The truth is there is no way to stop dog shedding, but the good news is there are steps and tools available to reduce your dogs shedding in a very healthy way. Not only will help keep your home cleaner (and help you keep your sanity!) but it will keep your dog happy and healthy.
Every breed of dogs (besides the hairless ones of course) shed whether they have long hair like a Yorkie or thick fur like a Husky. The first thing you need to decide is whether your dog has hair or fur. Hair is growing non-stop and has a finer texture than fur; humans have hair. These dogs do not shed nearly as much as dogs with fur, and need regular “hair-cuts” just like a human.
Fur grows to a certain length, and then stops, and eventually ends up all over your floor, couch, car, etc. These are the real culprits when it comes to shedding. Dogs with fur often have a fluffy “undercoat” which is the soft down underneath the coarser “guard hairs”, but not always.
First we’ll go if your dog has hair or fur, and identify which type exactly, then we’ll go into how to control your pup’s shedding.
Hair only really comes in a few types:
Dog hair also comes in different thicknesses, just like humans. Dogs can have fine, medium, or coarse hair (often referred to as “wiry”). Hair also tends to thin with age in most straight coated dogs such as Shih Tzu’s. These dogs shed about as often as a human, so not much hair is lost. They do need proper care and regular grooming to keep them happy and healthy.
Click through some of tabs and identify what kind of coat your dog has. In some cases your dog may have a mixed fur type, in which case it may be a combination of two or more types.
Double coated breeds have a thick, downy layer of undercoat and a coarse layer of overcoat. Huskies, Malamutes, German Shepherds, Labradors.
Flat coated dogs have a longer straight coat with or without an undercoat (but normally with). Flat-coated Retrievers, Border Collies, Rough Collies.
Brushing is the number one option
The old fashion brush is still the most effective way of removing loose fur and reduce shedding around your house. Be sure you’re aware of the most effective way of brushing your dog, it’s surprising how much extra fur you can get off just by the learning the proper technique.
Here’s a list of brushes that work best for each breed of dog to help control the fur.
Hair (Shih Tzu, Yorkie, Maltese etc) need the following brushes:
- Greyhound Comb
- Slicker Brush
- Dematting Comb
Find out more about the best brushes for these breeds
Single-Coated Short Fur (Pitbulls, Dobermans, Greyhounds, Jack Russell Terrier etc) need:
- Rubber Curry (KONG Zoom Groom is great)
- Pin Brush
Double Coats with Medium length Fur (Labrador, Kelpie, Pug etc) need:
- Slicker Brush
- Rake Blade
Double Coats or Curly Coats with Long Fur (Husky, Malamute, Newfoundland etc) need:
- Slicker Brush
- Rake Blade
- Undercoat Rake
- Furminator ( sparingly as it can cut longer hairs off)
What else can I do?
Regular grooming and bathing can drastically reduce shedding. Be sure to use a dog friendly shampoo, even puppy shampoo can work well on adults with ultra-sensitive skin. Tropiclean is a favorite of mine.
Diet can be another huge issue. Make sure you’re feeding a food with added omegas 3 and 6. Fish oils, olive oils, and other dog friendly fats can be added sparingly to food. Be sure to speak with your Veterinarian before adding anything if your dog has sensitive skin or allergies.
Shedding can also be caused by stress, anxiety, or frustration. It sounds crazy but if your dog is cooped up all day and hasn’t been played with, walked, etc they can shed more than a dog that has been well entertained. Dogs will often shed more at a vet clinic or pet store as their emotions run high.
Shedding can never be reduced 100%, it is strongly recommended that you don’t get fed up and shave your dog’s fur because it’s shedding. The fur doesn’t always grow back properly and when it does it’s mostly undercoat, so you’ve still got the problem of theundercoat being shed. 80% of fur being lost is undercoat. If your dog is matted then see a groomer. Dogs with hair, as stated before, must be groomed regularly to keep them in top condition.
Photos by: Markham, gomagoti, Kimchan1, Skycaptaintwo
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