If your pooch sheds all over your couch, car and clothes, you’re probably on the lookout for a solution that will take care of your hairy situation. Deshedding shampoos can help many dog breeds, but good overall grooming habits are the best long-term solution.
Deshedding shampoos typically contain moisturizers and essential omega fatty acids. These help hydrate your dog’s skin and hair follicles, which makes them less likely to be dry, brittle and fall out in the form of shedding. If you've got a pooch with a thick, double or wiry undercoat, the deshedding shampoos might strip out natural oils and make shedding worse, so it’s wise to talk to your vet about the best approach before deciding on a grooming routine.
Brush it Out
In addition to using deshedding shampoos, regularly brush your pup to eliminate loose, dead hair, especially from an undercoat. Tools like curry brushes, pin brushes and combs can help you really get in there and get out the excess hair before it finds its way to your favorite recliner. Try to do this kind of heavy-duty brushing outside and expect to be covered with dog hair by the time you’re done.
Change Diet and Supplements
If your pup continues to be a heavy shedder, even with the addition of deshedding shampoo and regular grooming, talk to your vet about your pet’s diet and ask about appropriate vitamin supplements. Your pooch may need a fish oil supplement, a diet with a different fat-to-carb ratio, or even more water to keep his skin hydrated.
Watch for Seasonal Changes
Some dogs shed seasonally, others year-round. Your climate can have a lot to do with how much your pup sheds, and how regularly you should bathe him with deshedding shampoo. Dogs can get drier coats in the winter and be subject to skin allergies in the summer, all of which can impact shedding. Maintain your grooming routine throughout the year and give specialized attention to your dog’s coat when it’s extra dry or wet and cold.
The Vet Knows Best
While all dogs shed to some degree, patchy or significant hair loss can be an indication of a health-related problem. Your pup might have hyperthyroidism, parasites, mange or skin allergies. Take him for a full checkup to make sure you’re not overlooking a problem that needs treatment.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.