How to Reduce Shedding in Dogs
Despite the widespread belief, you cannot actually make your stop shedding completely.
The truth is that regardless of size, coat length, hair type or breed, nearly all dogs shed at least a small amount.
The best you can do when it comes to this is learn how to reduce and control your dog’s shedding.
Why do dogs shed?
Dogs shed as a natural way of getting rid of damaged or unneeded hair.
Many will grow a thicker coat in the winter to help them stay warm in the elements, but then they must shed this additional fur going into the summer so they can stay cooler. Shedding in dogs can also be caused by a poor diet, parasites, skin irritations or other infections.
As you can see, there is no way to completely avoid it, so the best you can do is hope to reduce it. There are a couple effective ways to reduce shedding in dogs so that it does not become a large problem for your household.
What most don’t realize is that when you live in a home with a heavily shedding dog it can lead to breathing problems, damaged furniture and clothing or even allergies.
If you wish to reduce shedding in dogs, try the following steps:
Don’t skip Regular Brushing
Having a regular brushing and combing routine for your dog is very necessary, especially around the times of season change, when the majority of shedding usually occurs. When it comes to grooming your dog it is a good idea to use the correct brushes (slicker, pin or bristle) and a finishing comb to complete the process.
Most dog breeds will benefit from a daily brushing, as it can make the coat cleaner, less prone to heavy shedding and softer. Additionally, regularly brushing your dog will help you chase off any external parasites such as fleas, which can also lead to skin irritations and extreme shedding.
Give your dog Routine Baths
Routine baths are an essential part of controlling and reducing shedding in dogs. One important thing to remember is never use human shampoo on your dog, as it will dry the skin out; thus leading to irritation, infections or dandruff.
If you take a simple trip to your local pet or grocery store you will find many selections of shampoos that are specially formulated for use in dogs. Furthermore, if you look closely, you can even find special formulas targeted to help reduce shedding.
Use Cooler air for Drying your dog’s fur
After a bath, using your blow dryer to help dry your dog is completely acceptable; however, just make sure you keep it on the lowest heat setting. On the other hand, if your device features a cool-air setting – use it instead!
Either way, take a few moments to towel dry your dog before proceeding to use the blow dryer. If you do choose to use the dryer, it’s a good idea to blow the hair in the direction opposite of how it grows. Another source of air that works well is a fan, but the dog needs to remain somewhat still. Any kind of air flow that is cool will help get rid of all the loose hairs in the coat.
Use Oil Daily mixed with Dog Food
One type of oil that you most likely already have at home is olive oil. This is a great addition to your dog’s food as it is nearly tasteless and helps improve the skin and coat condition as it contains important omega-3 fatty acids.
On the other hand, local pet stores and online retailers also offer a wide array of fish oil mixtures specially made for dogs, if you would rather not use olive oil. This simple process is known to help control shedding in most breeds. Just keep in mind that fish oil may not work for your dog, as some don’t like the distinct smell or taste of it.
Dogs that do not receive the proper amounts of nutrition will show in their coat and skin. To prevent this from happening, there are many dog vitamins on the market that will make sure your dog gets exactly what he or she needs each day.
The best thing is that many of these vitamins are flavored like beef, which makes your dog think it’s a treat. The other part of this is making sure your dog is fed a high-quality food, free from fillers and other additives.
In the end, keep in mind that you will never make your dog completely stop shedding. However, if you follow the simple tips above, you can certainly control and reduce shedding in dogs.
Photo Credit: Jackie – the Jack Russell Terrier, by Dusty J, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 generic.