My name is Gemma and I am the marketing manager here at Norsh!
I have 2 beautiful fur babies at home, Mylo and Charlie, both rescues.
I entered into dog parenthood naively in that shedding was something I didn’t consider, I was utterly blinded by Mylo, his story and his search for his fur-ever home.
Once we got him home, it did not take long to realise that this is a really important element to consider when adding to your four legged family!
I genuinely wonder how Mylo has any hair left on him at the end of the week. I’m sure there are many of you out there who are just as frustrated as I am!
So, I’ve spent some time investigating and researching and whilst I know it’s something I will just have to live with, dogs shed and that’s inevitable, I wanted to share my findings with you all in the hope that they might make life even slightly easier…..and less hairy!
DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF SHEDDER YOU HAVE
There are a few types of shedders out there. Ones that shed all year round, seasonal shedders who shed twice a year, and a mix of the two.
There are also a handful of dog breeds that shed hardly at all, including Labradoodles, Scottish Terriers, and Shih Tzus.
This occurs once in the spring to get rid of their thick winter coat and prepare for their summer coat. And again in the autumn, when they shed their summer coat and get ready for their thicker winter fur to grow back.
Year-round shedders, like Labrador Retrievers and Dalmatians, shed significant amounts of hair daily that needs to be kept up with constantly.
A MIX OF THE TWO
And the dogs that are a mix of both, like German Shepherds, seem to shed significantly daily AND somehow have 2-4 weeks every spring and fall where their hair is coming off in clumps to prepare for their new coat to come in. Mylo is a Border Beagle and seems to shed heavily, constantly and then has a major spring and autumn shed too.
BRUSH, BRUSH, BRUSH!
There is no short cut here. The most effective way to manage your dog’s shedding is with regular brushing. Brushing your dog 2-3 times per week is ideal and will really keep the dog hair all over your house at bay. At present, I brush Mylo daily and still my wooden floors are like carpet but I dread to think what they would be like without his daily brushing. He’s even gotten to quite enjoy his daily grooming session now, whereas initially it was somewhat of an undertaking to get him to allow me to do it.
For all of you lucky pet parents out there who have a seasonal shedder, you will need to up your defences during these particular points in the year.
INVEST IN THE PROPER TOOLS TO MANAGE SHEDDING
There are LOTS of different types of brushes out there to keep your dog’s shedding under control, to the point where it can become overwhelming when trying to choose the right one for your dogs’ needs.
WHAT TYPE OF BRUSH IS RIGHT FOR MY DOG?
Bristle Brushes are made of natural bristles placed very tightly on the brush’s surface. This type of brush is best for dogs with a short coat that sheds often. For example, Boxers, Dalmatians or Greyhounds.
Slicker Brushes are made from short wires on a flat surface. This type of brush is for your dog if they have medium to long fur. This type of brush is perfect for dogs with coats similar to St. Bernards or Golden Retrievers.
Rake-Style Brushes are a go-to tool for any dog breed with a thick undercoat, such as a German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, or Chow Chow. A rake brush has rounded metal pins that go deep and pull out dead fur from the tough to reach undercoat. When choosing a rake brush, choose one that is about the length of your dog’s fur.
The Furminator is a name-brand dog brush that is really universal and great at removing loose fur from the undercoat. You can even invest in a Furminator specific to your dog’s fur type. They sell options for long and short hair, and in various sizes.
Your vacuum In addition to a proper brush, you might find the vacuum to be a useful tool too. There are even products on the market specifically for dog grooming that attach right to your vacuum!
My weapons of choice? We use the Furminator and our trusty household vacuum. Again, Mylo was not a fan of the vacuum but now, it would appear he almost finds it therapeutic! As a dog owner, I would really recommend the Furminator, it is most definitely worth the investment.
CONSULT YOUR DOG'S DIET TO IMPROVE THEIR COAT
Choose the right dog food
Choose a high-quality dog food that is high in protein and vegetables and has a low amount or no grains. Formulas that include fish as a protein source are Mylo’s favourite (e.g. Naturo Natural Pet Food) and it has helped give him a beautiful, healthy coat.
Add Omega 3s to their diet
Lastly, adding Omega 3s to your dog’s diet will make a big difference in the health of their coat. You can do this in the form of fish oil supplements, by adding olive oil to the top of their food or feeding them fish skin 2-3 times per week, e.g. our very own delicious Salmon Twirls.
RULE OUT MORE SERIOUS CAUSES OF SHEDDING
In some cases, an increase in the level of shedding can be an indicator of a larger problem. If you have any concerns about your dog’s shedding, do not hesitate to take them in for a check-up with their vet.
Is there anything I’ve missed? If you have a special way of helping manage your dog’s shedding, let us know in the comments!
An exasperated dog owner who misses wearing black.