Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?
Dogs naturally shed their old and damaged hair, but the amount and the frequency depends on their health and breed. Excessive shedding can be normal for some dog breeds, but excessive shedding can also be a sign of stress, poor nutrition, or a medical issue. It can also depend on the season, and where you live. Dogs will produce a thicker coat in the winter and shed it off in the spring, and those who are kept indoors tend to shed an even amount year-round. This is the case with our sweet Jem… we love her to death, but her shedding is out of control!
Note to self: never have dark floors and furniture again!
How Can I Reduce The Shedding?
Managing dog hair can seem like a never ending nightmare… I feel like my house only stays clean for about 10 minutes right after I finish vacuuming. By the time I put the cleaning products away and come back into the room, I see 100 hairs scattered all over the floor and furniture again, and the task of ‘vacuum and dust’ goes right back on my To Do List and quickly as I crossed it off.
1. Brush Your Dog Regularly
Add this to the list of things I tell myself to do daily, yet a week will go by and I’ll realize I have slacked yet again… Brushing your dog regularly is very important to reduce shedding, especially as the seasons change. It really only takes less than 5 minutes a day, which can feel like a hassle when you first start out. But after a few weeks it becomes habit, and it’s much more frustrating to be infrequent about it than to just keep up on it daily.
I use the Furminator brush for Jem, and it collects a ton of hair out every time I brush her!
2. Avoid Drying Your Dog After Bath Time
Many believe that washing your dog’s coat is a great way to loosen the fur. Give your dog a thorough brushing before and after. Most importantly, don’t use heat to dry your dog after bath time, because this will increase shedding.
2. Feed Your Dog A Quality Food
Is your dog getting the proper nutrition? A poor coat or excessive shedding can be a sign of a poor diet that lacks required nutrients for a healthy dog. A proper diet consisting of a quality, well balanced food will decrease shedding. Not sure if your dog’s food is the culprit? Try switching your dog’s food and see if it helps! Be sure to transition your dog slowly over the course of a couple weeks to avoid stomach pain and diarrhea.
3. Add Olive Oil To Your Dog’s Food
Olive oil mixed with your dog’s food can help reduce shedding. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that condition her skin and coat. Start by adding a tiny bit and increasing the amount a little more each time. Introducing too much olive oil too quickly can cause your dog’s stool to be loose. It can take up to 3 months of eating olive oil consistently to notice a reduction in shedding. About 5-6 drops, or about 1/4 teaspoon is all your dog needs with breakfast and dinner.
4. Does Your Dog Need A Nutritional Supplement?
Consult your vet, and discuss if a specially-formulated dog vitamin or omega-3 fatty acid supplement is right for your dog. Quality dog food brands work hard to include the correct amount of nutrients so a supplement is not needed, but there are supplements out there that can reduce shedding if its necessary for your dog.
How Can I Manage Shedding In My Home?
You’ll never completely eliminate shedding with a dog that was born to shed, but there are ways you can manage the hair in your home so you don’t go crazy! And for the health of your family and friends with allergies, these methods are a must.
1. Air Purifier
An air purifier is a lifesaver for those with allergies, because they remove hair, dander, and other allergens from the air. This will greatly reduce the effects of shedding between cleanings.
With Jem’s extreme shedding, I’ve learned to accept that if I don’t at least Swiffer every day, then my house is going to constantly feel dirty. Ideally, I like to vacuum every day because I know I’m removing the hair and dander from the house completely, rather than pushing it around. The sooner you vacuum after the hair is shed from your dog the better, because you eliminate it before it can get into the fibers of your fabrics.
3. Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Have you heard of all the tricks that these little dryer sheets can do? For managing pet hair, they are a lifesaver for keeping baseboards clean. If you run a dryer sheet along your baseboards, they leave a coating behind that repels dust and pet hair. Plus, your house will smell amazing from room to room, and your guests will be puzzled trying to figure out where that amazing scent is coming from!
Whether it’s an armchair, sofa, ottoman, the car, or the foot of the bed that your dog likes to nap, furniture covers are a must. As a daily routine, you can easily grab them and give them a good shake outdoors. Then once a week you can throw them in with the wash to keep them smelling fresh and clean.
If your dog loves to nap in the car like Buddy, a car seat cover is a lifesaver. My car was always a mess from Jem’s hair, but my car seat cover has helped 100%.
I used to need to vacuum the inside of my car constantly. But with my seat cover I rarely need to anymore, my leather stays clean and scratch-free, and the dogs have a comfy place to lay.
5. Your Lint Roller Should Be Your Sidekick
Have one in the bathroom drawer, by the front door, in the glovebox of the car, in your desk drawer, etc. Don’t be caught without it! If you give your clothes a clean swipe with the lint roller when you’re leaving the house and the car, at least you’ll get a break from the shedding while you’re conquering the world. You’ll have everyone fooled.
Do you have any methods for minimizing dog hair? I’d love to hear your advice!