Shedding. What is it good for.

It’s spring and the temperatures are slowly starting to warm up and any double coated dog owner knows what that means. Shedding season. Rest assured you are not alone in seeing tumbleweeds of dog hair drifting over your hardwood floors or getting out the duct tape to try and whisk away unwanted dog hair of your sofas and loveseats. Ah the joys of dog ownership in the spring. It’s not enough that they want to go outside every 20 minutes and get wet and muddy, they also want to blow their coats all over the house.

I am here to let you know there are ways to minimize the amount of hair you find on your black pants and under your bed. Let’s start with why dogs shed.

Nearly all dogs shed. The only ones that don’t are hairless breeds. Some shed significantly less than others, but all dogs shed. Dogs shed to get rid of old, damaged or extra hair. In the winter dogs grow a heavy coat to help insulate them from the cold and as the weather warms this coat is no longer needed and that’s when the shedding starts. Changes in the weather are not the only reason dogs shed. They can also shed broken or damaged hair and if their skin is irritated from conditions like allergies they will also shed excessively. Dogs that live indoors under artificial light, like most of our pampered pets, do not rely on Mother Nature’s clock but tend to shed year-round.

So what can we do to keep our homes, cars & clothes relatively dog hair free? Well, here are some tips.

  1. Visit your groomer (you knew I would say that right?) Yes your groomer has rakes, DE-Shedding tools and specially formulated shampoos and treatments that include Omega 3 or Omega 6 fatty acids that are known to reduce shedding in dogs. They are also equipped with the very handy high velocity driers that can blow out a good amount of dead hair before brushing with the de-shedding tool even begins. They also have the time. With a bath, a dry and a good brush out you are looking at a minimum, a good hour and a half.
  2. Brush your dog at home. You may not have all the fancy tools required but good frequent brushing will have the coat shed on your terms, meaning brushing it out perhaps in the garage and disposing of the hair in the trash rather than your dog brushing themselves on the couch. You can pick up De-Shedding tools at your local pet store and they work great. It’s important to remember that the coat must be completely dry to use this tool.
  3. Make sure your dog is eating a high quality food. A dogs coat is often a reflection of what they eat. Feed food that has good digestible protein sources and contains essential fatty acids from fish.
  4. Bath your dog regularly. A clean dog has healthier skin and coat. You want to make sure you provide a gentle exfoliation as your bathing to loosen the dead hair. A thorough rinse is the key to a good dog bath. You may want you get a strainer for your tub or sink if you are washing your dog at home. A heavily shedding dog will release lots of hair in the tub and that’s not good for your plumbing.
  5. Invest in a high quality vacuum because even after a trip to the groomer or your brushing and bathing, your dog will continue to shed. It will shed less but they will continue to loose coat and you will continue the clean-up.

You cannot stop the shedding. As mentioned earlier it’s just about removing the hair on your terms. Brush or rake it out in the laundry room and put the hair in the garbage so it won’t fall off around your house, or in your car or on your clothes.

Remember brushing and grooming your dog is an important part of pet ownership regardless of whether your dog is a heavy shedder or not. By paying attention to your dog’s diet and following these tips you can significantly reduce those pesky hair balls that drift across the hardwood every time a window or a door is opened.

For further information or services visit Yellow Dog Grooming!