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Dogs shed. It’s pretty much just a fact of life when it comes to having dogs, you know? Our Ginger shed LIKE CRAZY.
When we rescued Roxy, there were so many exciting things about having a new puppy.
To be honest, though, one of my favorite parts was that she had short, thin hair and barely shed. I’m all about that low maintenance grooming life!
A few short months after rescuing Roxy, Rico came into our lives. Even though they’re both rescues from Puerto Rico and were rescued from the same general area, they could not be any more different!
While Roxy has coarse, thin hair, Rico has this airy, fluffy, thick coat. We suspect he may have a bit of German Shepherd in him, but they’re both complete mixes. I’d eventually like to get DNA tests for them both just for fun to see if what mixes they’re made of.
Our first spring here in Alaska was quite a surprise when Rico’s coat had thickened considerably over the winter and then started to fall out all over the house once it warmed up. It was a mess.
I had to quickly improve my cleaning routine to stay on top of all the extra shedding.
If you’re wondering how to stop a dog from shedding, well, they do need to shed to get rid of their fur. But don’t lose hope! There are ways to cut down on dog hair shedding.
Read on for our top grooming tips to minimize dog shedding in your home!
Condition Your Dog From The Inside
A great way to help minimize shedding is by boosting your dog’s nutrition. A high-quality diet is essential not just to stay as healthy as possible but also to keep their skin and coat in good condition. That helps minimize the amount of dog hair that breaks off and sheds.
To supplement quality food, fish oil is wonderful! Fish oil helps boost vital nutrients and help condition your dog’s skin and coat. It also helps boost their immune system.
The omega-3 fatty acids keep their skin and coat in optimal health, prevent dry skin, and it has been shown to lessen shedding.
Fish oil is also great for helping them lose less dander, which can be an allergen for many dog owners. Here’s a helpful article on all the benefits of fish oil for your dog’s health.
If you haven’t given fish oil a try yet, add it to your dog’s meals and watch for improved health! We really like Nutramax Welactin as it’s specifically formulated for dogs and includes a great boost of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Plus, the taste is very appealing to dogs and it helps them enjoy their meals even more!
Get a Reliable Vacuum That Sucks
If there’s one household essential I can’t live without, it’s a vacuum! I try to use it a couple times a week to keep up on the fluff throughout the house.
I joke that I’m just going to follow Rico around with the vacuum as he plays with Roxy and fur starts flying!
If you don’t have time to vacuum regularly, why not let a robot do it for you? A vacuum like the Roomba can clear the loose fur on the floor while you’re sleeping or at work. I don’t know about you, but I’m all about having one less to-do task on my list!
Bathe Them Regularly, But Not Too Often!
Bath time is the best way to clear out loose hair. How often to give your dog regular baths depends on how dirty they tend to get.
We typically bathe Roxy & Rico around every 4 weeks during the spring and summer, and every 3 months during the colder months.
Your dog may need to go a bit longer, or may need it a bit more often.
Giving your dog a bath too often is actually counter-productive to stop dog shedding because it can dry out their skin and make the shedding even worse.
Using a dog shedding shampoo formulated to reduce shedding helps as well.
Did you know conditioner is a thing for dogs?! I didn’t until recently, and let me tell you, while it’s an extra step in the bath, it definitely helps the hair fall out in the tub and while toweling off!
Pro Tip: Use a shampoo brush while in the bath to loosen up and remove even more hair!
Looking for a great bath products for your dog? Here’s a great list of the best dog shampoos and conditioners!
Use a Blowdryer
Once Rico finishes a bath, he goes crazy with the zoomies! I’m not a fan of having wet dog fur everywhere, though. One easy addition to our post-bath routine is to give him a few minutes with the blow dryer.
I use my DevaCurl (curly girl life!) dryer, but any blow dryer will do the trick.
To get your dog used to being dried, bring out the treats and give as needed while using the blow dryer on a cool or warm setting. Make sure not to use the hot setting because that can hurt their sensitive skin.
I start the drying off process with a towel to loosen any additional fur that may be ready to fall out. Plus, they both love being toweled off and we make a game of it so it’s fun!
Then do a few passes with the blow dryer alongside their back until they start to feel less damp.
Sometimes I’ll leave it at that and let them finish by air drying. In the winter, though, I give them a little extra time under the dryer to keep them from feeling chilled.
If it’s winter near you, keep your dog inside until they’re pretty much fully dried. Then give them a quick brushing and you should notice a lot less loose hair flying around.
Buy a Quality Dog Shedding Brush
There are so many different dog brushes on the market, it’s hard to know which one will work best for your specific dog.
Ginger had heavy, coarse hair that would fall out everywhere, and with Roxy’s thin hair and Rico’s light and fluffy hair, we’ve got quite a few varying needs!
We’ve gone through a few types, and overall, the Furblaster has worked best for our pack. Just look at how much ONE single pass catches off of Rico!
It even manages to get some off of Roxy, even though I generally use it on her just to help redistribute the skin oils and keep her coat nice and shiny.
Also because she absolutely loves the feeling of being brushed and gets SO HAPPY. Who am I to deny Princess Roxy whatever she wants?!
Brush Your Dog Regularly
I sit in the yard with Rico daily and give him a quick brushing. It helps clear out loose or broken hair. Brushing also redistributes oils to keep hair smoother and shinier.
For Rico, it typically only takes 5 minutes to help brush out a lot of hair that would otherwise end up on my floor or furniture.
What To Do With A Heavy Shedder
If you have an extremely heavy shedder like a husky or malamute, they’re known to blow out their coats around twice a year.
I’ve heard those times are extremely challenging and you basically need to rearrange your cleaning schedule around it!
I’ve seen photos of owners who shave their dogs because they think it helps cool them down, but it actually has the opposite effect!
Their double coat is excellent at regulating their body temperature, and removing it makes it more difficult for the body to stay at the ideal temperature especially when hanging out in the sun.
Pay Attention If Your Dog Is Shedding Too Much
If you’re noticing excessive shedding in dogs, they may have an allergy to something in the area or in their dog food.
If you’ve noticed an increase in the amount of hair shedding, discuss with your veterinarian to see if a diet change is in order or if something else is causing the increased hair loss.
When we rescued Rico, he had demodectic mange. His hair and skin were very dry and patchy. Once the medication kicked in and we had him on quality food and supplements to boost his immune system, he suddenly filled out with much-needed weight.
With those changes came a much thicker coat! While we were extremely happy to see him healthier and deal with the extra shedding, these tips on how to reduce dog shedding definitely came in handy!