If excessive dog hair is a problem in your home, you’re not alone. Managing pet hair is one of the hardest aspects of being a pet parent. Dog hair tends to find its way onto your furniture and weave its way into every piece of clothing. Once attached, it can be difficult to remove—even after several washes and persistent lint-rolling. Luckily, there are ways to target dog hair shedding at the source; whether that means an upgrade in your pet grooming routine, or identifying any possible underlying health issues.
Why Dogs Shed
Shedding is the natural process of losing old or damaged dog hair. While all dogs shed, the amount and frequency of shedding depends upon the dog’s health and their breed type. Time of year also plays a factor in the amount of shedding. Dogs can develop thicker coats in the winter for warmth that they will then shed in the spring.
High and Low-Shedding Dog Breeds
Dog shedding can be a problem, especially if you or someone in your home suffers from pet allergies. Luckily, there are plenty of low-shedding dog breeds that keep dog hair to a minimum. These include:
- Tibetan Terrier
- Maltese Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- West Highland White Terrier
On the opposite end of the spectrum are dogs that shed frequently and in abundance. The furry companions that shed the most include:
Causes of Excessive Shedding in Dogs
What constitutes excessive shedding in dogs varies based on the dog breed. It can be the result of poor nutrition, stress or a medical problem. “If it seems that a pet is excessively losing hair, I would suggest a trip to the veterinarian to ensure there is not an underlying medical condition,” advises Tonya Wilhelm, pet behaviorist and owner of Raising Your Pets Naturally.
Medical problems that could lead to excessive shedding in dogs include parasites, fungal or bacterial infections, kidney disease, pregnancy, cancer, immune disease, or sunburn. Abnormal shedding can also be the result of a food allergy. If that is the case, you may need to switch dog food brands or look for hypoallergenic recipes. See your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is experiencing excessive shedding.
Nutrition and Shedding
Excessive shedding in dogs can be the result of poor nutrition. If your dog isn’t receiving the nutrients she needs to maintain a healthy coat, she may require supplementation. “Pets that are fed a healthy and balanced diet have less hair loss, no or minimal skin issues, and less dry and brittle broken hairs leaving their coats,” says Morgan.
Some pups can’t get the nutrients they need from their normal diet. In that case, supplements can help to improve your dog’s coat and reduce shedding, like the PL360 Shed No More Dog Supplements. This beef and cheese-flavored tablet is as delicious as it is effective in supporting healthy skin and coat. The Shed-X Dermaplex Liquid Supplement is another great way to make sure your pet is receiving the omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and vitamins he needs to maintain a healthy coat. A healthy coat reduces shedding, which means less cleanup for you at home.
How to Reduce Dog Shedding
Just like people, dog hair must be groomed. Humans cut their hair to remove dead and dry ends, and use specific types of shampoo to address hair concerns, like lack of moisture, split ends or thinning hair. Dog hair requires just as much care to remain healthy. “Daily brushing is key in cutting down the pet hair,” says Wilhelm. “Don’t duck your grooming responsibilities—embrace them,” says Dr. Mary Becker, DVM. If you’re ready to get rid of dog hair in your home for good, here are some dog grooming tools and techniques that can help.
“Giving your dog a quick brushing outdoors every day will save time and effort spent dusting, sweeping and vacuuming each week,” Becker advises. “During the shedding season, I may have to increase my daily amount of brushing to two full brushes daily for about 2 weeks. It helps to make the brush a bit damp to collect hair more efficiently, and I use a slicker brush,” says holistic physical pet therapist Sally Morgan.
Your pet grooming routine should include the right type of dog shampoo. Shampoo like Nature’s Miracle Natural Shed Control dog shampoo and conditioner is formulated to help control shedding before it happens. The shampoo thoroughly cleans, enhances dog hair softness and reduces static electricity.
Besides a good shampoo and conditioner, pet grooming should include a good trim. De-shed your pet at home with the FURminator Deshedding Edge for dogs. The design of this dog grooming tool makes it easier to get through the topcoat to remove the undercoat and loose hair without damaging your dog’s delicate skin.
Good dog grooming and proper nutrition can go a long way in reducing dog hair in your home. By following these easy tips, you can avoid having to constantly clean your furniture and lint-roll your clothes.
Michelle McKinley is dedicated to creating informative pieces that help pet parents train, care for and love their cuddly companions. She operates a digital ad agency providing content to enterprise and small businesses. As a writer for Chewy, Michelle delights in sharing tips and techniques that strengthen the relationship between owner and pet. She works with experienced veterinarians, knowledgeable pet behaviorists and pet brands to bring the best in pet to readers.