dogs will also shed broken and damaged hairs. By brushing your dog frequently, you will remove these damaged hairs before they’re shed off in your home and your dog’s coat will be shinier, healthier and softer.
Using the right brush is crucial to making sure you get as much hair as possible when you brush your dog. There are many brushes on the market that are specifically designed to remove hair, but make sure you are using the one that is most appropriate for your dog’s coat type.
Bathing your dog is also a great way to minimize shedding. Dogs will shed their hair more often when their skin is dry and irritated. Once every two weeks, bathe your dog with a gentle shampoo, such as one that contains collodial oatmeal, to keep him clean and his skin healthy.
Feeding your dog a high quality diet is one of the best ways to reduce shedding and make sure your dog’s coat stays healthy. Some dog foods contain “filler” grains that are hard to digest. Look for foods that contain meat as the main ingredient and contain proteins that are more easily digested by your dog. This will keep his coat healthy and much less prone to shedding.
Adding flaxseed oil to your dog’s food may also help with shedding. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that decrease dandruff, calm inflamed skin and improve coat health.
Allergies can also cause hair loss. If you suspect your dog may have diet-related allergies, consult your veterinarian to find a food that works best for your dog.
Make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water at all times. Dehydration can cause dry skin, which can lead to excess shedding. You can also feed your dog more moisture rich foods to up his water intake. Try feeding your dog wet dog food instead of dry, or giving him occasional treats like apples that are high in water content.
Although shedding is normal for dogs, if you notice an abnormally large amount of shedding from your dog, there may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed. Medical issues that can cause excessive shedding include parasites like lice or fleas, fungal or bacterial infections, sunburn,
certain medications, environmental allergies or an immune disease. If you notice bald patches in your dogs fur, open sores, rashes, scabs or dry hair that pulls away easily on your dog, you should consult a veterinarian immediately to determine the cause.
Although you may be able to reduce your dog’s shedding, you won’t be able to prevent it completely. To keep your house clean and pet hair free, try covering your furniture with easy to wash covers and vacuuming on a regular basis. Use a sticky roller to pick up unwanted dog hair from furniture and clothing. If you have vinyl or hardwood floors, trying sweeping up the hair with a dampened mop so that it doesn’t fly around and get on your furniture instead of the dust bin. It isn’t possible to keep your dog from shedding but with the right household tips and healthy habits for your dog, you can reduce the amount of hair in your home.