It’s officially Spring, a time when thoughts turn to play dates in the park, swim dates in the lake and fur elimination dates with the vacuum. All dogs shed to a degree, the dogs with the thicker coats, the term shed doesn’t apply to them, they “blow” their coat. When they blow their coat, there is enough fur flying it may seem like there are three more dogs in the house. Unfortunately there isn’t a solution to eliminate shedding completely, but there are solutions to keeping the shedding, or blowing to a manageable puff.
Digestion plays a part
A dog’s nutrition plays a huge role in how much they shed throughout the year. Commercial dog foods that list fillers and meals as the starting ingredients aren’t giving the dog adequate nutrition and may be contributing to the massive shedding. Look for higher end dog foods that list meat as the first ingredient. Not only is a higher value dog food better for a dog’s coat, it is better for a dog’s overall health. Add a tablespoon of flaxseed or olive oil to the dog’s meals. This may reduce skin inflammation, deter dandruff and make the dog’s coat shiny and healthy.
Become one with the brush
Make brushing a daily event. By brushing the dog every day, the fur is less likely to pile up on the sofa and in the corner. The schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone and may be easily achieved by grabbing the brush before sitting down to watch “Dancing with the Stars”. Brushing also creates a good bonding exercise. Collect the fur and donate it to a good cause. Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization, has a program called Clean Wave. They ask for donations of dog fur to clean oil spills in the ocean.
Create a calming environment
Excessive shedding may also be an indication of stress and anxiety. Pressure on a dog’s nerves may wreak havoc throughout the body and undue stress on a dog’s skin and coat. Has the dog gone experienced changes in his life or routine? New environment? New family member? Has he always been a bit on the nervous side? Try creating a safe, neutral space for him to go; somewhere away from prying eyes and sticky fingers. Pile it with favorite blankets, pillows, toys and spritz it with a little lavender oil. Lavender has long been used as a calming scent to diffuse stressful situations.
Some breeds are really just natural shedders, but there’s no reason for the fur to take over the entire house.