Shedding is a completely natural and healthy process for all dogs. For many dog owners, the warmer temperatures of the spring months (and the cooler days that come with winter) mean dealing with lots of dog hair all over your home.
WHY DO DOGS SHED?
Your dog’s fur helps him regulate his body temperature. It also protects his skin from the sun. Dogs shed to rid themselves of old, no longer needed and/or damaged hair. Different breeds of dogs shed in different amounts, depending on the type of coat the dog has. Some large breeds like Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and Chow Chows have thick undercoats, while others like Datschunds, Terriers, and Pugs have shorter coats and don’t drop as much hair on your floors and furniture.
The shedding process is a messy one but is important to your dog’s overall well-being. To help keep their skin healthy, it is important to brush your dog – especially those that shed a lot – weekly, a few times a week, or even daily during heavy shedding stretches. Finding the right tool that works for your dog is important to get the job done right!
“Different breeds of dogs shed in different amounts, depending on the type of coat the dog has.”
TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Bristle brushes work for most coat types by removing loose hair and stimulating the skin. Shorter, stiffer bristles are most effective on short-haired, smooth-coated dogs that shed frequently. If your dog has a longer coat, look for a brush with longer bristles.
Rubber curry combs can be used to remove dirt on all dogs before brushing. They remove dander, dead skin, and old hair on shorter coated dogs. These combs have short, rubber tips that stimulate the oils in a dog’s skin and act as a gentle massager.
Shedding tools like the FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs have special teeth that remove excess hair from double-coated breeds. It claims to reduce shedding by up to 90 percent by removing the loose, dead undercoat fur, allowing for healthier skin and a shiny topcoat.
Get to know your dog’s coat! While shedding is normal, heavy, irregular shedding can indicate a health problem or a medical condition. A change in your dog’s shedding process (like it suddenly falling out in clumps or new bald patches) could indicate a skin allergy, skin parasites, or a nutrient deficiency. If something seems strange or different, ask your veterinarian!