A dog’s fur is one of the many adorable attributes that add to the adorable appeal of our canine pals. Who wouldn’t want to run their hands through their shiny and fluffy coat, right?
However, this can be a pain for the owners, especially if they shed too much. You may find them everywhere— your carpet, garments, shoes!
And if you’re at your wit’s end because of this, don’t worry, we got your backs. In this article, we will talk about shedding and how you can reduce it.
How to Reduce Dog Shedding?
While shedding is a natural process that dogs experience, there are three vital measures you can take as a fur parent to deal with it. Grooming, keeping a close watch on your pup’s diet, and using home remedies all play a role in reducing the fur coming off their bodies. But, even if you do all those three mentioned, don’t shave your beloved canine’s fur just to get rid of the problem in the short term. This move will ultimately do more harm than good for the dog.
Dealing with dog shedding: The basics
Since shedding is a natural process, it can’t be removed entirely. However, it can be managed.
Do not attempt to shave your dog. It can interfere with the temperature regulation of your beloved canine.
Plus, the hair in the shaved areas might not grow back or grow abnormally.
Below are other methods you should give a try to reduce the incidence of shedding.
The best way to manage shedding is through routine grooming. Bathing your dog will loosen and remove the old, dead hairs on your dog’s fur.
This prevents the hair from scattering around your house. Plus, it helps your pooch’s skin and hair in optimal condition.
Make sure that you use a good quality shampoo. Avoid those that contain harsh chemicals that might chafe or dry your dog’s skin.
Remember not to over-bathe the dog. Doing so will reduce the natural oils on their skin.
The frequency of your dog’s bath depends on their breed, the shampoo you’re using, how messy they can get, and your availability.
Generally, shorter-haired dogs require less bathing than longer-haired dogs.
Brush your dog regularly. It helps remove dead hairs that might fall in places you don’t want them to be, like bedding, furniture, and carpet. Also, doing so will prevent the formation of a dead hair mat on your dog.
Lastly, brushing helps distribute the oils produced by the skin to every corner of your dog’s fur. In brushing, choose the best brush suitable to your dog’s needs.
For dogs with short coats, a bristle brush is optimal. Pin brush or a slicker brush is best for dogs with medium to long coats.
Ensure your dog’s health
Food won’t magically stop shedding. However, the quality of your dog’s nutrition impacts their overall health and well-being, which then contributes to the amount of shedding.
Opt for whole foods, like grains and rice. Artificial ingredients and other additives may lead to allergies and skin irritation. Look for those that contain omega-3 fatty acids to help with the shedding.
This method also entails making sure that your pet is hydrated. Inadequate intake could lead to dry skin, which can trigger irritation. It can also make hair follicles weak and cause hairs to fall out.
Also, don’t forget to give your fur babies enough exercise for healthier skin and hair. It also reduces the risk of stress and anxiety, which may trigger excessive shedding.
Just like in humans, different oils provide a lot of benefits to your dog’s skin. These may be applied topically or taken as a supplement.
Your best options are olive oil and fish oil. They are suitable for your dog’s health and their coat.
You can also try essential oils such as chamomile oil and lavender oil. These are a favorite even among our ancestors for their ability to soothe the skin.
Consult with your vet first before putting any of these oils on your dog. Ask about the amount and the frequency that is safe for your dogs to avoid further complications.
Why dogs shed
Shedding is a natural process for all animals with hair. Typically, the hair goes through different phases of growth and shedding.
Your dog’s breed, age, environment, and health will play an essential role in the amount of shedding. These factors will also determine the length and texture of the hair of your pooch.
Take note that some breeds may shed more than others. Breeds like Poodles, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers are also called hypoallergenic dogs.
This is because they shed very little. They have hair shafts that have longer life spans.
If you have breeds like the Labrador, Alaskan Malamute, and Huskies, expect a lot of hair. Their hairs have a shorter lifespan. Plus, they have layers of undercoat.
The majority of dogs are double-coated. The topcoat is the fur that is visible on the outside. While the undercoat, typically shorter and softer, consists of accessory hairs that grow around the primary fur.
The temperature also plays a role in the rate of dogs’ shedding. Generally, dogs shed more in spring and fall.
Another interesting factor that can affect your pup’s shedding is temperature. As the temperature shifts, your dog will make way for a new and lighter coat by shedding their winter undercoats.
If their hoomans try to get in shape for the summer season, dogs shed to prep their summer coats. When the temperature changes again, the hair shafts will then adapt by growing thicker and warmer coats for the cold season.
Some dogs may need human intervention to shed properly. Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu have lesser undercoat compared to other dog breeds.
This means that they won’t shed much when the temperature gets warm. They need grooming to remove the old coat and help make them feel lighter for the warm season.
Seeing fur everywhere is something you should expect when you adopt a dog. And there’s no easy way to stop it because it’s a natural process.
However, there are different ways to manage it, primarily by ensuring your dog’s health and maintaining their coats.
If this is too much, you can also try professional grooming. Or better yet, you may want to adopt a low shedding breed next time.