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A Dog Owner's Guide To Shedding: How To Minimize Shedding and Clean Up The Excess Hair That Gets On Everything ...by Bill Knell

Not all dogs shed, but those that do usually shed a lot. Itís just part of nature, but a part that most pet owners wish they could avoid. Although there are some ways to minimize shedding, they all involve some effort on the part of a dog owner. The best way to cut back on shedding and avoid a huge mess when your dog starts is by brushing. The type of brush, glove or shedding slicker brush you choose will depend on the length and thickness of your petís coat. A wise dog owner will ask their veterinarian for a brush recommendation and most vet offices offer free literature on proper brushing procedures. A regular brush or glove can be employed on a daily basis, while a shedding brush should be used once a week.

Food and supplements are another consideration. High quality and name brand dog foods contain just the kind of easily digestible proteins that will keep your petís coat shiny, healthy and reduce the amount of shedding that occurs. All dogs have different nutritional requirements and it is almost impossible for any one dog food to meet all of their individual needs. Natural supplements geared towards dog coat health fill in those gaps with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that keep skin cells healthy. Dry dog foods are not very helpful during periods of heavy shedding and may add to the problem. Giving your pet more water and keeping it well hydrated will help decrease shedding.

Contrary to popular belief, frequent bathing will not stop or slow shedding and might even increase it. Discuss the frequency of bathing your dog with your veterinarian. Some breeds need hardly any baths at all, while others can benefit from occasional bathing or flea treatment baths during the summer months. Flea control is another contributing factor when it comes to controlling shedding. Apart from the fact that no one wants their home or yard infested with fleas, dogs with a flea problem will spread them everywhere during shedding and may shed more frequently due to that type of infestation.

You might be surprised to find out that some dogs shed more frequently due to allergies. Dog skin allergies are largely ignored by most owners and that is a huge mistake. Dogs can easily be allergic to various types of foods, snacks, detergents, carpet cleaners, pesticides, scent sprays, flea treatments and anti-pest collars. Any of these things and many others can cause skin problem outbreaks with shedding being one of the results. If your dog sheds or scratches itself frequently and you see no sign of a flea or tick problem, an allergy may be the culprit. Have your dog examined and tested for skin problems.

Despite your best efforts, most dogs will shed and you have to have a plan in place for dealing with all that extra hair around your house and patio. Dog hair can become deeply embedded in upholstery and bedding, so keeping it out of them is essential. Begin by making your home shedding resistant by using throws over your furniture and beds. Use types of fabrics that tend to collect hair. Take your throws outdoors once a day and shake them out thoroughly. Although many pet owners turn to washing out throws to get rid of the hair, the only thing that washing will probably do is clog up your washerís drain.

If you have carpet and a dog that is shedding in your home, that is not a good combination. Dog hair collects in carpets and will tend to produce that Ďdog smellí people notice when they enter a house or apartment if it is not removed in a regular and timely manner. Daily deep vacuuming will help to keep the amount of dog hair in your carpet down to a manageable amount and can get rid of almost all of it over the long term. Non-carpeted floors and outdoor patios should be swept daily. Some cleaning experts recommend wetting interior floors with lots of dog hair on them slightly before sweeping. That supposedly allows you to pick up more of the hair without just spreading it around.

The two big mistakes most dog owners make when trying to control or deal with the effects of shedding are buying spurious anti-shedding chewable pills or treatments at big box pet stores, and quick clean up items like sticky rolling clean up devices. Good quality dog foods and supplements will do a better job of providing the nutrition your dog needs then those pills. Using throws and proper daily cleaning procedures are much better than trying to buy enough sticky rolling devices to try


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