As a dog lover, your clothes, bed, furniture and even your car have probably accumulated a thick layer of dog hair. While this may or may not drive you crazy like it does me, you probably want to keep the fur where it belongs – on your dog! Learning how to prevent shedding in dogs will be a huge benefit to you and your pet.
While some breeds shed more than others, even a small amount of dog hair can be a pain to clean up. It seems impossible to get it all off of your clothes before you leave for work in the morning, and trying to remove dog hair from upholstery can be a nightmare.
In this case, a few preventative measures for highly shedding dogs will make a big difference.
Learning how to prevent shedding in dogs is actually a lot more simple than it sounds. You don't need to spend hours each day brushing your dog, but regular grooming is definitely a must. If you’re hoping to stop your dog’s shedding, here are a few tips to help you get started.
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9 Tips on How to Prevent Shedding in Dogs
1. Brush Your Dog Daily
This is pretty obvious, for a number of reasons. Brushing your dog’s fur everyday gives you a jump start on any hair that is planning on shedding. It also loosens up matted fur, keeps your dog’s fur and skin healthier and gives you one-on-one time with your canine companion.
Find the right brush for your dog’s fur, whether he has long hair and needs a long-toothed comb, or if your dog has short, wiry hair and needs only a quick bristle brush.
If you’ve neglected brushing for some time, make sure you get a special dog brush that can handle mats, and be prepared to work slowly (I speak from experience here!).
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2. Change His Dog Food
When discussing how to prevent shedding in dogs, you need to address your pup's diet. If your dog seems to be shedding excessively, or is starting to have problems with matted fur, itchy dry skin, oily skin, etc., it might be the food he is eating. I found that changing to a more natural, less “filler” type dog food helps keep my dogs’ coats and skin healthy.
It is also quite possible that, if your dog is shedding excessively, he may be allergic to certain foods, so check with your veterinarian if you have concerns. This is a great time to note that if your dog is shedding more than normal, it's always best to see your veterinarian.
Oftentimes excessive shedding can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as allergies, malnutrition or parasites.
3. Add Adding Fish Oil Omega-3s to Dog Food
I have also tried olive oil in my dogs’ food, which has omega-3 fatty acid compounds -great for hair, skin, and nail health in humans. In dogs, it does the same, and keeps their skin (and therefore fur) healthy and shiny.
Other friends of mine use fish oil, usually puncturing a capsule and squeezing it over the dog’s food. This has the added benefit of joint pain relief, but your dog may not like the taste as much.
Don't forget about doing your due diligence and consulting with your vet on this one for the right dosage of omega-3s for your Fido.
4. Splish Splash Doggy Bath
For a lot of dog owners (myself included), bath time is a dreaded experience. But if you’re trying to keep the fur at bay, frequent doggy baths are necessary. They loosen up detached hair that is still stuck to fur, and also cleans the skin and gets rid of dirt or anything that can cause fur to shed.
I make sure to use a natural dog shampoo that is gentle on my pooches’ skin– over-shampooing can have the opposite effect and cause more shedding by drying out your dog's skin. If you're wondering how to prevent shedding in dogs, you may be able to find shed-control shampoo that can help; I had to try out a few kinds before I found one I liked.
If you’re like me and you don’t want to drag your dog into your bathtub and clog your drain with all that fur, try taking your dog to a grooming salon. Many groomers specialize in deshedding treatments. They have special products and tools to make the job easier. Don't get too excited, you'll still have to do some at-home grooming in between visits too.
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5. Take Them to a Beauty Salon
Go to the grooming salon, or play barber at your own house if you want. If you don’t want to wrestle your dog to trim his or her fur (speaking from experience, it’s not as fun as it sounds), take your dog to a salon and let them do their job.
Lightening the load of fur on your dog can help prevent the weight from pulling more fur out. It can also make it easier for your dog and his skin to breathe. Plus, if all that hair stays at the salon, you won’t have to clean it up!
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6. Cool Them Down
When of the lesser known tricks for how to prevent shedding in dogs is blow-drying your pet on the cool setting. It can help you get rid of loose fur sitting on his topcoat. I blow-dry my dogs’ fur on the cool, low setting to help while I comb them out; they love it!
The cool air doesn’t make the dog hot, which means his oil production won’t increase. You don’t have to worry about a shedding attack after the blowout. Your dog can get dry in no time, and look like he just came straight from the salon to boot.
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7. Exercise Your Dog
Taking your dog outside to run around and play means that he is getting his daily activity needs met, and he's also shedding loose hair outside. Studies have found that dogs who play outside regularly also have lower obesity and “stress” rates, which can lower their shedding factor.
Obese dogs tend to lack the vitamins they need, which means more shedding. Dogs who are locked inside all day also lack the activity they need to stay healthy, which can lead to depression and health issues.
Hydration is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. My dogs are picky and only drink fresh, clean water so I make sure to refresh their bowls often.
Water obviously hydrates the skin and other organs, which means that your dog’s body will be working at prime levels.
Hydrated skin doesn’t shed fur as much, so water your dog frequently!
9. Pay Attention to the Seasons
Your dog is naturally going to shed more fur when it gets closer to summer, which means that you should be prepared for the onslaught of extra dog pieces floating around your house, car, and clothes.
During this time, brushing your dog with pet deshedding tools, washing, blow-drying, and trimming my dogs’ fur tends to help keep the chaos to a minimum.
Learning how to prevent shedding in dogs is something many pet owners are interested in. Your dog is going to shed – sorry to break it to you, but you're not alone. We all have to deal with the fact that people will come over and they’ll get dog fur all over their clothes. You’ll probably get dog fur in your food at some point (I hope that’s not just me).
You can do everything you want to prevent it, but you will also learn to live with a little dog fur. You might even learn to love it, because it means you have a furry best friend who has wiggled his or her tail into your life.
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