No matter the kind of dog you have and no matter the kind of fur your dog has, if you have a dog in your home you are probably used to seeing dog hair on every surface around. Dogs with short hair shed. Dogs with long hair shed. Dogs drop clumps of fur on your floor. Dogs leave blankets of fur on your furniture. Shedding is something that just about every dog owner has to deal with.
You may not be able to completely stop your dog from shedding, but you may be able to prevent your dog from shedding so much, all the time, and on everything you own. Even with the thickest coat and deepest undercoat, you can better control shedding within your home.
Methods to Manage Shedding
Some dogs will certainly shed more than other dogs. If you have a long-haired dog, the amount of fur dropped in your house might be greater than if you have a short haired dog. However, short haired dogs tend to shed quite a bit as well. There are a few things that you can do to reduce shedding and prevent wild fur disasters in your home.
Starting with a high-quality diet, one of the best ways to improve your dog's overall health, including their coat, is with healthy foods. A healthy diet with a high-quality protein as the first main ingredient, which is easily absorbed, improves your dog's overall health including their coat and their skin. Avoid foods your dog may be allergic to, as they could cause skin problems which could then cause your dog’s fur to drop. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can help smooth your dog’s coat and moisturize his skin to keep his fur from falling out. Looking for foods with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with vitamin E will help smooth and soften your dog’s coat giving it a healthy sheen. These added supplements can also heal any dry skin, preventing your dog’s coat from dropping as much or as often. Also, keeping your dog hydrated is not only important for overall health, but hydration is also imperative for healthy skin and coat. Again, if your dog’s skin is overly dry, his fur may shed more than if he were hydrated with soft and supple skin.
Grooming is essential for eliminating excess fur dropping from your dog. Keeping your dog’s coat well-maintained will help reduce the amount of fur you find on your hands, your clothing, your floors, and the furniture within your home. Be sure to brush your dog on a regular basis. This helps eliminate excess fur that has already pulled out of your dog's skin and is just waiting to be removed. You can purchase bristle brushes for short haired dogs or rake brushes for long haired dogs to brush out their undercoat and get out the excess fur before shedding becomes a problem. Dogs with thicker coats or an undercoat may require deshedding tools when groomed.
While you're grooming your dog on a regular basis, be sure to bathe them as well. Giving your dog a bath with a high-quality hypoallergenic shampoo can improve his coat as well as his skin, which can help keep the fur in place longer. Fur that has become detached from the skin can easily be washed off in a bath without too much fuss from your dog. Regular grooming will help to prevent shedding because you will be taking off excess fur through bathing and brushing during the grooming process.
There are a few supplements you can give your dog to improve their coat and their skin. Flaxseed oil added to your dog’s meals contains omega-3 fatty acids, which improve dry, flaky skin and creates a soft and smooth coat. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be added to your dog's food via olive oil or flaxseed oil, or you can give him supplements purchased from your veterinarian or local pet store. Be sure you are buying high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements to avoid any health problems related to poor quality products. Supplementing your dog’s diet with healthy, natural oils can prevent shedding more effectively if your dog’s diet is also healthy with a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Benefits of Preventing Excess Shedding
Keeping up with your dog’s grooming schedule, brushing on a regular basis, and de-furring your home can certainly be a time-consuming responsibility for a dog owner. If you are able to reduce the amount of shedding from your dog through a high-quality, healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean proteins, you may be spending less time cleaning dog’s fur off your furniture and your floors. Also, the more time you spend grooming your dog, the less time you will spend cleaning up their fur elsewhere. Grooming your dog and brushing your dog thoroughly can also give children in your home a responsible chore and teach them how to properly and lovingly care for your dog. Brushing, bathing, and caring for your dog is an excellent way to spend quality time with your dog, who just wants your love and affection.
Realistic Expectations and Practical Steps
Though you may not be able to rid your home of all the dog fur that comes off your dog, you might be able to reduce the amount of shedding you're seeing with proper grooming and a healthy high-quality diet.
There is no magic pill for shedding. Maybe you picked a specific breed for the characteristics and fun they bring to your family and heavy shedding came as an added bonus. Shedding is a natural consequence of owning any dog, but there are ways you can both incorporate fun time with him and reduce the amount of fur within your home.