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5 Ways to Control Your Dog's Shedding

Posted by Awesome Doggies

 shedding-dogThere's hair everywhere. You have already spent half a day vacuuming the entire house and car, yet there is more hair coming off your adorable dog. In the back of your mind, you want to get a hypoallergenic dog that doesn't shed - or upholster the current one with duct tape - anything to reduce the furry tumbleweeds constantly rolling through your home. You love your dog, so replacing him is not a viable option (and neither is duct tape).

The question remains: how do you manage the shedding? Are there methods you can use to reduce the shedding from your dog?

Before we look for solutions, let's focus on the problem: why does your dog shed? Shedding hair is natural; even humans shed hair and skin cells. But there can be excessive shedding that could happen because of these causes:

    •    Poor diet -- Certain dog foods can lead to more shedding than usual. Most dog food companies are trying to combat this problem, but it might be your dog's natural reaction to the food.
    •    Allergies -- Your dog might have seasonal allergies. Or, your dog might be allergic to the dog food you buy for him or her.
    •    Stress -- A stressed-out dog will shed more than normal. Does your dog leave hair everywhere when you take them to the vet? That's stress-induced shedding. You don't have to teach your dog yoga, but remove the stressors from their environment, and you may find that shedding decreases.
    •    Other medical problem -- even if you have a stress-free dog who has zero allergies, they might have another medical problem you can't see. Check with your veterinarian to see if your dog have another medical issue.

Once we pinpoint the problem, here are a few solutions that can keep your dog from shedding everywhere:

1. Change Dog Food

Sometimes the solution is as simple as a diet change. A healthy coat really does grow from the inside out. Try different brands to see which one works best for your dog. This might take a few months to find the right one, but the dog-food experiment will be worth the wait once you find the perfect brand for your dog. We don't put a lot of stock in supplements added to food or pills for reducing shedding. If your dog appears to otherwise be in good health, it's unlikely that changing food or adding supplements will have a dramatic effect on shedding.

2. Control the Fleas

Another reason dogs are stressed out is fleas. These little bugs can bug your dog for days. Buy a flea collar, or better yet use a topical flea treatment and your dog will be happier, and their coat healthier.

3. Try Olive Oil

Adding a bit of olive oil to your dog's food can help with shedding. The oil produces a shiny coat and conditions the skin, which causes less itching and scratching, and a healthier coat, which can help reduce shedding.

If diet, stress, and health issues aren't relevant to your dog's shedding issues, then all you can do is manage the process and contain the mess. Some breeds naturally shed more than others, and you just have to learn to live with it. However, don't despair, there is still much you can do to keep from going fur-crazy.

4. Splish Splash, Give Your Dog a Bath

A regular bath can do wonders for a shedding dog. Don't use soap from your shower because the chemicals in human shampoo will dry out your dog's skin, which could prompt more shedding. Look for the best available pet shampoo for your dog, preferably an all natural formulation.

5. Brush It Real Good ...& De-Shed Your Dog

If you don't try any other tip on this list, this one is the most important. Brush your dog regularly, more often than you bathe them. A regular brushing can keep your dog's coat cleaner and softer, which is great for the dog (and your hands). Look for the best brush for your dog (which style works best depends on the length and texture of your dog's coat), and your dog will be happy with your decision.

If your dog is a super shedder, you may need to brush daily, especially at those times of year when shedding is in high gear.

If overall health and nutrition are good, and bathing and brushing just aren't getting the job done, then it's time to incorporate a de-shedding treatment into your grooming routine. Deshedding consists of special techniques and products used when shampooing and blowdrying, but most particularly a session of carding out the coat using a tool such as the FURminator. We've been using FURminator products for years, and it really does reduce shedding by 60-80% when used regularly. You can do it yourself, or have it done by a professional groomer.

If you would like to give your dog a good bath,  brushout, or deshedding session, contact Awesome Doggies. We would love to help you get your dog's shedding under control. 
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