How to Groom a Seasonal Shedding Dog

Medium
10 - 20 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

It's spring and Susan's black lab is shedding all over her house. No white outfits for Susan, until her black beauty loses her winter coat!  

Because Susan's dog likes to spend time outside, and their climate in the northeast US can be quite chilly in the winter, her dog has developed a thick winter coat, and now it all has to come out in preparation for the long, hot humid summer!  More bad news, this will happen again in the fall, when her dog will “blow” her summer hair coat, to make way for her thick winter coat to come in. 

Shedding occurs as new hair pushes the older dead hair out. Joy: something to look forward to twice a year! If you have a shedding dog and live in a climate where seasonal changes cause your dog to develop different hair coats at different times of the year to keep him warm or cool, your dog will shed out his coat as his new coat comes in. This will mean more hair than usual, all over your house-- and you! Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the pain of finding black Labrador hair all over your white linen suit!

Dog's Perspective

Your dog can be itchy when he loses his hair, so helping him remove that hair with brushing and clipping may feel quite good. Many long haired or double coated dogs need to have packed undercoats combed through and dead shedding hair removed, so that shedding hair does not become caught and matted in the rest of his coat, causing knots, mats, and itchy skin, where moisture can be trapped and sometimes result in hot spots. A good brushing to remove dead hair will usually make your dog feel better, and now his new coat will do a better job of temperature control, which is what it’s for after all.

The Wash It Out and Off Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Comb
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Shampoo and scrub
Wash your dog in warm water to loosen dead hair. Put a drain protector in your tub to trap hair, then shampoo and lather your dog. Get right down to the skin with your fingers or use a rubber grooming glove to massage and remove debris and dirt and stimulate hair follicles. Rinse soap and loose hair away.
Step
2
Blow dry with diffuser
Blow dry with a high power blow dryer to blast away as much hair as possible, and further loosen hair. Use a diffuser on the blow dryer to remove excess water and blow surface hair away.
Step
3
Direct dryer
Once your dog is just damp, put a concentrator nozzle on the blow dryer, and start brushing hair in sections while directing the air dryer at the roots, make sure the blow dryer is not too hot and does not burn your dog.
Step
4
Clean brush
Work in sections all over your dog, drying from the skin to the ends of hair and pulling excess hair out of your brush periodically.
Step
5
Comb
Once your dog is dried and brushed, use a comb to start working over your dog's coat in sections, to pull out small hairs, and make sure there are no knots present. Pull hair out of your comb to make room for more.
Recommend grooming method?

The Special Shedding Tools Method

Effective
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Spray
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Step
1
Brush daily
Daily, brush your dog with a slicker brush if he is long haired, or a bristle brush if he is short haired, to remove surface hair and dirt.
Step
2
Use detangler
Spray your dog with detangler to keep flying hair under control and help your tools work through thick coats.
Step
3
Use deshedders
Use a comb, shedding rake or special shedding tool, like a Furminator or shedding blade, to get through layers of your dog’s coat and pull loose any dead hair from the undercoat. Work in sections, part hair and get down to the skin. Pull hair out of your tool regularly so it does not get filled with hair.
Step
4
Remove mats
If your dog has mats already from shedding hair, use a mat splitter to break up mats and comb out or trim out as needed.
Step
5
Vaccum
Vacuum your dog with a special dog vacuum or use an upholstery attachment on a regular vacuum, without too much suction, to remove dead hair. Work slowly to get your dog used to the sound and sensation of being vacuumed.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Make sure mats don't form or are left unattended on your dog during shedding season, which can trap moisture and result in skin conditions and sores.
  • Feed your dog a well balanced, high protein diet, to prevent excess shedding or dead, unnourished hair coat.
  • Be careful working with special fur removal tools, so that you don’t overstrip hair, as these tools can be aggressive.
  • Have a way to catch hair in the tub without washing it down the drain, or you may end up with a clogged tub drain!
  • Work in sections down to the skin, but be careful not to pull hair or scratch skin, especially on short haired dogs if using hard-bristled tools or combs.
  • Keep an eye out for parasites and skin infections when grooming during season changes.

Conclusion


Remember, this too shall pass!  Shedding season does not go on forever. Daily brushing will keep shedding under control, and prevent tangles and mats from forming as dead hair is released. Bathing to stimulate hair follicles and release seasonal hair helps the process along. Blow drying hair and vacuuming uses air to help blow or suck hair away, but there is no substitute for good old-fashioned elbow grease. Work in sections with slicker brushes and shedding tools, to really pull loose hair up from undercoats, and clean your tools regularly while working to keep them clean and make room for more hair, you're going to need it!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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