We love our canine companions, but we don’t love all those doggy fur-bunnies scooting across the living room floor, stuck to our furniture or plastered all over our (or our guests) clothing. Plus, who hasn’t found a stray piece of dog hair in their dinner? Unfortunately, to take the dog, we must also take the shedding hair; it comes with the territory. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t follow some specific tips and strategies to combat the flurry of flying fur. Read on to discover how to control dog shedding, you won’t be sorry.
How to Control Dog Shedding Through Nutrition
The old adage of you are what you eat can be said for our dogs as well. Nutrition plays a huge role in not only your dog’s inner health, but it’s outer hair health as well. Here are some helpful tips to consider when feeding your dog to control shedding.
Dry Dog Kibble: If you feed your dog a food that is filled mostly with fillers such as corn, wheat and by-product meals, then you will most likely have a pet that has dry, flaky skin and hair that continuously sheds. One of the ways to combat shedding in a dog is to feed it a prepackaged, high-quality dry kibble that has real meat as the first ingredient. Remember, canines are carnivores, so a diet based on grains and meat by-products is not going to be helpful or healthy in the long run.
Canned Food: By incorporating a good quality canned food to your dog’s dry kibble you can up its moisture content by 78 % (dry food only has 10% moisture). This is an excellent way to ensure your dog stays hydrated. Plus, they love it!
Olive or Flaxseed Oil: These good essential oils can help your dog with dry flakey skin that often times accompanies a shedding problem. One teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight is a good place to start, but check with your vet if you have any questions or concerns. These omega-3 fatty acid supplements can also be purchased in both a capsule and a powder form through a pet retailer or a veterinarian.
Salmon & Other Fish: If you prefer to stick to the natural route you can also increase your dog’s omega-3 fatty acid intake by feeding it salmon, tuna, or other fish rich in these fatty acids–you can add in some of the fish skin, too–but stay away from the bones as these can pose a choking hazard.
Human Foods: Giving your dog an occasional treat of people food can help his coat. Good healthy choices for your pooch include eggs, carrots, apples, all-natural peanut butter and lean cooked meat. But avoid the fatty avocado. Although it is vitamin and fatty-acid rich, it can be very toxic to dogs. If you are feeling particularly culinary, check out How to Make Homemade Dog Treats! They’re dog-licious!
Fresh, Clean Water: Like people, dogs need fresh, clean water to drink not only keep themselves from becoming dehydrated, but to also keep its skin from becoming dried out. Water should be available to your dog at all times and changed at least once-a-day to avoid it from becoming dirty or contaminated.
How to Control Dog Shedding Through Grooming
Dogs need to be groomed, this not only helps nab those loose hairs before they fall out, but it also stimulates the natural oils in your dog’s skin to help keep its coat shiny and healthy. Follow these simple suggestions to help control dog shedding through grooming.
Regular Brushing: Designate a day each week to brush your dog. Make sure to do it long enough to get all the loose hair, untangle those matts and to check for any abnormalities on its skin. Don’t know what brush or grooming tool to use? Here is a short list of the basic brushes you will find on the market today;
- Bristle Brushes look similar to the brushes we use. They are best for short-haired and smooth-coated dog breeds such as many terriers, Pugs, and Greyhounds.
- Slicker Brushes have tiny, tightly-packed, short wire pins, usually set onto a rectangular base with handle. These are good for many dog breeds with medium or curly hair, including Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels and St. Bernards.
- Rakes also contain pins and should be purchased with pins roughly as long as your dog’s fur to ensure that it adequately thins the dead undercoat. The rake works well on dogs with long hair and thick undercoats, such as Collies, German Shepherds and Chow Chows.
- Deshedding Tools are specifically designed to get rid of the excess undercoat. These come in various forms and should be used on heavy-coated breeds at least twice-a-year; spring and autumn.
Is Fido too fluffy? then check out our, Step-by-Step Guide to How to Shave Your Dog
Regular Bathing: Giving your dog a nice soapy bath not only gets rid of that nasty doggy odor, but can play a huge role when it comes to controlling its shedding as the hair is loosened and whisked away in the water. However, it can also play the opposite role. Too much bathing can irritate your dog’s skin, dry it out and actually lead to shedding. Research your breed or ask a professional groomer or your vet about what an adequate amount of bathing for your dog will entail.
Control Fleas: These nasty little parasites not only can spread like wildfire throughout your entire home, but they do a great job in irritating your dog’s skin and adding to the amount of hair that sheds; the bites are extremely itchy. Make sure to flea treat your dog in the spring and again in the fall to prevent them from using your dog as a feasting ground.
How to Control Dog Shedding Throughout Your Home
“Love me love my pets…”
You can tell your guests that all you want, but they most likely don’t appreciate dog fur on their clothes after they leave your home, unless they themselves have a shedding dog. To control dog shedding throughout your house, check out these handy hints.
The Vacuum is Your Best Friend: When you embark on a relationship with a dog, you will need to invest in a good quality vacuum, preferably one that specializes in pet fur (they tend to have extra suction power). Then you will indeed have to use the vacuum often, more so in the shedding seasons of spring and fall when the coat of a dog is thinning and thickening.
Cover the Furniture: Grandma may have had the right idea when she covered her furniture in plastic; the pet hair slides right off. However, today we may cringe at the thought of that cold, see-through substance that made sitting on Grandma’s sofa a challenge. But there are nice furniture protectors you can purchase that are designed for the wear-n-tear of having a dog. Even a nice throw blanket put on Fido’s favorite spot can save a lot of hair on your sofa, plus it can be easily laundered when it becomes a mess.
Cover Your Car Seats: How many times have you been embarrassed when you have to unexpectedly give someone a ride and they end up sitting on your dog’s “hairy” seat? This isn’t fun, so invest in some cool seat covers for your car that can be taken off and easily cleaned when needed.
Immediate Hair Removal: It may seem obvious but getting rid of the hair as soon as you spot it can save a lot of time in the future.
Bonus Feature: Check out these 21 Most Epic Pictures of Huskies Shedding. It will “blow” your mind!