An older dog with a pile of fur

One of the biggest complaints from dog owners everywhere is how much dogs shed. The struggle to keep fur from flying and coating our homes and clothes from being covered in a mini Fido is definitely real. Most dogs shed, and anything from a change in the season to stress, and coat quality can affect how much. So, what can a dog owner do about it to avoid living in a sheen of hair?

Your friends at Androscoggin Animal Hospital are ready with some tips and tricks to minimize those fur tumbleweeds on your floor and clothes. Read on to learn all about how to reduce how much your dog sheds:

Tips to Reduce How Much Your Dog Sheds

Shedding is a natural occurrence in animals to rid themselves of their winter undercoat or loose and unhealthy hair strands. Humans also shed old strands of hair to make way for the new. Shedding helps keep the coat healthy by dropping the damaged hair and allowing for hair growth. This happens throughout the year, but in some pets, you will see a peak in the warmer months, after the winter coat is no longer needed.

Since shedding is a fact of life when living with dogs, you may wonder if there’s an easy and effective solution. There are a few ways to minimize the amount of fur your pet sheds. Here are a few favorite suggestions:

  1. Brush your dog daily. Regular brushing is a necessity when it comes to reducing how much your dog sheds. If your pet sheds a lot seasonally, we suggest brushing them once a day. Invest in a good quality brush or comb, such as the Furminator. To keep from fur flying through the house, take your dog outdoors while you comb them out. This definitely helps get rid of loose and dead hair that would otherwise drop in the house.
  2. Give your dog a bath weekly. Spring calls for prodigious shedding, especially in those breeds with thick undercoats. To help rid your dog and furniture of the excess hair, give them a bath often. Use a conditioning shampoo that will help soften and detangle, and don’t forget to brush your pet out first so you don’t have a bathtub or sink full of their former coat.
  3. Keep them calm. Pets who are prone to stress and anxiety shed more. If your pet deals with separation or noise anxiety, use some calming techniques, including soothing music for dogs, calming treats, and antianxiety sprays and supplements. Some pets will shed more during unexpected events, such as a residential move, being around crowds, and traveling.
  4. Maintain your pet’s parasite control. Fleas, mosquitoes, and other parasites are rife this time of year. Naturally, fleas and other biting insects will cause your pet to scratch more, producing dandruff, skin disorders, and clumps of hair that are shedded from the coat.
  5. Keep your pet hydrated. Your pet’s coat and skin condition is directly related to hydration levels. Pets who become dehydrated will have dry skin and fur, which results in dead and damaged hair, flaking, and dullness of coat.
  6. Feed your dog a high quality diet. There are several great food options that don’t have all of the preservatives, dyes, and other ingredients that can decrease its nutritional value that can deplete your dog’s coat. Look for fewer ingredients that contain whole foods, such as lean proteins that are easily digestible, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains. Ask us for recommendations on what diet works best for your bestie. 

When Shedding Is Abnormal

If shedding becomes excessive or is unusual for your canine pal, it’s important to let us know. If your pet is shedding a lot or has a poor quality coat, they may have an underlying illness or deficiency that is causing the problem. Have your pet examined to ensure that they are in good health and shedding isn’t a result of something more serious than a change in the seasons.

If you would like more information on how to decrease how much your dog shed, or to schedule an appointment, contact us. We’re happy to assist.