How to Reduce Shedding

By Melissa Viera

As much as we love our dogs, we could live without the hair that they leave all over the rug, furniture, and even our clothes! Thankfully there are ways you can reduce shedding, and keep your dog's skin and coat healthy.

Follow these tips to reduce shedding:

1. Brushing

It may seem obvious, but in order for brushing to work you must use the right brushes, and techniques for your dog. Breeds with shorter coats should be brushed using gentle tools like a rubber curry brush. The curry brush is used by making circles and loosening the coat. To finish a very fine comb (like a flea comb) can be used to remove undercoat followed by a soft bristle brush as a final "dust off". Breeds with thicker coats will need different types of brushes. In most cases it takes a combination of different brushes in different areas of the body for the best results. These might include a slicker brush, pin brush, or de-shedding tools. All of these brushes should be used carefully. Only gentle pressure should be applied when brushing, and do not repetitively go over the same area of the dog as this could cause skin irritation. Your vet or groomer can show you how to properly use the different types of brushes. One  additional thing that should be in everyone's tool box is a comb.

Aim for quick daily brushing sessions, even just a few minutes of brushing at a time, but do a more thorough brush out at least once weekly. Protect the coat when brushing by using a mist of leave-in conditioner. Work through the entire coat, and not just the top and outer coat. To prevent your arm and wrist from becoming tired or sore when brushing out your heavy coated dog practice keeping your shoulders relaxed, and your wrist flexible. 

2. Bathing

Keeping the coat clean, and conditioned will reduce shedding. How often you should bath your dog depends on the coat type, lifestyle, and other factors. Using high quality shampoos will reduce damage. Although regular bathing is important you also don't want to shampoo the coat too often. 

3. Professional Wash and Blow Out

Getting your dog professionally groomed can make a big difference when it comes to reducing shedding. Ask your groomer what types of drying techniques they use. For the best results not only will your dog get a thorough bath, but they will get a blow out with a cool air dryer to remove undercoat.  Regular visits will have noticeable results. 

4. Fish Oil

 Omega three fatty acids are great for the skin and coat, and a healthy coat will shed less. Ask your vet which type, and how much fish oil you should be giving your dog. 

5. Diet and Overall Health

A healthy diet and a clean bill of health will reflect in the skin and coat condition.

 

 Although it is very possible to greatly reduce shedding keep in mind that we can't totally eliminate it. Keep a few lint rollers around the house and in the car and "hug" your dog every day anyways!

 

If you have questions about brushing, de-shedding, or at home coat maintenance be sure to let us know the next time you visit MJ's. We are always glad to assist!

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