From a hairy buildup on your furniture and floors to the hair covering your clothing, having a dog that sheds can be quite stressful. Unfortunately, shedding is also a problem that is difficult to address without proper understanding.
Certain dog breed shed more frequently and more excessively than others. For example, dogs with a short, fine, and coarse coat, such as the Akita, Labrador retriever, and German shepherd, will shed more than dogs with curly, long hair, such as the poodle and multiple types of terriers. Thankfully, help is available if you have a dog who sheds. Here are a few tips to help a dog who sheds.
One of the best and easiest ways to reduce your dog's shedding is to brush their coat more frequently. The frequency of brushing and the type of brush to use will depend on your dog's specific coat.
Most experts recommend brushing a short-haired dog two to three times a week. If you dog has a medium or long coat, brush at least once a day. Brushing more frequently in the spring and summer seasons is best since most dogs shed excessively during these times.
Use a brush designed for your dog's coat. If your dog has fine hair, any brush should work. However, if your dog has a curly or thick coat, take this into consideration when choosing a brush to avoid tearing or ripping the hair.
Brushing will remove your dog's damaged hair, reducing the amount that falls out on your furniture, floors, and clothing. In addition, brushing your dog's coat is a form of massage, which can ease any physical or emotional stress your dog experiences.
Bathing is also an important step for helping a dog who sheds excessively. Bathing can remove damaged hair, allowing it to fall out in the tub instead of on your furniture and floors. After shampooing, apply conditioner to your dog's coat to restore the hair back to a healthier state, which reduces the shedding.
After bathing and conditioning, brush your dog's coat out thoroughly using tools specifically designed for deshedding.
While you can bathe and deshed your dog on your own, trusting this job to the professionals is smart. They will know the right shampoos and conditioners to use for your dog's specific coat.
Many people are surprised to learn their dog's excessive shedding stems from an underlying medical condition. Therefore, if your dog sheds more than usual or in an excessive manner, consult your veterinarian.
Cushing's disease exposes your dog's tissue to excessive levels of cortisol, which can cause your dog to lose hair. Other symptoms of Cushing's disease include a pot-bellied abdomen and a darkening of your dog's skin.
An infection or an infestation from fleas and ticks can also cause your dog to shed. Your dog may also scratch excessively because of open wounds that have become infected or because of the presence of fleas and ticks. This scratching will cause your dog to lose even more hair.
If your dog constantly scratches and sheds hair, they may have a food allergy or a food sensitivity. Consuming foods with certain ingredients can affect your dog's immune system, causing them to have itchy skin, watery eyes, ear infections, and a shedding coat.
Some common food allergies/sensitivities dogs experience include grains, corn, dairy products, and even certain proteins. If you believe your dog may have a food allergy or sensitivity, your veterinarian will want to conduct allergy testing to determine which foods are best for your dog.
You can help your dog shed less. With these tips, the help of a veterinarian, and Eli's Friends, your dog can have a healthy and appealing coat.