Do you see the hair tumbleweeds floating around your house and wonder what you can do to help reduce your dog’s shedding? You are not alone. All dogs shed a little, but some dogs shed a lot. Here are 5 tips to reduce the amount of hair rolling on the floor.
#1 – Change your dog’s food.
Some cheap dog foods do not contain proper nutrition, which can lead to excessive shedding. A lot of dry food will cause your dog to become dehydrated unless he drinks a lot of water. And many dogs have undiagnosed food allergies that can lead to excessive scratching, resulting in increased shedding. Changing your dog’s food to something with more moisture or fewer ingredients can make a difference in the amount of fur flying around your house. (As always, consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.)
#2 – Add an Omega-3 supplement to their diet.
Omega-3, a fatty acid usually found in fish, helps maintain normal skin moisture levels, resulting in less discharge caused by dry skin. It also helps support coat, joint, heart, immune system and cellular health.
Check out these Omega-3 Select Skin & Coat Soft Chews with krill oil, specially designed for dogs.
#3 – Control fleas and other parasites.
Parasites can be very itchy and dogs will scratch themselves raw in an attempt to remove the pests. Some dogs are allergic to fleas and have even more severe reactions.
#4 – Bathe your dog, but not too often.
Bathing causes dead hair to fall out in the tub instead of on the floor, but excessive bathing can cause dry skin, which can increase the amount of hair your dog loses. Try not to bathe your dog more than once or twice a month and use the gentlest dog-specific shampoo you can find. Never use human shampoo on your dog!
Read more: Ask a Vet: How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
#5 – Brush, brush, brush – and use hair removal tools properly.
The best way to prevent dog hair from getting into your home is to brush it out before it falls out. Use a brush recommended for your dog’s coat type. For short-haired dogs, a rubber curry brush or massage glove helps distribute the natural oils in your dog’s coat and remove loose hair. For dogs with longer or thicker hair, a slicker brush is usually best. For dogs with very long or fine hair, a pin brush is best. These tools are safe enough to use daily. Using a comb will remove even more hair.
When your dog sheds more than normal, such as in the spring, hair removal aids can be used, as long as they are not used excessively. Using a depilatory blade too aggressively on a short-haired dog can cause bald spots and skin irritation. Hair rakes for longer coats can also cause bald spots and hair breakage if used excessively.
If you’re not sure which tool is best for your dog’s coat type, ask a groomer. (Speaking of groomers, they have just the tools and experience to remove much of your dog’s undercoat to help reduce shedding!)