All dogs tend to lose old and damaged hair by shedding. Now I know what you are thinking, what about hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed? Well unfortunately that is a myth, as all dogs shed. It is the amount of hair and the frequency that differs and that is all to do with the breed and health of your dog. Other factors that must be taken into account are the season and where you loved one is kept. Some dogs shed in the spring as they develop thick coats to keep warm in winter. If your dog hardly ever goes out then he is more likely to shed evenly throughout the year.
How Can You Reduce Shedding?
You cannot stop a dog from shedding, but you can quite easily reduce the amount of excess hair all over you home by brushing him daily. This is also good for his coat and skin. It will also please your groomer as he won’t be covered in knots and have tangles everywhere. Different breeds require different types of brushes when being brushed. What might be good for one breed might hurt another breed.
For some dogs it can be normal to experience excessive shedding. However, there are various medical conditions that may cause this excess. For instance, stress and poor nutrition may enhance shredding. If you feel your dog is shredding excessively then it’s a good idea to speak to your vet. It could be they are not getting enough good nutrition through their food. You may have to experiment with different brands.
Other factors that can cause shedding are:
- Parasites (fleas, lice or mites)
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Liver, kidney, thyroid or adrenal disease
- Immune disease
- Contact with caustic / irritating substances
If you see any of the below conditions persisting for more than a week contact your Veterinarian.
- Skin irritation, including bumps, redness, rashes or scabs
- Bald spots or thinning of coat
- Open sores of any kind
- Dull, dry hair that pulls out easily
- Constant foot licking or face rubbing
Choosing the Correct Dog Brush
Choosing the correct brush all depends on your dog’s coat type.
- Combs – These are really good for short haired dogs. They help massage your dogs skin and remove any dead hair. They can be made from metal or rubber.
- Bristle Brush – These can be used on all coat types but if your dog has coarse hair then you will need to choose one with stiffer bristles. For longer coats go for one with bristles that are more widely spaced and that are longer.
- Wire-Pin Brush – These are more widely used on coats that are woolly and are medium to long length. They are also excellent for use on curly coats.
- Slicker Brush – These are made with fine wire bristles and are useful for removing tangles and mats.
These are the main types you will find.
Depending on where you buy them, be aware they may have different names depending on the manufacturer.
A shedding tool can certainly reduce the amount of shedding around your home. It doesn’t matter if your dog sheds all year round or seasonally, these are designed to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat and reduce the amount of hair drifting around your home. There are various types available. They are suitable for pet’s coats that are short, medium or long, thick or thin, single or double coated.
These are the biggest sellers on amazon:
A Healthy Diet
Just as it is important for us, a healthy diet is important for your dog. To keep his hair follicles strong and break free he must eat a complete and balanced diet. My article on “How to Choose the Right Dog Food” has all the information you will need when choosing. There are also various supplements that can promote healthy hair growth, along with joint, heart and immune system benefits. However, speak to your vet prior to purchasing such supplements.
Generally, this isn’t something many people keep an eye on. We believe if our dog is thirsty he will just help himself to water. If he has a medical condition you are unaware of, then he could be drinking more, or less, water. If he is not drinking enough water and therefore becoming dehydrated then this can cause hair to fall out. Under normal circumstances a 4.5Kg dog (10lbs) will need a little more than a mug of water per day. Obviously, this changes in warmer temperatures, but is the rule of thumb.
Baths and Treatments
By regularly bathing your dog and by having him either groomed, or grooming him yourself, will all help in keeping the shedding down. There are lots of shampoos and conditioners that help to keep your loved one’s coat in pristine condition. These shampoos help to loosen and remove any excess undercoat. Further use of brushes or a deshedding tool will also help to significantly reduce shedding.
Hopefully, by trying some of the above options, you will find a decrease in the amount of hair your dog sheds. Looking after your dog’s coat, gives you quality time together, and also gives you the chance to fully inspect him. Don’t forget, if you notice any unusual bumps or cuts, please inform your vet.
If you have any questions or points you would like to make please drop me a line below.
All the best for now