All dogs shed, despite what people claim for having hypoallergenic dogs. Some blow off their coats like a blizzard on a stormy winter day while others only let out a trickle that you can easily count with the number of fingers you have. Living with dog hair is part and parcel of being a pet parent and none can be truer than if you have a hound that is a born heavy shedder. They’re on your wardrobe. They can cover your furniture or upholstery. Sometimes, these can even land on your plate. To say that dog shedding is driving you crazy is an understatement. There must be a way to mitigate this tendency of many dog breeds to turn our homes into a snowy wonderland of pet hair. You’re right, there are. We’re giving you some trusted dog shedding remedies to help reduce excessive shedding in your pet.
Start with a High-quality Dog Food
Most individuals seem to forget that everything is tied to good nutrition, or the lack of it. There are many reasons why dogs shed. And while some breeds are genetically inclined to blow-off their tops, you can still do something about it by strengthening the foothold of individual hairs in your dog’s skin. And the only way to do that is if you can give it the best dog food for shedding.
Hair is anchored to the skin at its root. As such, the strength of the hair is dependent in part on the integrity of the skin. When we talk about the structural integrity of tissues, we always think about proteins. It is for this reason that high-quality, high protein dog food diet should be given to dogs that shed a lot. Proteins provide the important building elements that will help strengthen the hair shaft, the root, and the surrounding skin tissues on which the hair is anchored.
Steer clear of dog food that contains starchy ingredients as these typically serve as fillers. The greater proportion of grains and starches present in a dog food, the lesser is the proportion of good-quality proteins which your heavily-shedding dog needs. Instead, go for those that include healthier carbs like vegetables and fruits that are packed with antioxidants that can help improve the strength of your dog’s coat.
You will also need a dog food that contains the right amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These can help improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat. This can help minimize the amount of shedding from your hound. Omega-3 essential fatty acids can help reduce the inflammation that may be one of the causes of dog shedding. These substances can also help minimize drying of the skin, preventing the formation of dandruff and crusting.
A rich blend of the right vitamins and minerals is also required if you want to temper your dog’s tendency to blow its coat. These nutrients provide a host of benefits that can include boosting of the immune system, maintenance of normal physiologic processes and structures, and the improvement of cellular metabolic processes. In simple words, these nutrients help make sure that your dog’s skin is intact so that it keeps the hair firmly anchored.
Some dogs shed not because they are genetically programmed to do so, but rather because of allergies. If such is the case, then you really need to look for a limited ingredient diet for dogs so you can isolate the food ingredient that can be potentially causing the allergy. It is critical to use a novel animal protein since this is easily digestible and comes complete with all the amino acid building blocks that your dog needs. Steer clear of chicken and beef as well as the other usual suspects when it comes to food allergies; unless you can be 100% sure that your dog is not allergic to any of these foods.
Keep Your Dog Well-Hydrated
It may not seem appropriate at first, but keeping your dog’s skin fully hydrated happens to be one of the most practical and easiest ways to help minimize shedding. Water is life. Let’s get that straight. Without this element it would be impossible to utilize all the nutrients that you are giving to your dog simply because there will be no medium to transport these substances to where they’re needed most – your dog’s skin and coat.
Dry skin can lead to crusting. The skin tissues can become brittle. They can no longer hold on to the roots of your dog’s hairs. Simply put, dry skin can increase the chances of falling hair or shedding. As such, you should make sure that your dog is drinking enough water every day. If it isn’t particularly fond of drinking from its bowl, you might want to use a dog water fountain instead. The moving water plus the rustling sound can help stimulate the predatory instincts in dogs, making them want to check out what is in the fountain. Alternatively, you can go for wet dog food as this has more moisture content than kibbles. Be prepared with the costs, however.
Invest in a Good Dog Deshedding Tool
Picking the best dog shedding brush can also work wonders when it comes to minimizing the amount of hair that is shed by your dog. Deshedding brushes work just like any other dog hair brush, except that the way the tines are designed allow for the removal of loose hair without necessarily digging into your dog’s skin. More importantly, since majority of these loose dead hair are found closer to the skin where the dog’s undercoat is, using a good deshedding brush can help remove these dead hairs without damaging or breaking your dog’s outer coat. This way you can be sure that your dog will be able to retain its magnificent coat.
Aside from a deshedding brush, you may also want to invest in other dog deshedding tools such as deshedding glove. This looks just like an ordinary kitchen mitten except that there are small nubs along the palm surface of the glove. The good thing about this deshedding tool is that it allows you to bond with your dog by providing the feeling of being soothed. You wear the deshedding glove just like any other hand-worn contraption, making sure the nubs or protrusions are on the palm surface of your hand. Now gently glide the glove over your dog’s coat as if you are gently stroking it. The nubs on the glove will naturally pick up loose pet hair.
It is important to remember that these tools will never prevent shedding in dogs. What they will only do is remove loose dead hair on your dog even before these have the chance to find their way onto your carpet, bedding, clothes, furniture, and other surfaces.
Use a Deshedding Shampoo
Often used in combination with dog deshedding tools as an important component of the dog grooming process, the best medicated dog shampoos that are especially formulated to reduce shedding can also help. It is important to realize that the skin pH of dogs is different from what we have. Even those who recommend using mild baby shampoos as alternative should know better than to give a product that is specifically formulated for humans and then used on dogs. Don’t go down this route.
What you need is a shampoo that is specifically formulated to control shedding in dogs. While there is no single ingredient that can handily address such issues, there are a number of ingredients that you should always look for when choosing a dog shedding shampoo.
A dog shampoo that contains tea tree oil or aloe vera is always a good choice when it comes to managing excessive shedding in dogs. These can help nourish and moisturize the skin of your dog and prevent drying of its skin which can contribute to brittle hair. Vitamin E-enriched dog shampoos can help strengthen the hair follicles allowing it to stay in the dog’s skin a lot longer. Its antioxidant activity can also help reduce the impact of oxidation on the cells of both the skin and hair.
Protein-rich dog shampoos can provide the necessary structural elements for dog hair such as keratin. Again, this should help strengthen the hair shaft while also improving on the health and integrity of the hair. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial as these not only protects the coat of your dog, they also keep it hydrated and well-nourished.
When using dog shampoo, it is best to apply as directed. Ideally, you would also want to check with your vet just what kind of medicated shampoo is best suited for your dog. While these can help in the management of excessive shedding, they may also cause other problems such as skin irritation if ever your dog happens to be quite sensitive to an ingredient of the shampoo. That’s why it’s always best to go for all-natural formulations.
Reducing excessive shedding in dogs can be simplified by choosing the right, high-quality dog food for your pet. Keeping it well-hydrated, using the right deshedding tools, and bathing them with an appropriate dog deshedding shampoo also help.