Living with a heavy-shedding dog can be exhausting. It can seem like the brushing never ends and the hairballs are continual. Outside of basic grooming, there is more you can do that makes living with a dog who sheds excessively more bearable.
We are going to cover some of the best ways to keep excess dog fur at bay, but before we get into specific grooming tips, here are a few lesser-known ways to take the edge off of living with a heavy shedding breed.
Feed Your Pet a High Quality Diet
Among the very best methods to reduce excessive shedding before it occurs is to begin with a healthy diet. Inexpensive pet dog food is made mainly of fillers, such as corn and grains, that your dog may have problems absorbing. Look instead for food that has meat as its first ingredient.
Better quality foods cost a bit more initially, but they're much better for your dog for numerous reasons. The nutrients in meat-rich pet foods are more easily absorbed which promotes overall better health for your pet and helps prevent dry skin. By reducing dry skin, you'll find that your dog's coat will be shinier, and your dog will itch less, which will ultimately lead to less shedding. However, changing your dog's diet is not a miracle remedy, and it will only reduce, not eliminate, excess shedding.
Dogs with food allergies or sensitivities are especially susceptible to diet-related shedding. You may have to experiment with different foods until you find the one that's best for your pet. We suggest taking your dog to the vet for a consultation first, and then go off of your vet’s recommendation.
Invest In a Vacuum Specifically For Pet Hair
If you have a dog that sheds a large amount, you're already very, very familiar with your vacuum. That being said, not all vacuums are created equally. It doesn't matter how much you groom your dog, or how great their food is; there will still be some level of fur you're going to have to clean up.
It is best to create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. To make things easier, you can invest in a vacuum that is designed specifically for pet hair. These types of vacuums have higher levels of suction and don't get tangled up as easily.
Now that we have the basics down, it's time to get into some actionable grooming tips to help reduce shedding.
Brush Your Dog’s Coat Regularly
Grooming eliminates excess and loose fur and helps to move around the oil from your dog's skin into the coat, which will allow the fur to remain in place. Depending on the type of fur your dog has, you can utilize a bristle brush, slicker brush, or a rake.
Bristle brushes are best for short-haired, smooth-coated canine breeds such as terriers, pugs, and greyhounds. These brushes look similar to bristle brushes for human hair.
Slicker brushes benefit most breeds with medium and/or curly hair, including retrievers, cocker spaniels, and St. Bernards. These brushes have small, tightly-packed short wire pins.
Rakes are best for pet dogs with long hair and thick undercoats, such as collies, German shepherds, and chow chows. When buying a rake, ensure its pins are approximately as long as your dog's fur to make sure that it adequately thins dead undercoats.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use De-Shedding Tools
De-shedding tools are a live saver. Use these tools as spring approaches, when dogs' winter coats start to fall off, and again in the fall when their winter coat begins growing in. For dogs who live inside most or all of the time will likely shed year-round. For pets with short coats, you can use a rubber curry comb to de-shed. Pets with long or thick coats will most likely need tools like an undercoat de-matting rake or shedding blade.
Give Your Dog Regular, But Not Excessive Baths
Regular baths encourage loose hair to fall out in the tub (or outdoors) instead of on your furniture and floors. Nevertheless, over-bathing can trigger dry skin, which triggers fur to fall out. Read up on your specific breed to discover the recommended bathing schedule or ask your vet.
Blow-drying after a bath can be valuable if your dog has a long coat. Make sure to use a cool setting if there is one. Towel-dry your pup first, and then use the blow dryer to help remove loose fur.
With these tips, you're going to notice a difference in how much your dog sheds. We know you love your dog, but you don't always like how much they shed. Once you get a handle on proper grooming, you and your dog will be happier and healthier.