Many of us love our dogs, but not all the hair they shed. Got a Sir-Shed-a-Lot dog? I can certainly sympathize. My dog, Chipper is the combination of the two most notorious shedding breeds: Golden retriever and Siberian Husky. My vacuum works overtime! But that’s a minor issue because Chipper is a grrr-eat dog.
For tips on how to deal with the hair, hair everywhere in your canine household, please check out the tips from guest blogger Ron Rutherford posted below:
1. Brush Your Pet Daily
One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the amount of shedding is to brush your dog on a daily basis. Brushing your pet helps remove loose fur before it has a chance to rub off and stick to your furniture, carpet, car seat, and everywhere in between. The type of brush depends on the type of dog you have. For instance, a bristle brush works best for shorthaired dogs, a “rake” is best for longhaired pets, and a pin brush is best for those with long, wavy fur. Most pet stores will also carry special brushes designed for dogs with excessive shedding problems, and any clerk should be knowledgeable enough and happy to help you find the right type for your pet.
2. Add Moisture to Your Dog’s Diet
Dogs who lack moisture in their diets are more likely to shed because a meal regimen based solely on dry dog food (especially one that uses lots of fillers) can make for weak fur that breaks off easily. There are many ways you can increase your pet’s moisture intake: melons (cantaloupe and de-seeded watermelon), green beans, and carrots are all healthy snacks that your dog can eat in moderation to help increase the moisture consumption. Many people also feed their dog flax seed oil in order to keep the coat in top condition, but since there is conflicting opinions on this, make sure to check with your veterinarian first.
3. Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Another helpful trick to help keep your dog’s shedding to a minimum is regular bathing; giving your dog a bath helps remove clotted and matted up fur, and there are plenty of anti-shedding shampoos and conditioners to choose from as well. How often you should wash your dog depends on many factors; the breed, the lifestyle (if he spends a lot of time outdoors or loves to roll in dirty or leap in mud puddles), and the skin type all come into play. It’s important to consult your veterinarian first as bathing your dog too often can strip the coat of necessary oils and increase dry, itchy skin.
4. Keep the Vacuum and Lint Roller Handy
While daily brushing, regular grooming, and a healthy diet all help keep your dog’s shedding under control, there is no magic fix, and chances are, you’re going to have some loose fur pop up here and there. Vacuuming your carpet and furniture daily can significantly help with the build-up, and having a lint roller on hand is a must for any pet owner. Try putting down a blanket or a sheet on the couch before you invite your dog up to cuddle with you, and if you’re daring enough to wear black, change right before you head out the door to minimize the amount of time you have to get covered in fur.
Shedding is the one downside to having a dog, but if you’re willing to take the time and make the efforts to minimize the problem, it shouldn’t be anything you can’t handle. Besides, considering the friendship, loyalty, and entertainment your dog gives you on a daily basis, it’s really not that much to ask.
Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.That’s him in the photo with her sweet-but-shedding dog, Winston.