How to Reduce Pet Shedding

by Keri Gardner
Nordic breeds, such as the malamute or husky, have an extremely thick hair coat.

Nordic breeds, such as the malamute or husky, have an extremely thick hair coat.

husky image by Dmitriy Lesnyak from Fotolia.com

All dogs shed, though some dogs shed more than others. Keeping pet hair off clothes and furniture is an endless job for pet owners. Reducing your pet's shedding can decrease the amount of time you spend cleaning hair from yourself and your house. Proper grooming, appropriate nutrition, elimination of disease and occasional bathing can reduce pet shedding.

Tips to Reduce Pet Shedding

Step 1

Brush or comb your pet daily. Choose a tool appropriate for your pet's hair type. A fine-tooth comb may not work well for a Pomeranian, but it might work just fine on a Chihuahua. Dogs with undercoats, like a collie, will shed more than those without an undercoat, such as a poodle. Use a FURminator deshedding tool on undercoats. Brushing your dog removes the dead hair and keeps it from spreading throughout your house.

Step 2

Feed your dog a balanced diet. The condition of your dog's fur coat can be an indicator of your dog's health. Shedding can be reduced with proper nutrition. Companies that produce quality pet food endeavor to make a completely balanced diet for your dog.

Step 3

Give your dog a bath one to two times per month. Vigorously shampoo your dog. Then rinse and dry him, followed by brushing. Bathing will remove most of the dead hair from your dog, thus reducing the amount he will shed.

Step 4

Check your dog for underlying disorders that can increase hair loss. If shedding seems excessive, scratching becomes intense or hair is lost in patches, take your dog to see a veterinarian. Allergies, food sensitivities, parasites and certain diseases can increase hair loss. Proper treatment for these underlying diseases or conditions can reduce pet shedding.

Step 5

Take your dog to a professional groomer. Some dogs require extensive grooming to maintain a healthy fur coat. Maltese, Old English sheepdogs and poodles can be very difficult to keep properly groomed. Trips to the groomer can be as often as every two weeks or may be needed only every two months, depending on your dog. Professional grooming will reduce pet shedding.

Items You Will Need

  • Brush
  • Comb (or FURminator-type device)
  • Pet shampoo
  • Towels
  • High-quality dog food

Tips

  • Adding a fatty acid supplement to your dog's diet may reduce shedding.
  • Indoor pets often shed all year long due to reduced seasonal exposure.

Warnings

  • Do not bathe your dog if he has matted fur. Remove the mats first, and then bathe him. Bathing makes the mats more difficult to remove.
  • Do not bathe your dog more than once a week. His skin can become dry and shedding will increase.
  • Grooming and bathing should not be painful. Extensive work on your dog's fur will require a visit to your veterinarian's office.
  • Keep shampoo out of your dog's eyes during bathing.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Based in Michigan, Keri Gardner has been writing scientific journal articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such journals as "Disability and Rehabilitation" and "Journal of Orthopaedic Research." She holds a Master of Science in comparative medicine and integrative biology from Michigan State University.