Tackling your dog’s shedding is easier than you thought

By: Suzan Palamittam*

Shedding is one of the natural processes where the dog sheds the old or dead hair. Some dog breeds tend to shed more hair as compared to other dogs. Although shedding depends upon various factors such as the season or on the dog’s health, Dog owners can control the shedding up to a certain extent. Let us look at how you can control shedding:

Your dog’s coat type determines how often you have to brush them. Dogs with thicker and longer fur need frequent brushing while those with a shorter coat need to be brushed just once a month. There are different types of brushes available for you to use, so make sure that you use the right brush for the right coat.

Bristle Brush – The bristle brush can be used on all dog types but is most suitable for dogs with short hair and smooth coats. This brush helps to remove the dead hair and gives a good shine on the coat. Some bristle brushes also come with a pin brush on the other side which can be used for removing knots and mats in the fur.

Pin Brush –
The pin brush is good for dogs who have woolly or curly coats which are medium to long. It is used for removing dead hair and mats in your dog’s fur. This brush has plastic coated bristles that prevent scratches on your dog’s skin and also has wide gaps between the bristles which allows smooth brushing of your dog’s coat.

Slicker Brush –
The slicker brush has fine wire bristles that help to tackle mats and tangles. This brush can be used on all dogs. However, long-haired dogs tend to develop mats more often as compared to other dogs.
Rakes –
Rakes are used for removing loose or dead hair from your dog’s undercoat. They also prevent your dog’s coat from getting matted and tangled. Rakes are best used on thick haired or double-coated dogs.

Shedding tools are specially designed to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat. So regardless of whether your dog sheds seasonally or all year-round, selecting the right shedding tool can help reduce the shedding of your dog’s fur. These tools come in many forms such as a shedding blade with a serrated border or a brush with closely-spaced tines that help in removing the undercoat. It is recommended that you use shedding tools only on dog breeds that shed. Do consult your veterinarian if you are unsure whether your dog has an undercoat or not.

A healthy and balanced diet provides your dog with all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that it needs to grow healthy hair and fur and also to prevent it from breakage. Feed your dogs with supplements that are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids which not only promote healthy hair growth but also boost immunity and keep the joints and heart healthy. You should speak with your veterinarian before starting your dog on supplements, to determine if it would benefit your dog.

Your dog needs to be hydrated so that they can maintain healthy skin because dehydrated skin is one of the biggest causes of hair loss in your pet. Keep a keen eye on the water intake of your dog to prevent dehydration. A dog should ideally drink an ounce (around 30 millilitre) of water per pound of body weight every day.

Bathing not only provides your dog with a clean coat but also helps to discard the dead hair. Use good quality deShedding shampoos and conditioners while bathing your dog to tackle the shedding menace. These shampoos and conditioners contain moisturisers and omega fatty acids which help to hydrate your dog’s skin and fur and create healthier and stronger follicles. Bathing your dog frequently and using the right brushes or a deShedding tool to groom him can considerably combat shedding.

Certain medical conditions such as fungal infections, parasites, stress or sunburn also cause excess shedding. Hormonal issues as a result of a thyroid imbalance cause skin inflammations and make the hair brittle which leads to excessive hair loss. If your dog suffers from skin allergies then it may lead to chronic skin inflammation which causes itchiness of your dog’s skin. When your dog scratches it causes even more hair fall. If your dog shows signs of unusual hair loss or patchy skin then you need to take it to a veterinarian for a full check-up.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge about your dog’s shedding, you can implement these and keep your dog’s shedding in control.

* Creative Content Writer, ABK Imports Pvt. Ltd