Are you watching hair tumbleweeds float around your house and wondering what you can do to help reduce your dog’s shedding? You’re not alone. All dogs shed a little, but some dogs shed a lot. Here are 5 tips to help reduce the amount of hair rolling across the floor.
#1 – Change your dog’s food.
Some cheap dog foods don’t contain proper nutrition, which can lead to excessive shedding. Many dry foods will leave your dog dehydrated unless he drinks a lot of water. And many dogs have undiagnosed food allergies that can lead to excessive scratching, which results in more shedding. Changing your dog’s food to something with more moisture or fewer ingredients might make a difference in how much fur is flying around your house. (As always, consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.)
#2 – Add an Omega-3 supplement to their diet.
Omega-3, a fatty acid usually found in fish, helps maintain the skin’s normal moisture content, which results in less shedding caused by dry skin. It also helps support coat, joint, heart, immune system, and cellular health.
Check out these Omega-3 Select Skin & Coat Soft Chews with Krill Oil, designed just for dogs.
#3 – Control fleas and other parasites.
Parasites can be very itchy, and dogs will scratch themselves raw trying to remove the pests. Some dogs are allergic to fleas and have even more severe reactions.
#4 – Bathe your dog, but not too frequently.
Bathing helps dead hair fall out in the tub instead of on the floor, but excessive bathing can cause dry skin that can increase the amount of hair your dog sheds. Try not to bathe your dog more than once or twice a month, and use the gentlest dog-specific shampoo you can find. Never use human shampoo on your dog!
Read more: Ask A Vet: How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
#5 – Brush, brush, brush – and using de-shedding tools appropriately.
The best way to prevent dog hair from being shed around your house is to brush it out before it falls out. Use a brush recommended for your dog’s coat type. For short-haired dogs, a rubber curry brush or massaging glove will help spread the natural oils in your dog’s coat while removing loose hair. For dogs with longer or thicker hair, a slicker brush is usually best. For dogs with very long or fine hair, a pin brush is best. These tools are safe enough to use daily. Using a comb also will remove even more hair.
When your dog sheds more than usual, like in the spring, de-shedding tools may be used as long as they aren’t used excessively. Using a de-shedding blade too aggressively on a short-haired dog can cause bald spots and skin irritation. De-shedding rakes for longer coats can also cause bald spots and hair breakage if used excessively.
If you aren’t sure which tools are best for your dog’s coat type, feel free to ask a groomer. (Speaking of groomers, they have exactly the tools and experience to remove much of your dog’s undercoat to help reduce shedding!)