It’s summer, and most of us are vacuuming and sweeping dog hair up from everywhere. And, apart from a few breeds listed below, it doesn’t matter whether your dog is big or small, has short hair or long, it will be shedding. As most of our pets live inside with us these days, ride in our cars, and sleep in our beds, this time of year can get frustrating. So what can we do about it?
I’ve worked with groomers for years, and not one of them believes there is any magic formula to stop dogs from shedding. It’s a natural process that happens for a reason. But although you really can’t stop it with shampoos or products with fantastic claims, there are quite a few things you can do to cut down on the hair that ends up on the carpet, on the car seat, or in the bed.
Start by always giving your dog regular baths with a good shampoo. Look at any of the pet web sites for ideas, and certainly ask groomers who always know about the latest products. Follow the bath with a good brush outside in the yard when his coat is dry. This will loosen and remove a huge amount of dead hair. When the shedding is particularly bad, daily brushing will reward you handsomely. Dogs quite like it, too. They enjoy the massage sensation, and of course the one-on-one time with you – it’s a great bonding experience. If you can’t do it yourself, it’s worth paying a groomer to do it. Just a simple bath and brush will not cost the earth, but it will save you a lot of time picking up hair. If there’s a lot of matting, cut the mats out or ask the groomer to. After they are gone, daily brushing will keep him tangle-free.
As much of the hair that drops out of your dog is undercoat, grown to protect him from the cooler months of the year, look for brushes that are dedicated to undercoat removal. Some neat ones have been developed. I use one called “The Furminator” and I’m always amazed how much hair that thing can pull out. I “furminate” my dogs daily in the summer, and not seeing all that hair in my bed later on in the day makes the time I spend tending to them all worthwhile. You can make it so much fun for them, too. Get excited when you get the brush out, brush them gently while talking sweetly to them, and always reward them with a treat they love afterwards. Believe it or not, there are treats available that claim they help with shedding. I don’t know how true that is, but if it’s a healthy treat you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you have a big, hairy beast with an undercoat that could keep him warm in the Arctic, you may have to have his coat “blown out.” This is by far best done at the groom shop, but you can buy blowers for home use. Bath him first then towel dry. Then, being careful to avoid tender areas on his body, including eyes and ears, direct the blower all over his coat, roughing it up with your other hand as you blow. You will be amazed at how much hair will come out – but be warned, it will fly all over your house, so you may want to try and do it outside if you can. I really do think it’s worth paying a groomer for this very reason.
Yes by all means check out all the latest “sensations” that say they reduce shedding, but don’t be surprised if they fail to do what they say they will. Hard work and dedication to your pet is the only thing that you can rely on. But if you know different I want to know – please leave your comments and suggestions at the end of this blog. Now get brushing!
Here are some dogs noted for shedding the least:
Airedale Terrier; Australian Terrier; Basenji; Bichon Frise; Boston Terrier; Bouvier des Flandres; Cairn Terrier; Chinese Crested; Havanese; Kerry Blue Terrier; Maltese; Miniature Schnauzer; Norfolk Terrier; Norwich Terrier; Poodle (all types); Schnauzer; Shih Tzu; Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier; Tibetan Terrier; Welsh Terrier; West Highland White Terrier; Xoloitzcuintli; Yorkshire Terrier.