Here's a heartbreaking truth – there are no 100% shed-free dog breeds. All dogs shed their fur more or less on a regular basis, and short of shaving your pooch, there is no way to eliminate shedding completely. However, there are ways to minimize shedding in dogs.
Let's be honest: dog hair is probably one of the major cons of owning a canine, and it's always annoying to find dog hair everywhere almost all the time. But if you were brave enough to adopt a puppy despite this, you'll be happy to learn that most dog owners will be able to minimize the amount of loose hair that materializes on their work clothes, on the back of a car seat, in their pantry and lightly covering their bookshelves.
Keep in mind that everything related to your dog's shedding in dependent on your pooch's breed. The breed of your dog will determine how much he sheds, when he sheds and how he sheds. For example, Golden Retrievers will lose a lot more hair over the course of a year than Standard Poodles would. Seasons can also play a large role on your dog's shedding patterns, but the overall biggest impact to how your dog sheds is his diet.
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Either way, there are definitely methods that one can use to minimize shedding in dogs and event measures you can take if not prevent shedding, then at least ensure that your dog looses far less hair than he would if you were not to do anything at all about it. Below you can find five best ways that every owner should try to minimize shedding in dogs.
5 ways to minimize shedding in dogs
The way to minimize shedding in dogs is to break it down into parts and address each one separately. There are many parts that come together for a healthy dog, which in turn will equal a strong coat and with far less hair falling out. Here are the five primary parts:
- Brushing your dog to remove hair and promote bloodflow
- Keep your dog on a healthy diet to have strong coat hair
- Prevent fleas, ticks and other parasites on your dog
- Take care of the environment and clean the house regularly
- Be aware of all the external facts and address them accordingly
Daily dog grooming sessions are important, so train your pup from an early age to enjoy a good brushing session. Introduce your Fido to the grooming brush – an instrument he's going to see quite often from now on. Allow your puppy familiarize himself with the dog grooming brush.
When you attempt to brush your dog the first few times, always remember to use positive reinforcement to ensure easier grooming sessions in the future. Reward your pup with a tasty dog treat so that he associates the feeling of being brushed and “deshedded” with good memories. The more often you brush your dog, the more those bristles of the grooming brush will pick up and remove any loose hairs off your canine.
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Note that regular grooming is vital for a healthy dog, and it's never too late to introduce your dog to brushing, even if you've adopted a dog who's at a later stage in his life. Despite what you might have heard, you certainly can teach an older dog some new tricks. Always reward him with treats and it won’t take too long before he starts bringing you the brush himself, knowing what comes afterwards.
To make your job even easier, you can also invest in special dog deshedding tools, deshedding combs and brushes for dogs that shed a lot. All of these pet grooming tools are designed to work very closely to your dog's skin and pick up about 99% of your dog's loose hairs just as they separate from the follicles. You'll quickly notice that these are every effective in minimizing shedding in dogs.
Maintain a healthy diet
Cheap dog food is made of fillers like grains and corn. The nutrients available in dog foods with higher meat content are easier for your canine to digest and benefit him in more ways both nutritionally and physically. Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent sources of healthy fats which are one of the primary nutrients for dogs to maintain a healthy, shiny coat.
You can choose to give your dog omega-3s in the form of actual food, such as cooked fish, or you can simply opt for some fish oils for dogs supplements which is what most pet parents choose to do. If you give fish to your dog, be careful and remember to remove any small bones as they can cause serious harm to your dog's throat and stomach lining if swallowed. You can read more about giving fish to dogs here.
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Make sure not to give your canine too many dog supplements or dog vitamins. Always consult with your veterinarian before supplementing your pet's diet, because too many sources outside of dog food can easily cause vitamin poisoning in dogs.
We've already talked about how one should feed a dog and what type of nutrition dogs require. Hydration is also an important part. Plenty of fresh water will keep your dog's skin hydrated and less flaky, which will result in less hair loss and minimize the amount of shedding in your dog.
Always look at it this way: a healthy diet means a healthy coat, which means stronger hair that is less likely to fall out.
Preventative flea treatments
One of the common reasons for an excessive shedding in dogs is them scratching too much or too often. Having your pet treated regularly for parasites such as dog ticks and fleas will ensure that he doesn't scratch more than he should.
Excessive scratching loosens his fur and results in those little piles of hair under the bed that you were certain you've removed yesterday.
If your dog has a serious problem with parasites, then definitely consult with your vet before starting any type of strong flea treatments as they are all different. Dog flea treatments are very different from cat treatments, and getting them mixed up or administering the wrong one could be incredibly detrimental to your dog's health.
Pet owners who manage to succeed in ridding their dogs from fleas completely have often noticed a reduction in shedding, in loose hair on dogs and dog hair, skin flakes around the house.
Clean your home regularly
Dog parents who are having issues with excessive shedding and lots of dog hair will need to make it a habit to clean the house more regularly.
Unfortunately, if you're not a fan of cleaning your home but you love having a dog around who sheds, there's no escaping this endeavor.
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Cleaning your house on a much more constant basis – dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and removing all loose hairs, skin flakes and anything else that your pooch brings home – is one of the most effective ways to minimize shedding, or at least the effects of a dog that sheds a lot. Fresh loose hairs are much easier to remove or pick up with a good vacuum for dog hair than pet hairs that have worked their way into the fibers of a dog couch or carpet.
A dog for all seasons
Believe it or not, but there are also other, additional external factors (outside of a dog's breed) that can affect how much and how often your dog will be shedding.
Seasons, for example, can have a major impact; so is the weather and temperature. All of these affect the amount of shedding your dog will go through in a given time period.
With most dog breeds, a Fido will develop the thickest, loveliest coat for winter, and then at the onset of spring he will prepare himself to shake it off all over your front porch, on your couch and his own dog bed.
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Did you know that dogs that live in cooler climates are less likely to shed as much as those who live in arid environments? The reason is because dogs in cold need all of their fur to stay warm, so dog owners in Alaska are slightly luckier.
Controlling the temperature in your home through your climate control system, AC, heating and cooling systems, and attempting to keep home temp consistent and stable will help your dog stay cool in summer and warm in winter. This won't give him a reason to build that fluffy coat or start loosing all the hair because of warmth.