A pet with a luscious coat of fur is something that most owners want, be it a dog or a cat or some other pet. But when the shedding season comes around, the regret starts. If you don’t want to spend hours cleaning off fur from upholstery, you need to know how to deshed a dog.
Shedding is a natural occurrence and up to a certain extent, there’s nothing to worry about. Lots of people hire groomers to reduce their dog’s shedding. If money’s tight or you’re feeling adventurous, you can look up how to deshed a dog at home.
Conveniently, that’s what I’m here to talk about today. Keep reading to know about the things you need to keep in mind before you have a go at dog deshedding. I’ll be clearly describing the steps, and also advice on how to keep shedding down with a proper diet.
Tick These Boxes Before You Get Down to It
To tackle shedding, you’ll need the proper tools and some basic knowledge. Take a look at these factors:
1. Arm Yourself With the Proper Shedding Tool
There are so many types of tools available nowadays that help to keep shedding to a minimum. You might have heard about these: wide-toothed combs, slicker brushes, blade-on-a-handle combs etc. There are also detangling combs and shedding gloves.
Which tool you’ll be able to use efficiently depends on the coat your dog has. Long, thick coats benefit from one type of brush, or shedding tool, while medium or short coats would benefit from others. Ask your vet what tool to use and how to deshed a big dog.
2. Providing Proper Food and Clean Water
Lack of proper nutrition can exacerbate hair loss, yes, in dogs as well as humans. Similarly, a dehydrated dog would have skin issues and will shed copious amounts of fur. Ensure that your dog is following a good diet and has access to clean water all the time.
3. Bathing Regularly
You’ll need to bathe your dog less often than you need to brush him. On an average, I can safely say you can bathe your dog once every 8 weeks. While bathing, you might take the help of special shampoo, conditioners as well as leave-in treatments that reduce shedding.
Brushing is something you could do before bathing, and after he’s all dry. Some special blow dryers also help to deshed a dog.
4. Getting a Haircut
Sometimes brushing and bathing isn’t enough and your dog needs to get a haircut! This could be useful in Spring and Fall when dogs tend to shed the maximum amount of fur. Taking your pooch to a fun ride at the groomers may be necessary.
If you’re more comfortable at home, you can try getting your hands on a set of dog grooming scissors and give him a haircut yourself!
5. Check in With a Veterinarian
If you feel like nothing is working to contain your dog’s excessive shedding issue, or if you see irritated skin and even bald patches, don’t hesitate to see a veterinarian. There could be some hidden reasons behind your dog’s shedding. Such as-
- Allergic reactions
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Immune disease
- Pregnancy or lactation
Steps of Deshedding
Have you armed yourself with the proper tools? Do you have a good brush, shedding tool, shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, towels, and a lot of enthusiasm? Let’s go and learn how to deshed a dog!
Take that dog brush and start brushing your dog’s coat. Focus on one patch of fur first, and then move on to another area only after you’ve thoroughly brushed down that bit. You’re going to end up with a lot of fur that otherwise would’ve been strewn around the house and flying in clumps like tumbleweed.
Some dog brushes are self-cleaning, as in you can just push a button and the bristles retract, leaving you with a clump of hair that you can dispose of in the trash can or a bag. In case your pooch doesn’t like being brushed, you can use a brushing glove as well.
After you’ve brushed your dog and the amount of loose hair has lessened reasonably, it’s time to bathe him! You’ll find that brushing beforehand also prevents fur clogging your bathroom drain. On the other hand, some dogs really love bathing and playing in a pool, so you could try that too!
Play around and take the time to rub them down with the shampoo and rinse. After shampooing, you can use a conditioner. A leave-in conditioner or mousse would also help to nourish the coat and reduce shedding. Some people even like to brush their dogs when the coat is wet, but I’ve never used that method.
3. Blow Dry
With the help of a dryer and some towels, make sure to dry your dog’s coat completely. Take time and don’t leave any patches of fur moist. This is especially important for dogs with dense fur.
You might notice some blow dryers are especially made for deshedding dogs. Those will literally blow out the fur, but will cause a big mess, so better to do that outside or in the garage. You’ll also need protective clothing and goggles.
4. Brush Again
Now that you have a bathed and dried dog, it’s time to brush again! After drying your dog might end up with tangled hair, so it’s important to clear out those tangles. This process will also slicken your dog’s coat and give an extra bit of shine.
So I’ve already mentioned that you’ll only need to bathe your dog once every 8 weeks (or twice a month if he sheds too much), but you have to deshed him more frequently! How often to deshed a dog, you ask? That depends on your dog’s breed, but you’ll want to brush your dog daily.
Yes, daily! You aren’t reading it wrong. Brushing your dog will not only deshed, but will also make you two bond, and keep his skin and coat healthy. Do you really wanna skip out on that?
Food That Helps With Shedding
Ensure that your dog is getting good nutrition, and you wouldn’t need to worry a lot about how to properly deshed a dog. A dog with a healthy coat sheds less, though you’ll still need to deshed once in a while. There is even special dog food for shedding that you might want to get.
If you’re feeding your dog a good-quality commercial food, there’s a good chance that he’s eating a balanced diet and you don’t have to worry about nutrition. However, if the food is low-quality, or homemade and possibly unbalanced, you might face undue shedding. Even after getting him started with good quality food, some supplements might help with tackling shedding:
- Omega-6 fatty acids: You can buy supplements that contain this. But if you’re looking for a more affordable option, sunflower or safflower oil works well as a source of this.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: This helps a lot if your dog is prone to getting skin problems. Fish oils and flaxseed oil is a good source.
- Supplements that tackle existing skin issues: If your dog has a specific skin condition, look for a supplement that focuses on that very condition. For example, zinc works for crusting skin, while Vitamin A is good for conditions like seborrhea.
Always remember though, before you’re changing your dog’s diet, or adding a supplement to your dog’s routine, always consult a vet.
Dog Breeds That Shed Less
This isn’t related to the topic at hand, really, but it might be useful for dog owners. Shedding isn’t only an inconvenience, but a dog that sheds a lot might be the cause of the owner getting an allergic reaction. Thankfully, some dog breeds don’t shed a lot of fur. You can adopt one of them and not worry about getting an allergy afterwards.
They’re also not going to cover your furniture (or you) with a lot of fur. You might have to adopt different methods of grooming though. For example, the Bichon Frise sheds little, but needs regular hair-cutting to avoid mats. Some other dog breeds that don’t shed much are:
- Bedlington Terrier
- Peruvian Inca Orchid (hairless)
- American Hairless Terrier
- Schnauzer (MIniature, Standard and Giant)
- Chinese Crested
- Irish water Spaniel
- Coton de Tulear
Knowing how to deshed a dog is especially important for dog owners who own a dog with long hair, or even multiple dogs, so their house doesn’t get smothered in flyaway fur. However, I realise that this task of deshedding might seem too daunting for some, even after knowing these tips and tricks.
If you’re not feeling up to it, you can ask around the local groomers to learn how much they charge to deshed a dog. And maybe someday later, you’ll feel brave enough to have a go at deshedding your dog yourself!