How to De-Shed a Dog

Skylar Dial
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Brush, Brush, Brush

There are two main reasons why your dog may shed excessive hair – external or internal factors. An external cause is the result of an allergy or mites while internal factors include hormonal issues.

Does Your Dog Shed Oftentimes?

When it comes to shedding, it can be hard to tell if your pooch is normal or if he just wants a hair cut. Fortunately for us, dogs have a tendency to be "blonde and soft", which, in most cases, corresponds with being dog hair. So if you brush or pet your dog often, chances are it's mostly fur and nothing else. Long haired and short haired dogs shed differently. Long haired dogs tend to shed on a seasonal basis, which results in hair loss and clumping. Short haired dogs shed constantly because they have hair that's too short to clump and fall out from pressure. They’re also quicker to build up an undercoat as they already have a double coat to contend with. This is exponentially worsened if there's a seasonal drop in temperature, which in turn requires a double amount of shedding.

Bathe Your Dog Often

If your dog has a very long or thick coat, it’s highly likely that he’s going to shed. Shedding is normal, and short-haired dogs are not immune, they just shed less often.

Before you get started, you should know that routine bathing is the most effective way to how to stop dog shedding. If you bathe your pet regularly, he’ll shed less often and the coat will generally be healthier.

It’s important, though, that you use a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs. Do not use anything with a degreaser as it could strip your dog’s coat of the essential oils it needs to stay healthy. Instead, look for a shampoo that’s specially formulated to combat bad odors.

Do not bathe or shampoo your dog too frequently, though. This can cause your dog to dry out his skin or the skin to become itchy. You should bathe your dog once or twice a month in warm water (no hotter than his normal body temperature) and rub in the shampoo thoroughly.

Brush Again

When?

The more often you brush your dog, the less hair he’ll leave on all your belongings. Most grooming specialists recommend brushing your dog four times a week for a good 10 minutes. That’s enough time to get the loose hair in the brush without overdoing it.

Ideally have a dedicated brush for your dog. That way, you won’t transfer any fleas or other skin irritations from your dog to your other animals or vice versa. Also, you won’t confuse one dog for the other since they’ll both have their own brushes.

Start by brushing the top half of your dog’s body. Brush from the back of the neck moving toward the tail. If your dog has longer fur, you may want to brush it with the grain of the fur.

When doing the lower half of your dog’s body, move in the same direction as your dog’s fur to remove all the dead hairs. Then brush the belly area in the same fashion.

Once you’re done brushing, gently comb your dog. Brush in one direction, then in the opposite direction, and so on.

Trim Your Dog’s Hair

The key to successful de-shedding is keeping your dog well-groomed. Regular brushing, thorough grooming, and frequent baths can do the trick. If you have a double-coated dog, such as a Pomeranian, you'll have to take a bit more care during the grooming process.

The most common way to de-shed is to use a shedding tool. De-shedding or shedding tools are available in pet stores, in both manual and electric hand-held models. Some people use fur-removing brushes for this task as well.

The main difference between these tools is the type of hair they are designed to remove. Depending on your dog and your type of dog, one shedding tool will work better than the other. Be sure to take note of the length and thickness of the hair that the tool is designed to take. You don't want to be disappointed at your newly 'de-shedded' dog because the tool didn't remove the thicker hair like it was advertised to do.

The last and most effective way to remove loose dog hair is through a bath. Your dog will develop a shiny coat after bathing and will lose all the loose hair that's been bothering you.

Ensure Your Dog is Getting Healthy Nutrition

Dogs are generally pretty active little fur babies. And more often than not, we owners are too busy taking care of their basic needs to pay attention to their overall health.

Because of this lack of healthy attention, you may be guilty of overfeeding your dog to keep it healthy and happy. And this could result in a chubby, overfed, overweight pet that’s not healthy.

It’s not as big an issue for young dogs, but one of the noticeable changes with aging dogs is a general increase in body fat. This may be especially noticeable in dogs that are overweight, dogs that mainly rest instead of play, and toy breeds. The increase in fat may be especially noticeable in the abdomen, but not always.

As with humans, dogs that are overweight can develop other health issues, some of which include:

  • Poor circulation
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity-related diabetes

If you take the time to learn how to de-shed a dog, you can also teach it to eat more nutritious food to keep it healthy.

Talk To Your Vet

While your dog is shedding, it’s best that you not touch or groom her. Allow her time for the thick undercoat to fall out, then remove the rest of the hair by brushing with a pet comb. The best time for this is in the fall when air circulates freely in your home. The air will help you get rid of the loose hair and get a smoother finish after brushing.

Wet the coat if the dog will allow you. This, hand in hand with brushing, will make the hair easier to brush out. You can spray water on it, wait for it to dry, then brush it.

Consider your dog’s diet. Could it be causing the hair loss? If she is on a bad diet, you can talk to your vet about it.