If you are an animal lover and pets are a part of your life, you know that shedding comes with the territory.
We love our pets but it can be frustrating constantly chasing rolling balls of fur around the house that end up accumulating in the corners or under the furniture.
Trying to get out of the house with a black pair of slacks or a skirt that isn’t covered in dog hair, seems like an impossible task.
Dog hair just seems to be everywhere but if you have a basic understanding of shedding and are aware of dog shedding solutions, frustrations can be significantly reduced.
Dog Shedding – The Facts
Are you ‘dogged’ by extensive Labrador shedding or wondering how to better manage your Golden Retriever grooming in order to reduce shedding? Regardless of your dog’s breed, some knowledge of shedding causes can help you decide on a course of action.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Shedding is a normal occurrence in dogs and the breed, type of coat, and health of the dog all play a part in how much and how often a dog will shed. Seasonal changes are also a contributing factor. The normal shedding process entails hair falling out when the hair shaft reaches the end of it’s natural growth cycle.
Low Shedding Dog Breeds
Some dogs, depending on their breed, may have hair shafts with a longer life cycle that results in very minimal shedding, such as Poodles (you can see clippers for Poodles here). So there are some low shedding dogs but these are more often than not referred to as small non shedding dogs.
Other breeds like Golden Retrievers or Huskies have hair shafts with a much shorter life span causing more frequent shedding and in greater amounts.
Dog Hair – Different Coat Types
Dogs also have different types of coats but that doesn’t mean Fido is sporting a cute little jacket. A dog coat is a term used to describe a dog’s hair or fur and is also a factor in shedding.
Two of the most common types of coats are single and double coats.
- A single coat is a single layer of hair (short, medium or long hair) that covers a dog’s body. Some examples of dogs with a single coat are Poodles, Dobermans, Greyhounds and Maltese.
- A double coat consists of a soft undercoat and a coarser top coat of fur (also called guard hair) typically found in dogs originating in colder climates where extra protection is needed from the cold. Dogs such as the Siberian Husky, Great Pyrenees or Golden Retrievers will shed their downy undercoat in warmer weather with large clumps of fur literally falling off the dog. These breeds are considered to be ones that shed the most along with German Shepherds who shed continuously throughout the year and totally shed their undercoat twice a year. Pugs are short-haired, have a double coat and are notorious for excessive shedding year round.
To Shed or Not to Shed
Shedding is a fact of life for all dogs unless you opt for a hairless breed such as the Mexican hairless dog (Xoloitzcuintli or Xolo for short) or Peruvian Inca Orchid. In these non-shedding dog breeds there is no hair to contend with; however, extra care may be needed for their hairless skin to ensure good health.
Non Shedding Dogs
There are dogs that are specifically referred to as non-shedding or low-shedding which is a great choice for individuals with allergies or those who are looking for a cleaner house. These types of dogs do shed but it is very little in comparison to most breeds. Some types of non-shedding and low-shedding breeds are Poodles or any type of poodle mix, most types of terriers, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Italian Greyhound, Lhasa Apso and Havanese.
Excessive Shedding in Dogs
Many dogs shed excessive amounts of hair which may be very normal for their particular breed. For other dogs, however, excessive shedding may be due to an underlying problem such as poor nutrition, a medical condition or stress. Allergies, parasites, infections, hormonal changes or certain pet medications are just a few causes of excessive shedding. A pet’s diet can also play a huge role in excessive shedding as the dog may not be getting the proper nutrients. Most quality pet foods contain all of the nutrients that a dog needs in their daily diet; however, you may want to consult with your veterinarian on the best course of action for your pet’s diet.
If a dog begins to experience any of the following conditions, a veterinarian should be seen as soon as possible.
– Open sores
– Thinning hair or bald spots
– Redness of the skin or other skin irritations
– Dull looking and dry coat with hair that pulls out easily
– Excessive scratching or persistent foot licking
Dog Shedding Remedies – How to Reduce Dog Shedding
When people talk about dog grooming at home, they often jump straight to the topic of clipping, whether or not they do this themselves or bring in a professional groomer. But home dog grooming tasks include the in-between clipping needs of a dog as well such as bathing/washing and brushing. And it’s these tasks that can go a long way towards dealing with an overly shedding dog.
When trying to figure out how to stop a dog from shedding, you will find a number of theories proposed but the word “stopping” is really a misnomer given that a dog that has hair will shed to varying extents depending on the breed and the season (referred to as the dog shedding season).
But dog shedding can be controlled and managed just by following some easy steps.
- Brushing is a priority to help control shedding. The right shedding brush can go a long way towards providing an answer for the question of how to stop dog shedding in general, or more specifically how to minimize shedding.Short-haired dogs won’t need as much brushing but long-haired breeds should be brushed daily to remove loose fur and prevent matting. There are many dog shedding tools available such as combs, brushes, deshedding tools for undercoat, etc. The appropriate tools should be used based on the size of your dog and type of coat your dog has to prevent injury. But at the very least, a good long hair de-shedding tool should be part of your grooming supplies.
- Regular baths will help to remove loose hair and clean and moisten the dogs skin which helps control shedding.
- Feed your dog a balanced low carb diet rich in proteins, fat and fiber. Your vet may recommend supplements, such as fatty acids, to improve the condition of your dogs coat.
- Flea and tick control for your dog is important as parasites can contribute to excessive shedding.
- Dogs can get stressed out just like humans. Try to eliminate stress or manage stressful situations that may affect your dog such as changes in the home. A happy dog is a healthy dog.
So you can see that grooming a dog on a regular basis and in the right way can help significantly with the problem of shedding. But in addition to preventive type measures, dog owners and salon operators really do need to have a vacuum that is capable of picking up pet hair. One of the more popular models that are up to the job is the Miele S7260 supplied by Amazon. You can read our review here.
De-Shedding Products Available
Here are some popular dog shedding solutions from Amazon (affiliate links):
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