From Pet Health Learning Center
Get a Handle on Dog Shedding
Shedding is a natural process that most dogs experience that allows a new coat to come in. Unfortunately, when dogs shed this fur has to go somewhere and for many dog owners, this hair can end up all over the home. Tufts of hair can fall on carpets and floors, while chairs can become covered in hair and make it difficult to sit down in the home without getting hair all over clothing. If the shedding is widespread enough it can even make its way into food items. Once airborne, dog hair can also intensely aggravate a personâ€™s allergies. To make matters even worse, dog owners may have trouble cleaning up the dog hair and can even break their vacuum cleaners while trying to clean up the tufts.
Understanding Dog Shedding
Shedding will occur in both long haired and short haired dogs. The amount of shedding will differ based on the breed. Dogs with double coats or curly coats tend to shed more than those with just a single coat. The amount a dog sheds may also differ depending on the temperature and season. In the winter, outdoor dogs will naturally develop a thicker coat to help protect them from nippy temperatures, during the spring these pets will shed more.
Interestingly enough, hormone changes caused by exposure to artificial light can also trigger hair shedding in indoor dogs. The change of seasons and the subsequent changes in the hours of daylight can also stimulate shedding in outdoor dogs. Although outside dogs may only shed heavily twice a year, indoor dogs can shed year-round thanks to the temperature changes they experience each time they go in or out of the home.
Reduce Dog Shedding
To keep dog hair from getting all over the home, dog owners can practice weekly grooming practices or even daily habits for excessive shedders. Regular baths can help keep hair from getting matted and remove hair that has fallen out. Grooming tools can be used to untangle the hair, pull out tufts of shedding hair and catch this hair before it ends up all over the floor and in the air. If your dog has a double coat, an undercoat rake can be used to pull out dead hair. Grooming will usually only take a few minutes, especially if done daily. Be sure to use tools designed specifically for dogs and comb or brush in fluid motions and in one direction for best results.
Dietary changes can also help reduce the amount of shedding dogs' experience. Dog owners can use a high quality dog food loaded with protein; Dog Omega Fatty Acids and antioxidants can also be incorporated into your Dog Diet to improve their health and limit their shedding.
Advice For Future Dog Owners
For those contemplating owning a dog but worried about the amount of shedding that will occur there are breeds that shed less than others. Hairless dog breeds such as the Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzquintle) dog or Peruvian Hairless dog are also available for ownership.
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