I am often asked about tips and tricks to help stop shedding in dogs. Unfortunately, it's impossible to completely stop your dog from shedding. However, there are some ways to help keep it to a minimum, so today I'm sharing my favorite dog shedding home remedy options.
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The Reality of Shedding in Dogs
It's completely natural for dogs to shed, and just like you cannot stop your own hair from growing, you cannot stop shedding in dogs either. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to completely remove every loose dog hair in your home as well, and even if you could, more would appear shortly.
The good news is that there are a few easy ways to drastically reduce shedding in dogs.
Every dog sheds – some less, some more, but they all have this “problem”. If you've got an extreme shedder, the first course of action to reduce shed hair in your home is to change how you grooming your dog.
A few preventative measures can drastically reduce the amount of shed pet hair you find around the house. It's really not that difficult to significantly reduce shedding, but it is time consuming. You'll need to be diligent about proper grooming and take the time to tend to your dog's coat nearly each day (depending on the breed).
My 5 Best Dog Shedding Home Remedy Tips
1. Regular Baths
Bathing a dog, when done right and thoroughly, will release a lot of loose fur that is stuck in your pet's coat. Make sure that your dog's coat is completely dried before brushing him. If the coat is still wet, the brush will pull the fur and cause your pet pain.
Non-drying shampoos (points if it also contains conditioner and oatmeal) are the best choice to reduce shedding in dogs. My favorite brand for this is Pets Are Kids Too. Dry hair on dogs breaks easily, thus something non-drying and moisturizing will help prevent breakage of a dog's fur and reduce (but not prevent) shedding. It will also keep the coat in a better looking, fluffier shape.
You can also use hypoallergenic shampoos like K9 Pro to improve the condition of your dog’s skin. These often contain oatmeal and a moisturizing agent, too. Bad skin can equal hair loss in dogs. Oatmeal and aloe shampoos were proven to be great for dog skin and coat health.
Never use human shampoo on your dog. It will damage the dog's coat and lead to dry skin and more shedding. Also, following a proper grooming schedule as per your dog's needs can help further reduce shedding. This means bathing a dong on time, and not over-bathing which would dry out your pet's skin and coat and cause more shed hair.
2. Get Yourself a Deshedding Tool
Standard brushes for dogs can remove some shed hair, but deshedding tools are actually far more effective and very common for this. They can be found in any pet store, and you'll usually find a variety to choose from. Some are better than others, but the most trusted and popular brands are Furminator, Pet Neat and SleekEZ.
Manufacturers make brush-like dog deshedding tools for different coat types and lengths, along with tools for different sizes of dogs. They aren't all made equally, so be sure to do a little research before making your selection for your individual dog's coat.
As I explain in my video above, if your pet has a double coat (like my Labrador), wiry fur or long locks, you need to buy a shedding tool that is specifically designed for that coat type. Also, make sure that you're buying a product that is safe, not just effective.
I recommend researching the right product for your dog, read customer reviews and visit the manufacturer's website. If you're unsure of exactly what you need, ask a local dog groomer for some advice or read up more on pet grooming forums.
3. Deshed Your Dog
Once you find the right tools, it's time to start brushing your dog. This dog shedding home remedy seems pretty simple, but there is more to it than you may think – it's all about the technique.
You're going to need to brush your dog in the same direction as his fur. This is to ensure not only the most efficient way to deshed a dog, but also to keep your pet calmer and more relaxed. Basically, you want to brush from head to tail with long strokes. Stop to remove the shed hair from the brush as needed.
Do NOT press down on the brush. Unlike regular brushes, deshedding tools have a stainless steel head with a row of sharp teeth. These teeth are great for collecting loose dog hair, but if you press them into your pet's skin they could cut into your dog.
The amount of time that you spend brushing your dog will vary depending on his coat type. I typically brush my Labrador for about 15-20 minutes every day, but in the spring when she is shedding excessively, it can take anywhere from 45-60 minutes to thoroughly brush through her thick double coat.
You should continue brushing until you're not getting any more fur in the brush. This is the only way to reduce your dog's shedding. Of course, any amount of brushing will help but the more, the better. After all, whatever fur you do manage to remove from your dog is that much less that you will have to clean up around your home.
It will take a while in the beginning, but if you make brushing a daily habit you'll be shaving time off of this task after the first few days. Just remember to stay consistent, or the loose hair will begin collecting and you'll be back to brushing for an hour or more.
4. Improve Your Dog's Diet
Not all dog foods are created equal. For stronger hair and less shedding, feed your pup a high quality food enriched with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and particularly Omega-3 essential fatty acids with a good balance of Omega-6 essential fatty acids.
A high quality dog food is more expensive, but it can actually save you money in the long run. You'll be spending less on vet bills, grooming expenses and supplements. A well balanced diet will aid in your dog's overall health and well-being, and you'll be glad you upgraded his meals.
4. Add Fish Oil
One of the best supplements to reduce shedding in dogs is fish oil. These supplements have been scientifically proven to improve dogs' coats and skin, and potentially reduce shedding. Fish oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which is what strengthens the coat and maintains better skin health in dogs.
It's best to follow serving recommendations on the supplement bottle, but most experts say about 1 tsp. for every 20 pounds of body weight per day is an appropriate serving. You can purchase fish oil in capsules or liquid form.
Along with a healthy diet comes good hydration. Water promotes hair growth and strengthens it by keeping a dog's skin moisturized, resulting in a shinier, healthier coat. Proper hydration will decrease the amount of shed hair as well as reducing itching and flaking of the skin.
Provide plenty of fresh water and remember that some dogs simply don't drink enough – they either forget or refuse to. If you're having trouble getting your dog to drink enough water, check out my video guide on the subject.
Trying these dog shedding home remedies, if you can even call them that, won't stop your pet from shedding, but it will greatly reduce the amount of shed hair coming from a dog's coat. If your pet is an extreme shedder, you can reach out to a groomer in your area to discuss professional deshedding options and a “treatment plan,” so to speak.
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