If your dog has hair, he's going to undergo some degree of the natural cycle of hair death and regrowth, aka shedding. Developing a routine and taking a proactive approach helps speed up the process and minimize the layer of hair around your home.
Brushes, Combs and Rakes
Walk down any pet grooming aisle in your local retail store and you'll find a plethora of instruments designed to smooth and remove your pooch's loose hair. Brushes, combs and shedding rakes all work well to remove both tangles and the loose, shed hair from your pup's coat before it collects on your couch. The type of brush you'll need depends on your dog's coat thickness and texture, as some breeds need a pin or slicker brush, while others work well with natural bristles. Choose one that will get through his entire coat, all the way to his skin, and use it regularly while your dog is actively shedding.
Sometimes brushing a shedding dog seems never-ending, as you just keep getting hair clump after hair clump. Giving your pooch a bath helps loosen his dead coat, and rinses much of it out faster than you can brush. Brush him thoroughly to remove any tangles, then bathe him as you normally would. Give his entire coat a good scrubbing. Rinse him thoroughly, and run your hands through his hair to get all the shampoo out. Keep rinsing and running your fingers through his coat to work out any of the dead hair that hasn't quite come loose yet. You should get a good bit of his dead coat out this way, just make sure you have some way to collect it before it all goes down the drain to form the mother of all clogs.
Healthy Dog, Healthy Coat
Although you can't completely stop shedding, you may be able to minimize it by making sure your dog is as healthy as possible. Medical conditions, parasites or even feeding your pup a low quality food can damage his coat, resulting in more hair loss than normal. If his hair is coming off in unusual clumps, looks dull or has bald spots, this shedding episode may not be natural. Have your vet give him the once over and treat any issues that may cause unusual excessive shedding.
Don't Believe the Hype
As you research shedding solutions, you'll no doubt come across various websites selling vitamins or miracle pills that supposedly stop your dog from shedding. Best-case scenario, these pills are a collection of vitamins and minerals that help encourage healthy skin and coat. Worst-case scenario, the pills are full of questionable ingredients, offer no help whatsoever and the manufacturers are simply trying to make a buck. Instead of looking for a magic pill to control your pooch's shedding, speak with your vet about the best food and supplements to give your dog to encourage optimum health.
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