7 Things you can do to reduce dog shedding now
I once heard it said that you can have a dog, or you can have decor, but not both. If you’ve ever owned a dog that sheds, you’ll understand the truth of that statement. Dogs shed. So unless you own a Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican hairless dog), dog shedding is something you’ll have to accept as a dog-owner. However, there are some things that you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of dog shedding.
Here are 7 tips for dealing with dog shedding:
- Grooming – Simply brushing your dog on a daily basis will help reduce shedding significantly. It will also keep the coat softer, cleaner, and the hair stronger. Be sure to get a good quality brush that is suited to your dog’s coat. Shedding blades, love gloves, slicker brushes, and mat breakers are also good grooming tools. The specific type of brush you use will depend largely on the dog’s breed and coat type.
- Good Nutrition – The food a dog eats has a big impact on the condition of his coat, and how much he sheds. A good quality kibble with digestible proteins and minimal empty fats and carbs is ideal.
- Fatty Acids – Supplementing your dog’s diet with fatty acids will make the hair stronger and less likely to break. Either use a fatty acid supplement, like Vitacoat Plus or ask your vet about natural sources of fatty acids. Do not, however, feed your dog human foods or supplements.
- Allergies and Fleas – Flea infestations and allergies can cause skin and coat damage resulting in increased shedding. Vitamin supplements, like Vitacaps and Biotin, are a good way to boost the necessary antibodies to fight off allergies and fleas. But if your dog has severe skin rashes you should speak to your vet. Also be sure to treat your dog with a monthly flea treatment like Frontline or Advantage.
- Vacuuming – Dog hair gets everywhere, so be sure to vacuum regularly. Not only does the hair destroy your furnishings and clothes, but it can actually make shedding worse by causing allergies in your dog.
- Bathing – Dogs shouldn’t be bathed too often, but a bath every 4 weeks or so, can help reduce dog shedding. You can either do this yourself or take your dog to a grooming parlor. Just be careful not to bathe your dog around the time you apply flea medication, as it will reduce its effectiveness. Also be aware that bathing the dog too often will dry the coat and skin, and actually increase shedding.
- Vet Check-up – Shedding is a natural way for a dog to get rid of damaged, old hair. A dog will usually shed most heavily in the spring, as they lose their winter coat.
However, if your dog continues to shed through the summer months, it may be indicative of a health issue. Has your dog checked over by a vet because, while shedding is most often down to environmental or nutritional problems, it may also be a symptom of a more serious medical issue?
By grooming your dog regularly, keeping him healthy, and watching for signs of illness, you can significantly reduce dog shedding.