Do you have a dog that leaves a trail of hair all over your house? Are you looking for ways to reduce your furry friend's shedding? In many dog breeds, shedding can't be eliminated completely. However, it can be managed, which can reduce the time you spend cleaning up hair around the house. Often, dogs shed excessively because their skin isn't healthy. There are a number of things you can do to improve their skin health and to remove loose hair before it winds up on your couch or floor. Here are a few tips to help you reduce the amount of your dog's shedding:
Brush regularly. One of the best steps you can take to reduce shedding is to brush your dog on a daily basis. When you brush your dog's hair, you remove loose or weak hair before it has the chance to shed in your home. It's important that you use the right brush for your dog's coat, though. Bristle brushes are usually better for short-hair dogs, while slicker brushes are often well-suited for dogs with curly or medium-length hair. If your dog has long, thick hair, you may want to consider a rake brush.
Bathe your dog. Another good step is to regularly bathe your dog. Bathing accomplishes two things. First, it helps remove any loose hair that isn't removed in brushing. Secondly, though, bathing helps to moisturize the skin. Dry skin can reduce the strength of hair roots and can cause otherwise healthy hair to fall out. To improve your dog's skin health, never use human shampoo. It doesn't have the nutrients needed for dog skin. Instead, look for natural dog shampoo that's designed to moisturize the skin and improve hair and skin health.
Control the fleas. Fleas are a major cause of hair loss and shedding. When your dog has fleas, it will likely scratch its skin constantly, causing hair to come loose and fall out. The best way to prevent incessant scratching is to prevent fleas altogether. There are a number of flea treatments available. Flea collars can be effective as can prescription medications that are placed on the dog's skin. Also, consider having your pet groomer mix in a flea treatment occasionally with your dog's grooming sessions.
Improve the diet. One of the best ways to improve your dog's skin health is to improve the quality of their diet. Look for protein-rich dog foods that are made from real meat ingredients. Those proteins can help strengthen your dog's skin. Also, consider mixing a small amount of olive oil or flax oil to your dog's food. Your dog likely won't taste the oil and the fatty acids and other nutrients will help your dog develop healthy skin and a full, shiny coat.
For more information, talk to your pet grooming specialist (like those at Kenhaven Animal Hospital). They can recommend other solutions and treatments to reduce shedding.