As the weather begins to warm up, you may be noticing some additional “dust bunnies” of the dog kind that you need to clean up. Dogs usually shed year-round, however when temperatures start to rise, shedding can come to an all time high. While you can’t stop dog from shedding entirely; here are some helpful suggestions on how to lessen this annoyance.
1) Brush Regularly: When it comes to hair removal, not all brushes are created equally. Purchase a brush that is designed to deal with shedding. Different types of dogs may require different types of brushes. Daily grooming (or as close to that as you can do) will cut down on the shedding in your house tremendously. Regular grooming helps to remove excess and loose fur while also spreading out the oils onto his fur, which help it stay on your dog’s body instead of your couch. Incorporate lots of praise and affection while brushing, making this a bonding time with your pooch.
2) Give Regular Baths: In addition to regular brushing, routine baths also minimize excess shedding. Baths help loose hairs fall out in the tub rather than around your house. Be careful not to over bathe however, as that can remove the natural oils from your dog’s coats, causing dry skin, resulting in even more shedding. Try using an oatmeal-based shampoo, since they are the least likely to dry out and irritate skin.
3) Control Fleas: Dogs with fleas, lice or mites scratch constantly, causing hair to fall out. Consult with your vet to find a flea control option that works best for you and your pet. Irritated skin and dandruff can also cause excessive itching and shedding.
4) Watch Their Diet: The old saying “you are what you eat” goes for your four legged family member as well. A quality diet, with good sources of digestible protein is important. Try adding eggs, fish oil, and steamed vegetables. To get a healthier skin and coat, olive oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, is also beneficial. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s food for a healthy coat.
5) Vacuum Frequently: This seems like an obvious choice to minimize dog hair in your house. Before you vacuum, try sprinkling baking soda over your carpet. This will help to loosen pet hairs from the carpet fibers, making them easier to vacuum up. It will also act as a safe and non-toxic deodorizer.
6) Try Using an Electrostatic Dust Mop: While vacuuming and sweeping do help to pick up dog hairs, they often tend to send Fido’s hairs flying back onto surfaces. An electrostatic mop attracts hairs, making cleaning simpler. These microfiber dust mops can be purchased in many locations and are rather inexpensive.
7) Cover it Up: Put a blanket down before your dog cozies in. Keep one in the backseat of your car if your dog hits the road with you. Simply shake out after each use (washing occasionally). This will save you time vacuuming your car seats.
8) Wipe It Away: Run a damp paper towel across your pet’s coat. This will pick up any excess fur. You can also get creative with your lint roller. They not only work great on clothes, but also work well at picking up pet hair off of furniture, car seats, and even directly off your dog.
9) Groomers: If you can afford to splurge, take your pet to the groomers as spring approaches. These professionals will make sure your pet is summer ready with no hassle on your part.
10) Rule Out Possible Symptoms: While shedding is an expected occurrence for any hairy friend, be sure to check with your vet if the shedding is excessive as it can be a symptom of such things as: sunburn, contact with irritating substances, fleas, an infection, food related allergy, or even pregnancy. As a bonus to shedding, try spreading dog hair around the perimeter of your garden (as long as it is flea free). Rabbits and squirrels will think you have a dog out there protecting your garden and tend to stay away.
While shedding is unavoidable, even for us humans, there are few breeds that are considered low shedders. Opt for a breed like a poodle, terrier or Shih Tzu if you love dogs, but not their shedding.