Just like how we suffer from hair loss, dogs too have this problem! Hair loss in the course of shedding is usual for dogs. For example, German Shepherds will shed more hair than Wheaten Terriers and a few types of Spaniels. Also, all the dogs will shed more during the longer days beginning in the summer than they will during the shorter days starting in the winter. This is due to the seasonal shedding rotations related to variations in light.
You can do a lot to minimize the amount of fur your dog sheds, as well as, keep down the amount of loose hair scattered throughout your home.
- Brush frequently. The more often you brush your dog, the more hair you will remove to avoid excess shedding. During the shedding seasons of fall and spring, brush your dog at least twice a week—more if you have time. If your dog has a double coat, which is standard in breeds like Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies, Corgis and Shetland Sheepdogs, to just name a few, use a grooming tool that is designed specifically to remove shedding hair.
- Bathe often. A great way to get rid of excess hair is to give your dog frequent baths. Heavy shedders should be bathed twice a month.. Be sure to brush your dog thoroughly before his bath, removing as much hair as you can before you get him wet.
- Blow dry. After bathing your dog, towel dry him, and then blow-dry his coat with warm (not hot) air, using a hair dryer. As your dog’s coat becomes drier, you can use a brush to help remove the loose hair as you dry. Be sure to brush from the skin outward to get the most hair you can. Keep brushing and drying until your dog is no longer damp.
- Brush after drying. After you have finished drying your dog, brush him thoroughly once again. A lot more hair will come out at this stage of the process. It’s crucial to get this hair now because if you don’t, you’ll find it on your carpet!
- Consider clipping. If you live in a warm climate, or have hot summers, and your dog has a thick, profuse coat that sheds often, consider having him clipped. Take him to a professional groomer and request that his coat be shortened, which will reduce the amount of hair that falls out on its own.
- Give supplements. You may be able to reduce shedding by supplementing your dog’s diet. You can ask your veterinarian for products made specifically for dogs, or you can buy a product designed for pets at pet supply stores or over the Internet. These products not only reduce shedding, but can contribute to healthy skin, as well as providing other health benefits.
- Don’t skimp on food. Good nutrition reduces shedding, so feeding your dog a quality dog food can help keep loose hair to a minimum. When it comes to dog food, you get what you pay for. Premium brands use better quality ingredients, which equal better nutrition for your dog. Also, be sure to purchase products that list an animal protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or fish as the first ingredient.
- See a vet. If your dog seems to be shedding excessively, or is losing hair in patches, he may be suffering from a health problem. Skin infections, allergies and even cancer can cause excessive shedding in dogs. Take him to your veterinarian for an exam.
You can do a lot to keep your home free of pet hair, too. Vacuum often, use lint rollers on your clothes, and cover furniture frequented by your dog with washable blankets. Consider changing your flooring, too. If you have carpet, your dog’s hair will stick to it and build up over time. Tile or hardwood floors are easiest to clean when you live with a dog that sheds.