Did you know that all dogs shed their fur? Some dogs shed so little that you'll never notice it, and other dogs shed so much that it's nearly impossible to keep your house free of dog hair. The amount of shedding generally varies from one dog breed to another. No matter which type of dog you have, if the shedding has gotten to be too much, use the below tips to help reduce the amount of dog hair in your life.
Top 5 ways to help reduce your dog's shedding
- Feed your dog healthy food and plenty of water
If your dog eats a healthy diet, he'll get the vitamins and nutrients that he needs to keep his hair from breaking. If you don't feel that your dog's diet is helping to reduce your dog's shedding, talk to your veterinarian. He or she may be able to give you some omega-3 fatty acid supplements to help promote healthy hair growth in your dog.
It's also vital that your dog drinks a lot of water. This may seem unrelated to shedding, but it's not. If your dog's skin is dehydrated, hair loss increases. Dogs should drink one ounce of water per pound per day. For example, if your dog weighs 10 pounds, he should drink at least 10 ounces of water per day.
- Bathe your dog regularly
It's a good goal to bathe your dog twice a week. This helps clean his coat and remove all of his dead hair. When he's in the bath, use special deshedding shampoos and conditioners. These help hydrate his skin and fur so that it's healthier, stronger and less likely to fall out. Right before the bath and immediately after the bath, it's also important to brush him very well.
- Brush your dog once per day
It's a good idea to brush your dog once per day. If that's too much to ask, even weekly brushings can really help reduce his or her shedding. There are different types of brushes that do better with different types of dogs.
- If your dog has a curly, woolly coat, a wire-pin brush works best.
- If your dog's hair is very matted and tangled, try a slicker brush that's made with fine wire bristles.
- If your dog has a longer coat, use a bristle brush with widely-spaced, longer bristles. (If your dog's hair is not only long but also coarse, try a bristle brush with stiff bristles.)
- If your dog has short hair, try a comb. This will help massage your dog's skin and remove any dead hair.
- Keep your dog stress free
It's a proven fact: Dogs that are stressed or anxious shed more. By keeping your dog stress free, you're keeping your house cleaner. Win-win!
- Schedule recommended vet visits
If you’ve tried the above tips and your dog is still shedding a lot, it’s a good idea to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up.
Regular exams by a veterinarian can help diagnose any potential problems with your dog, as sometimes medical conditions can cause excessive shedding.
Home maintenance for a shedding dog
If you try all of these tips and your dog still sheds more than you'd like, it can be frustrating. Try to remember that it's not his fault and that there are certain tactics you can do to keep your house clean, despite the shedding.
- Put removable covers on the furniture in your house
Once they get a lot of hair on them, it's easy to take them off and clean them. If guests are coming over, take the covers off to reveal clean furniture. They'll never know you have a shedding dog! You can also use removable covers on the seats of your car.
Living with a dog that sheds means the vacuum will be used a lot. Keep it handy and use it at least twice a week to keep the dog hair from accumulating. It's important to remove all visible dog hair from the couch, carpets and other surfaces that might hold on to dog hair. Consider a vacuum specifically designed to pick up dog hair.
- Remove hair as soon as you see it
Dog hair that was just shed is much easier to remove from furniture than hair that's been there awhile and has gotten embedded into it. Staying on top of the dog hair removal will keep you from struggling with it much more later.
Want a dog that doesn't shed much?
Some dogs shed more than others. Certain breeds are notorious for leaving large clumps of hair behind, while others don't appear to shed much at all. While all dogs do shed to a certain degree, there are a few breeds that won't leave your house covered in dog hair. These include yorkshire terriers, wire fox terriers, shih tzus, poodles, malteses, lhasa apsos, Boston terriers, bichon frises, Bedlington terriers and Afghan hounds.
The five dog breeds that shed the most are Siberian huskies, German shepherds, labradors, chow chows, golden retrievers and Saint Bernards. If you've ever had one of these dog breeds as a pet, you can probably concur!
Less hair, less mess, less stress!
Dog hair in the house can be a nuisance. There's no doubt about that. However, by following the steps above, the shedding should become less and less as time goes on. Say goodbye to hairy situations!