It is unavoidable that dogs shed their hair, especially during season changes, but excessive shedding can be reduced by regular brushing and feeding the dog a natural healthy diet. This page looks at some ways to prevent excessive shedding in dogs. It also looks at various types of combs and brushes that have specific functions and are designed for different coat types.
All dogs shed - even the nearly hairless breeds such as Mexican Hairless dogs do so. Dog shedding usually occurs in between seasons. They shed during spring to let go of old hairs as new ones push their way through. They also shed in late autumn to get rid of their lighter undercoat in exchange for a heavy and dense undercoat for the winter season.
Many dogs also shed when they are emotionally stressed or frightened.
We cannot stop our dogs from shedding; however, we can do several things to keep stray hair to a minimum. As well, if your dog sheds excessively, it may be an indication that his skin is not as healthy as it should be.
There are many natural treatments that promote healthy skin and coat. Let's look at what we can do when excessive dog shedding is giving us a headache.
Nothing can beat a thorough brushing for keeping dog shedding to a minimum. Regular brushing also makes your dog's coat softer, shinier, and healthier. Try to brush your dog once a day.
Using a suitable brush is important, however, since which brush or comb to use depends on your dog's breed and coat type. Click here for more information on choosing an appropriate brush for your dog.
Hair is made of protein; therefore the quality of protein in your dog's food will affect how his hair grows and looks. It follows that if you want your dog to have healthy hair, feed him a healthy natural diet that contains high-quality proteins such as organic meat. Many dog parents have found that feeding their dogs a raw diet can greatly reduce shedding.
It has been found that Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are extremely important in keeping a dog's hair and skin in good condition. Even if you are feeding your dog fish sometimes, it is not enough. You need to supplement his diet with a high-quality fish oil (such as salmon oil) in order to get the full benefits of fatty acids.
Bathing your dog regularly can wash off loose hair and, more importantly, can keep your dog clean. A clean dog usually has a healthier coat. Be sure to use a dog shampoo that is natural and soothing, such as Halo Cloud-Nine Herbal Shampoo.
As mentioned above, excessive dog shedding usually means that the dog's skin is not as healthy as it should be. Herbs can be used to improve skin health in dogs.
This excellent Chinese herbal formula works wonder on dog skin health. It moistens and nourishes the skin and helps treat skin inflammations caused by psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, hives, etc. If your dog has skin problems and sheds more than it should be, try out this formula.
Different brushes and combs have different functions and are designed for different coat types. The basic ones are as follows:
|Bristle Brush: This is for daily brushing; good for all coat types; and is usually used as a "final brush" to smooth out the haircoats after other brushes are used. The brush helps to smooth and shine the coat by distributing healthy natural oils and stimulating the skin.|
|Pin Brush: For dogs with medium to long hair, pin brushes, with or without rubber-tipped ends, are good choices. Also perfect for dogs with silky, curly, or woolly coats. Flexible pin brushes are also recommended for dogs with thin coats and/or sensitive skin.|
|Slicker Brush: This brush has bent wire bristles that help remove hair from the thick undercoat. It can also untangle mats and snarls. Slicker brushes come in different sizes and are good for all coat types.|
|Combs: These come in many different tooth sizes. Dogs with very fine coats can use a fine-toothed comb. Those with heavier coats need larger-toothed combs. Flea combs have very closely-spaced teeth and can trap and comb out any fleas that may be hiding in your dog's coat.|
|Mat Breaker: This is designed to remove matted and tangled hair in long-haired dogs without loss of hair length.|
|Grooming Glove: This is a brush that slips over your hand. It can remove substantial amounts of hair. These gloves work for all coat types, but are best for dogs with short or only moderately thick coats.|
If your dog has a thick undercoat and sheds a lot in between seasons, you need the "ultimate de-shedding tool":
|FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs: This de-shedding tool has a stainless steel blade that quickly and easily grabs and removes the loose, dead undercoat hair without damaging the topcoat. Highly recommended!|