How do I help my dog shed?
Being a parent of a dog is a real joy and the assurance of many fantastic moments, but having to deal with dog hair all over the house is not one of them. It's never pleasant to arrive at that moment when your dog renews its hair; it seems that every time you turn around, the house is covered in hair! Not to mention the smell that fur can sometimes produce in your home!
Some shedding is inevitable, and it's probably one of the biggest drawbacks of being a dog parent. But that's no reason to give up and leave your home at the mercy of your pooch's hair! But how do you limit it?
Why does my dog shed?
Shedding is simply when your dog sheds damaged or dead hair, making way for a new, healthy, silky coat. Almost all dogs shed during their lifetime, but there are many factors involved in the amount of shedding, including breed, time of year, pregnancy and your dog's overall health.
Here are four of the most common reasons why dogs shed:
Some dog breeds are known to shed more than others, especially breeds that have long, shaggy coats or shed more frequently, such as the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Alaskan Husky. These breeds are generally known to shed more frequently, especially in the spring and summer when they shed their winter coats.
2/ Fleas or sensitivities
If your puppy has a flea infestation, fleas irritate the skin, causing excessive scratching, biting and constant licking, resulting in worn, hairless and dry areas.
In addition to fleas, your puppy may be prone to environmental allergies, which doesn't really help when you take him out for a walk in a park or wooded area.
Heavy shedding can also be the result of a specific food intolerance. Just like us, dogs can have trouble digesting and processing certain foods, such as grains, beef or dairy products. If your dog has a reaction to a certain food, he may shed excessively.
Don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you suspect that a food or environmental sensitivity may be the cause of your dog's excessive shedding.
Your puppy may be shedding due to trauma. Especially if your puppy was rescued, he may have had a difficult life before you rescued him. This history can make him nervous, anxious and scared. The more stressed your puppy is, the more likely he is to shed his fur, just like us! When your dog is trying to cope with stress, he may begin to calm himself by licking and chewing, mimicking what his mother would have done when he was younger. This obsessive licking and nibbling can cause hair loss and exposure of vulnerable skin, similar to an allergy.
Excessive hair loss can also be a sign of an illness that is a little more serious than just losing a winter coat. Illnesses such as cancer, kidney disease or fungal infections can be the unfortunate cause of your little friend's extreme hair loss.
How to help your dog shed?
If you're like many pet owners, you're probably wondering "how do I stop my dog from shedding?". While it's impossible to completely prevent a dog from shedding, there are a number of steps you can take right now to help your dog shed in a more controllable way, so you and your dog can be more comfortable.
1/ Regular grooming
When your dog sheds his winter coat, he may be itchy, irritable and hot, making him uncomfortable. Frequent visits to the groomer or regular brushing at home can make all the difference. Not only will this reduce the amount of dog hair that falls into the house, but it will also help your dog feel better and lighter. You can also invest in a good quality dog brush that can collect and remove old, dead hair. The more hair you remove, the less irritated your pup will be by the high temperatures and the less hair you'll get on your couches and clothes!
2/ Give a fatty acid supplement
Fatty acid supplements, such as some dog chews, contain vitamins and minerals that promote skin and coat health. Nutrients like fish oil, flaxseed oil, vitamin E and biotin can all help reduce hair loss. What a coincidence, this is exactly what you can find in our Shine ;)
3/ Covering your furniture
Upholstered furniture is a real dog hair magnet. Covering your furniture can make cleaning up hair much easier and protect your home. With slipcovers designed to hold dog hair, you can easily contain hair loss and wash the cover much easier than you can wash your couch! Also, you can cover certain furniture and try to teach your dog to only sit on those particular pieces of furniture, leaving the other sofas and chairs clean for you and your guests!
4/ Vacuum more often
Of course, THE best way to maintain a dog hair free home is to vacuum. If you have a long-haired dog, you may need to vacuum two or three times a week. In addition to vacuuming, be sure to clean your vacuum's filter to remove as much of the dust and dander from your dog's hair as possible.
5/ Increase your dog's water intake
Well-hydrated skin is healthy skin. It's important to make sure your dog drinks enough water to reduce hair loss. If his skin is dehydrated, he is more likely to shed hair and skin cells. By increasing your dog's water intake, you can reduce hair loss and promote a healthy skin and coat, and a healthy dog!
While hair loss is inevitable, it doesn't have to take over your life. There are many ways to control excess hair and reduce shedding with a few simple changes, such as regular brushing and coat health supplements.