It’s that time of year again, when that thick winter coat that served your pooch so well through winter becomes a major setback to you trying to keep your house clean.
Hair shedding is the bane of every dog-owner’s existence, but there are ways of keeping it to a manageable level and protecting your home.
- Brush, brush, brush
Brush the excess fur off your dog while they’re outside, and you’ll have less to clean up when they come inside. This is especially important with shaggier dogs, as the loose hair is more likely to get trapped in the rest of their hair.
Picking the right brush is a bit of an ordeal in itself. Chances are good you already have a brush, but you might want to consider whether it is the right brush for your breed of dog. For instance, dogs with a short coat are best brushed with a bristle brush, for medium length coats a slicker brush could be used, and for long coats a rake style brush with pins around the same length as your dog’s fur would be ideal.
- Doggie Baths
Washing your dog during shedding season is a great way to get a lot of fur off at once. Make sure to check with your vet before washing them too often, but once every couple of weeks should be fine for most breeds. Take care to dry them properly afterwards, as leaving your dog with wet skin isn’t great for their health.
- Cover your furniture
It may look tacky, but covering your furniture will save you a lot of cleaning time down the track. It’s a lot easier to clean a purpose built dog dander cover than it is to clean upholstery that has been covered in hair. If your dog is only a seasonal shedder just remind yourself that while the covers might look unpleasant now, they’re only temporary, and definitely preferable to leaving your dog outside for the duration of its shedding. Also consider a similar tactic for car seats, which are particularly notorious for trapping dog fur in among their fibres.
- Monitor diet
A dog’s diet has a large impact on the condition of its coat, and therefore also on its propensity to shed fur. Eating the right foods will help keep your dog’s coat lustrous and the hairs healthy, which will reduce the amount of dander being shed all over your home. Talk to your vet about a high quality diet, specifically designed to reduce shedding. Seasonal shedding will still happen though, so it’s impossible to entirely eliminate shedding through a dog’s diet.
- Vacuum often
Even if you do all of the above, some fur is going to end up in your house, all over your things, particularly if you have a long-haired breed. All you can do to remedy that is clean and vacuum often. The longer that dog hair sits on upholstery the more ingrained and difficult it becomes to remove. If your budget allows, perhaps consider an automatic vacuum cleaner for use during shedding seasons, so that the cleaning process is semi-constant.
- Check in with the vet regularly
Seasonal shedding is very natural but some dog owners might notice what they deem to be unusual shedding patterns with their animals. Vets are the best people out there to know whether your dog’s shedding patterns are fine, or a cause for concern. There are a number of conditions that could exacerbate dog fur loss, and seeing your vet on a regular basis will help ensure that none of those ailments go unnoticed.