Woman brushing dog with a bristle brush.

How to Reduce Dog Shedding

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Tips for Reducing & Controlling 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 hope to do is control or reduce dog shedding when it inevitably happens by practicing proper grooming techniques.

Dogs need to get rid – or shed – old, unneeded or damaged hair. Most 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 or infections, parasites or a poor diet.

There’s no way to avoid it. You can only hope to contain it. There are several ways that you can reduce dog shedding or prevent it from becoming problematic, which could lead to allergies, breathing problems and damaged 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. It’s advisable to use an appropriate brush (bristle, pin or slicker), followed by a finishing comb. 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.

Make a Splash with Routine Baths

Routine bathing is vital in your bid to control and reduce dog shedding. Never use human shampoo on a dog, which will dry out his skin and potentially lead to dandruff, irritation or even infections. There are plenty of options for shampoos particularly formulated for dogs, including shed-control formulas.

Be Cool, Man

Using a blow dryer to dry your dog following a bath is fine but never use anything above the lowest heat settings. If there is a cool-air setting, by all means, use it. Towel dry first and then use the coolest setting on the blow dryer, if needed. Just blow the hair in the opposite direction of growth. A fan will work, too, if the dog stands somewhat still. Cool airflow will also help blow out loose hair from the coat.

Strike (with) Oil

Try adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s 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. It helps curtail shedding in many breeds. Fish oil may be more difficult to sneak by your dog due to its distinct taste and odor.

Nutrition Boost

If a dog isn’t receiving the proper nutrition he needs, his skin and coat will suffer. Specially-formulated dog vitamins are available at most large pet supplies stores.

Remember, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding but if you take these steps, you can definitely control and reduce dog shedding.

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

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