Woman brushing dog with a bristle brush.

Why Does My Dog Shed So Much?

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5 Tips to Reduce and Control Dog Shedding

Despite the prevailing belief, there is no way to completely stop your dog from shedding. Virtually all dogs shed to one degree or another, regardless of breed, size, coat length or hair type. The best you can do is control or reduce dog shedding when it inevitably happens by practicing proper grooming techniques.

But just because your dog sheds doesn’t mean you have to live in a house of hair. There are several ways you can reduce dog shedding or prevent it from becoming problematic, which could lead to allergies, breathing problems and hair getting on your clothing or furniture. Consider trying these simple steps:

Don't Brush Off Regular Brushing

Regular brushing is essential, particularly around seasonal changes, when shedding most often occurs. Many breeds can benefit from daily brushing, which should make the coat softer, cleaner and less prone to major shedding. It will also root out fleas and other parasites, which often cause skin irritation and, subsequently, excessive shedding. It’s advisable to use an appropriate brush. Here’s a breakdown:

Bristle brush: A good all-around double-sided brush for various coat types. One side features a stainless-steel pin design to remove loose fur while stimulating the skin and the other side is made of soft nylon to brush through the hair while distributing natural oils for a nice shine.

Slicker brush: Ideal for removing mid- to top-level fur and hair on medium and long-coated dogs. The thin stainless steel wire pins easily work through the coat to loosen up and remove excess hair.

Deshedding Rake: Great for removing tangles and excess outer-coat hair thanks to sturdy rotating stainless-steel pins. A must-have tool for every dog owner who wants to get a grip on shedding.

Finishing Comb: Once you’ve detangled and brushed your dog, use the finishing comb to smooth out the coat and keep it looking good. Its long stainless-steel pins also work well for light detangling.

Make a Splash with Routine Baths

Routine bathing is vital in your bid to control and reduce dog shedding. (Here's how to bathe your dog step by step.) Never use human shampoo on a dog, as it will dry out their skin and potentially lead to dandruff, irritation or even infections. There are plenty of options for shampoos particularly formulated for dogs, including our shed control formula, which contains lemongrass, sage, oatmeal and aloe to reduce shedding and dander while leaving your dog’s coat clean and refreshed.

Get that Coat Nice and Dry

After bathing, towel your dog off as well as you can. Then use a blow dryer on the lowest heat setting to ensure the coat is no longer damp. It’s important to use warm, not hot air. For best results, blow the hair in the opposite direction of growth. A fan can work, too, if the dog stands somewhat still. Cool airflow will also help blow out loose hair from the coat.

Add Oil to Promote a Healthy Coat

If your dog’s coat lacks that shine, try adding a tablespoon of olive oil to their food on a daily basis. Olive oil, which is almost without taste, contains omega-3 fatty acids that help condition the skin and provide a healthy, shiny coat. The healthier the coat, the less your dog will experience excess shedding. Fish oil is also a good option but it may be more difficult to sneak by your dog due to its distinct taste and odor.

Make Good Nutrition a Priority

If your dog isn’t receiving the proper nutrition they need, their skin and coat will suffer. Specially formulated dog vitamins are available at most large pet supplies stores. It also pays to find a dog food that is rich in vitamins and nutrients and does not contain all the fillers that some of the lower-quality dog foods contain.

Your Questions About Dog Shedding:

Why does your dog shed so much?

There are many reasons, and no, it’s not to annoy you. Dogs need to get rid of – or shed – old, unneeded or damaged hair.

When do dogs shed the most?

Most dogs grow a heavier coat in the winter to help insulate from the elements and then shed extra fur in the summer to stay cool. Shedding can also result from skin irritation due to seasonal allergies or infections, parasites or a poor diet.

Remember, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding but if you take these steps, you can control and reduce dog shedding. And that means your vacuum will thank you.

Visit our Pet Grooming resources for additional information and products for grooming, clipping, trimming and bathing your pet.

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