7 Home Remedies to Minimize Dog Shedding
Dogs are a wondrous creature and make such incredible pets. Being a dog-parent myself, I can undoubtedly say that getting a dog can bring so much joy to your life. But the best things in life do come with a cost! With our adorable pups, the happiness comes at the price of getting your favorite clothes, sofa and furniture covered in fur. Yup although the price is nothing as compared to the unconditional love we receive from our pups, it can be a severe problem for many. You don’t want to go to work covered in dog fur, do you! Well if you are a troubled dog-parent like me, I get your concern. Yes, you can always look for hacks to keep your clothes safe from dog hair, regularly clean furniture and groom your dog. But the good news for dog-parents is that you can reduce your dog's shedding by using simple home remedies. Are you wondering how? Well keep on reading as I will discuss seven useful tips to reduce dog shedding, but first, let’s briefly examine the causes behind the problem.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Let me clarify a misconception here that all dog breeds shed to some extent. I have heard people say that their dogs don’t lose hair at all which is a misunderstanding as shedding is a natural process with dogs. For the new coat to come in, the dogs lose their hair via shedding. The process happens in a series of phases that vary due to factors such as the dog’s breed, age, environment, and health.
There is another phenomenon known as seasonal shedding. The shedding season for most dogs is between spring and fall. You may be aware of the fact that a dog’s coat is his natural protection against environmental elements and regulates the pup’s body temperature. Therefore dogs switch their fur with the variations in the weather of their surroundings. During the shedding season, dogs lose their winter coats to allow a light summer coat to grow. As the season changes again, the process is repeated to make way for the warm winter coat. But remember that seasonal shedding occurs mainly with outdoor dogs as they are affected by the change in temperature. Indoor dogs aren’t much influenced by the climate change so they may shed the same throughout the year.
Dog Breeds that Shed the Most
Dogs with thick double layered coats shed more than the ones with less undercoat. If you are planning on getting a pooch and shedding is a concern for you due to allergies, or any other reason, check out the list of dog breeds that are heavy shedders:
• American Eskimo
• Bernese mountain dog
• Belgian Sheepdog
• Boston Terrier
• Maltese Shih Tzu
• Cardigan Welsh corgi
• The Great Pyrenees
• Labrador retriever
• Siberian Husky
Reasons for Shedding
Lack of Nutrition
A poor quality diet, one that lacks essential nutrients or doesn’t contain sufficient amount of Omega 3 or Omega 6 fatty acids may result in increased shedding. Some dogs are allergic to certain foods such as beef, dairy or corn. If any such food is a part of your dog’s diet, he will shed more hair. Always check the label before purchasing these products as some expensive dog foods may also contain such ingredients.
Other reasons include stress; dogs tend to shed more after they have been neutered or spayed due to the same reason. Female dogs tend to lose more hair after their heat cycle is over.
Home Remedies to Minimize Shedding
Brushing your dog can significantly reduce shedding as it removes the hair that is about to come out, preventing it from shedding in clumps. It also makes your dog’s fur softer by distributing the natural oils throughout his coat. But it isn’t as simple as buying a brush for yourself; there are different types of dog combs according to the kind of coat.
Types of Brushes
These brushes have short pins on a flat or curved surface. Slicker brushes help detangle dog’s hair and remove mats. They are suitable for numerous dog breeds, including medium to long-haired ones or the curly breeds. You can get the ones with flexible handles for convenience.
These have wires with pins covered with plastic or rubber. They are suitable for long and silky-haired breeds but aren’t of much use for reducing shedding. You can use them to comb after getting your dog groomed.
These come in wide varieties having metal and rubber bristles. The rubber one is suitable for breeds with short hair as their skin can easily get damaged if you don’t handle it gently. The metal one would suit medium-haired dogs such as the German shepherd, Golden Retriever, etc. The best quality of these brushes is that they leave the dog’s coat shiny and stimulate the skin while removing loose hair.
Brushing Routines for Different Dog Breeds
If you can take out the time, comb your long-haired dogs every day as it will help get rid of debris, dirt, and tangles. Medium-haired breeds should be brushed at least four times a week whereas for dogs with short hair even once a week would work in most situations.
Our furry friends could use a nice bath every once in a while. Make sure you use a dog-safe shampoo; you can get one from your veterinarian’s clinic. If your dog has oily skin, he would require frequent baths whereas regular baths for dogs with dry skin may do more harm than good. If your pup has the habit of getting dirty, he can benefit from a weekly bath. It will help remove the loose hair and enable you to detect any mats or knots.
Add Omega 3 to Your Pup’s Diet
Oils and certain foods that contain omega three fatty acids can benefit your dog. Omega 3 makes the coat shiny and healthy. It can also help soothe irritation or allergies. You can add a teaspoon of olive oil or fish oil to your dog’s food as both are rich in omega three fatty acids. If it doesn’t work out, ask your vet to suggest supplements. You can also feed your pup chia seeds as they are rich in omega three fatty acids. These improve your dog’s coat health and can be added to your dog’s food in a variety of ways. Either add them directly to your dog’s wet food or soak them in broth or water and then feed your dog along with dry food.
Protect Your Pooch from Infestations
Fleas and ticks can adversely affect not only your dog’s coat health but overall well-being. These parasites bite your dog and make his skin itchy and flaky. If the problem worsens, it can cause bald spots, rashes, red and irritated skin.
There are numerous home remedies to prevent an infestation. You can use rosemary to protect your dogs against fleas, just add it to water and let it simmer. Once the mixture is ready, rinse your dog with it to prevent your pooch from a flea infestation. You can also purchase Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and sprinkle it in the areas in your garden where your dog loves to spend time as that is where the fleas would cluster. Make sure you keep your dog inside while you treat the yard. Other than that there are various tick repellents available in the market that can protect your dog from these parasites.
Don’t miss out on your pup’s visits to the groomer. Regular grooming will keep the coat healthier and prevent knots, mats, and tangles which otherwise can be painful for your pooch. This is particularly important for long-haired breeds. Make sure your groomer doesn’t opt for shaving the dog entirely; getting a cut after regular intervals is a better option.
Get a Dog Vest
You can purchase a dog vest, these help in minimizing shedding significantly. The dead hair gets trapped inside the garment rather than falling everywhere around the house. They are also great for protecting your dog’s skin from allergens, cold weather and do not affect the pup's mobility in any way.
Invest in Useful Supplies
If you have the budget, then I would recommend spending on some excellent quality supplies as these can enable you to do basic grooming at home.
The first thing you should look for is a quality de-shedding tool. It will help get rid of dead hair while making the process quick, safe and hassle-free. Some devices in the market can reduce shedding up to 90% and are available in a variety of sizes, so this is a good investment.
You want to reduce shedding because cleaning the hair from every corner of the house is a hassle. So while we work on useful remedies to minimize the cause, you can also consider investing in a handy vacuum. Look for a machine that is specially designed for pet hair and can efficiently suck hair from all corners of the house.
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