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5 Secrets to Minimizing Dog Dander

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Dog dander can put a damper on any domicile. Contrary to popular belief, it is the dander and not the hair, which causes people to have allergic reactions. Excessive dander is not only annoying, it can also be a sign that your dog is not as healthy as he could be. So, whether you have allergies or are just trying to keep your house cleaner and your dog healthier, minimizing dog dander is a good place to start. Master Groomer Serena Marshall, owner of Shantel Mobile Spaw has five simple tips to help you dodge the dander.

1.  Diet.

Some dogs have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause them to itch. If the dog is itchy, dander occurs. If you notice constant scratching, chewing and/or licking of paws, dry, flaky skin, or red bumps on your dog, take them to your vet to see if diet is to blame. You maybe surprised how differently your dog’s coat is after simply changing his food. Environmental allergies can have the same effect.

2. Brushing.

Brushing your dog daily is the best way to loosen and reduce dander. Marshall’s tip is to brush your dog outside to avoid spreading dander all over your house. If your dog allows, you can purchase a pet vacuum to suck the loose hair and dander off.

3. Bathing.

Giving your dog a bath regularly does more then make them smell good.  It helps get rid of loose hair and skin (dander). Marshall says bathing weekly is fine, as long as you are using a high quality moisturizing shampoo (Oatmeal is best) so your dog’s coat and skin do not dry out. Some people will bathe their dogs every couple days while they are shedding to help minimize hair and dander.

4. Supplements.

Just as food can cause dander, certain supplements can help minimize dander and soften your dog’s coat. The lack of enough fatty acids in the diet causes dry skin, which causes dander.  Adding supplements rich in Omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids, such as fish or coconut oil (Marshall’s personal favorite) to your dog’s diet can help make the skin healthier so it will flake less.

5. Keep It Short.

If you have a lot of allergies, or not a lot of time to groom, clipping your long-haired dog can help. Keeping the hair short on longer hair dogs keeps the dander from attaching to hair and hanging around. If you have a short haired dog, Marshall notes that you can get a damp cloth and wipe him down between baths to help keep dander in check.
Start following these simple tips, talk to your vet if necessary, and you should start noticing less dander in no time, though Marshall notes that it can take up to 30 days to notice a change from diet or supplements. Not only will allergy suffers and clean freaks thank you, your dog will too. After all, no one wants to be itchy all the time, even the dog.

 

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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