San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
But whether you have a 250-pound English mastiff or a 5-pound Chihuahua, your dog will shed some of its hair. Granted, some dogs shed more than others, but the fact is that all dogs shed. The good news is that loose dog hair isn't a serious or concerning problem. The bad news is that it's still a nuisance for dog owners and their family members. With a bit of work, however, you can control your dog's wild shedding.
Your teeth aren't the only thing you should brush daily (well, twice daily). It's also a good idea to brush your dog's coat daily.
Here are some tips to follow when brushing your dog:
- Use a brush designed specifically for canines, of a type that is particularly suited to your dog's coat type (ask your groomer if you aren't sure)
- Make slow and steady strokes, using caution not to pull on your dog's hair
- When you encounter a knot, hold it close to your dog's body while teasing it out with the brush.
- Brush in the direction of your dog's hair growth, not against their hair growth.
- Reward your dog with treats during and after brushing - make it a happy time.
Check Your Dog's FoodWhat type of food does your dog eat? Some owners wrongfully assume that all pet food is the same, so they choose the cheapest variety available at their local pet store. The truth, however, is that many cheap dog foods contain mostly filler ingredients like grain and relatively little crude protein. Not only does this restrict your dog's nutritional intake, but some filler ingredients can trigger an allergic reaction that causes your dog to itch and scratch.
If you've noticed your dog shedding more after switching to a new food, perhaps go back to their old food or try a different variety.
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsAdd omega-3 fatty acids (alpha linoleic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids) to your dog's diet to promote a healthy, vibrant coat with less frequent shedding. Most dog food varieties lack omega-3s because of its high manufacturing costs. So even if Fido is getting plenty of protein and vegetables, he probably isn't getting enough omega-3s.
You can buy omega-3 supplements from most pet stores, or you can simply add a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil to your dog's feed. Your veterinarian can also recommend specific supplements tailored to your dog's needs.
Professional GroomingOf course, we as groomers think it's a good idea for pet owners to use a professional grooming service such as ours. Brushing your dog daily is a great way to control loose hair, but if you don't have the time to keep up with that yourself, a professional groomer has the tools and expertise to really make a difference in your dog's shedding, even if they only see your pet once a month. In addition to brushing, a professional groomer can also deshed (card the coat), and bathe your dog with massage, which further reduces your dog's loose hair -- hair that would otherwise end up on your carpet, couch and clothes. We posted elsewhere on the benefits of our FURminator deshedding treatment. It really does work wonders. Shedding can be reduced 60-80% for most pets, when used regularly. That's a big difference.
Vacuuming and cleaning your home isn't going to stop your dog from shedding, but it will reduce the amount of hair scattered throughout your home. Use a high-suction vacuum cleaner to remove as much hair from your floors as possible. For baseboards and corners, use a wand attachment to clean dust, dog hair and other debris. Damp sponges work well for wiping loose hair off your upholstery. Lint rollers (or pieces of tape) can be used in smaller areas, but are usually just used for clothing.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea on how to control your dog's shedding. For more information on our deshedding and other mobile pet grooming services, contact us today.
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