06/08/2017 0 Comments
Fuzz Free: How to Stop Your Dog from Shedding
No matter how much you brush a dog's coat, fur still seems to get everywhere. It hides on the couch and on clothes and on carpet. While some dog breeds shed more than others, all dogs shed fur.
If you live with a dog, you know that at times it may be difficult to handle all the excess fur. Guests may avoid your home simply because they wish to avoid all the fur sticking to their clothes. Or you may consider leaving your furry friend outdoors to keep the fur to a minimum.
But before you take drastic action with the hair clippers, take the time to understand why your dog's fur is important and why dogs shed often.
What's With All the Fur?
Many dogs have a double coat of fur. Think of the double coat as a winter jacket with a zip-out liner: the outer coat is coarse and keeps the elements away while the inner coat is soft and comfortable.
Why Is the Top Coat Important?
If your dog has a thick coat and it suffers from the heat, it can be tempting shave your dog to minimize shedding and to save your dog from the heat.
However, the top coat protects against the sun's rays. Removing this top coat increases your dog's risk of being sunburned. Additionally, shorter-haired breeds do not get any additional benefits from a close shave.
If you think shaving your dog will be beneficial, please speak with our veterinarians first.
Why Is the Undercoat Important?
The undercoat helps your dog to regulate its temperature for both hot and cold weather. While many people assume this second layer is only necessary in winter, the inner coat is essential for buffering against heat. Though you may mean well, shaving your dog too closely could take away your dog's ability to stay cool in the summer.
Why Do They Shed Regularly?
As the seasons change, so does the dog's coat. The two times of the year that dogs shed the most is during the fall and the spring. As the summer comes to a close, dogs shed their summer jackets in favor of a thicker, heavier coat. Once the winter is over, this process is reversed.
If your dog is shedding more often than this, it may be as a result of a health issue, so take your dog to our veterinarian at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic for a checkup.
How to Fight the Fur
Fur gets everywhere! During the shedding season it is almost impossible to leave your home without a fur coating. So how do you manage their fur coats during the biannual shedding?
Vacuuming your carpets, couches, and drapes helps manage the influx of hair. Make sure to sweep and mop any areas that do not have carpets.
Wash sheets, bedding, furniture covers, and anything your dog touches regularly. This can limit the amount of fur in your home.
Brush Your Buddy
To aid in the shedding process, regularly brush your dog's coat. This helps to remove the undercoat. Once the undercoat is gone, the new coat will have room to grow.
Watch Your Pet's Diet
Like you, your dog needs to eat a balanced diet. Giving your animal the last slice of pizza be tempting, but it might also damage the health of your dog's coat. Many dog foods are high in vitamins and nutrients.
Speak to our veterinarians at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic about the brand of food that is best for your pup and stick to it.
Wash Your Dog
Dogs need to be cleaned regularly. Give your dog a bath to remove germs, dirt, and stench, and your dog will have a healthier coat.
Bathe your dog once a week and wash with a gentle shampoo.
A Styling New Do
Dogs with thicker coats have a tendency to overheat in hotter climates. A Siberian husky in a tropical environment will shed its coat throughout the year, instead of just the spring and fall.
If your dog has a heavier coat, a trip to the groomers is in order. Not only will the groomers do the brushing for you, they can cut your dog's top coat to help your animal better regulate summer heat.
While at the groomers, give your dog a stylish new cut to match his or her personality.
Pick Your Pet Wisely
If you don't feel up to the challenge of dealing with dog fur, then it's important to pick the right pet for your abilities.
If you are looking to adopt a new dog, here are 10 breeds that shed the most:
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
While here are 7 common breeds that shed the least:
- Shih Tzu
- Lhasa Apso
Keep in mind, all animals shed, but the friendship is worth its weight in fur. If you want to know which breed is right for you, ask our veterinarians at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic for additional information.