A well-known problem dog owners eventually run into is shedding. Nearly all of our fury buddies dogs and cats alike, can shed their hair throughout the year especially during the spring. Certain breeds have thicker coats and can shed in larger quantities. It can turn out to be a very big nuisance when you house is covered in a layer of unwanted hair. While it is unlikely that we will ever be able to stop dog shedding completely, these tip’s will help reduce loose hair and also remove the hair before it becomes an issue in your home.
Dogs naturally lose old or damaged hair by shedding. Although shedding is a normal process for dogs, the amount and frequency of hair that is shed often depends upon their health and breed type. It can also depend on the season-many dogs develop thick coats in the winter that are then shed in the spring. Dogs who are always kept indoors, however, are prone to smaller fluctuations in coat thickness and tend to shed fairly evenly all year.
One of the best ways to avoid dog shedding is basically to brush your pet on a daily basis. Daily brushings are the most efficient way to keep your home free of hair. Brushing will make your dogs coat softer, cleaner and less likely to shed. Merely brushing your dog will help keep the house neat and might also help with any allergies you might be experiencing due to loose hair around your home.
Start brushing your dog early on so that he becomes used to it. If you do it in a calm and gentle way, your dog may even enjoy it. Stick to a brushing schedule based on your dog’s needs. Longer and thicker coats might require brushing every day or week, where shorter coats may require only once a month. You may want to brush more often during the shedding seasons of spring and fall. Have a professional groomer recommend the right brush for your dog’s coat. The more you brush, the less it will end up on your furniture.
What you give your dog to eat has a lot to do with shedding. Believe it or not your dogs coat mirrors what their diet is made of. Good quality food is always best simply because of easy to digest protein sources. A healthy diet will keep your dogs coat strong and shimmering for years to come.
A dog with proper nutrition will have a soft and shiny coat. He will be producing essential oils from his skin, which will condition the hair and limit breakage. Look for foods that have high quality ingredients such as meat protein and vegetables at the beginning of label. Avoid foods with grain fillers and chemical preservatives. Vitamin A & E are great natural preservatives and lend to a healthy coat. For dogs with food allergies, look for foods that are grain free, have fewer and natural ingredients, and contain meat sources they have not been exposed to, such as lamb, rabbit, kangaroo, or buffalo. Most dogs do not need vitamin supplements unless recommended by their veterinarian.
This next bit of advise is more common sense than anything else. Give your dog a bath at least once a week using a light oatmeal shampoo. Oatmeal shampoo will clean without drying the skin and also rejuvenates your dogs coat. The formula has vitamins A and E which are very beneficial for a healthy coat and you could get it in different scents. Just in case you were thinking your dog was going to be walking around smelling like oatmeal.
Regular bathing, especially in shedding season, can really help to control where your dog loses his hair. Most dogs can be bathed at least every three months, maybe more, depending on their hair and skin types. Bathing is beneficial for reducing shedding for two main reasons. First, the massaging in the bath loosens up the hairs and can be brushed out on the spot. The massaging also helps to distribute the skin’s natural oils, which help to maintain the coat, making it less prone to drying and falling out. Don’t forget a hydrating conditioner during the bath. This will also keep the skin from drying an itching.
If you suspect a medical reason for your dog’s shedding, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Hormone imbalances due to hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease can cause excessive hair loss. Some autoimmune diseases of the skin, bacterial infections, and ringworm, can all cause shedding. Treat allergies with prescribed antihistamines and diet, as these will also cause dry skin and coat. Let your veterinarian know if you notice poor coat quality, bald spots, sores or skin irritations, constant scratching or licking, as these can be signs of an underlying medical issue.
While it’s true that dog shedding is a very big nuisance, with a regular routine and some time you will realize yourself worrying less and less about dog hair on the couch. Hope this was helpful. Good Luck!