Surviving Spring Shedding
Sweeping up after shedding dogs is as much a part of the experience as scooping poop and taking walks.
There’s just no avoiding it.
And while most dogs shed year-round, springtime is high time for certain winter-ready breeds. Huskies, for example, grow a “double coat”. A more permanent topcoat sheds the elements, while a perennial puffy inner coat insulates the dog like a down jacket.
This winter undercoat is what turns up by the fistful when you pet your pup in the spring.
There’s even a name for this seasonal shedding phenomenon in dogs: Blowing Coat. And it’s big business in the pet grooming trade.
But a blown coat is a big annoyance for dog owners. Birds chirping, trees budding, and balls of blowing fur against the baseboards are all sure signs that spring has sprung. And dog owners everywhere pick up their brooms and vacuum attachments to wage war on the fur ball.
But all hope is not lost. Despite the predictable nature of your dog’s shedding cycles, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the mess.
Let’s start with the obvious:
Brush and Brush Some More
You gotta brush your dog.
Not brushing your dog will not only lead to more furballs on the floor but can also cause your pet a whole host of health issues, like hair matts and skin infections. So, whether or not a cleaner home is your motivation towards better pet grooming, do it for the dog.
And by the way, most dogs enjoy the attention. Remember to pair any brushing session with a few tasty treats and regular words of affirmation, and before you know it, you and your pup are bonding.
A Warm Bath
Once spring is on the horizon, schedule a few warm baths for your pup.
While you’re drawing the warm water, give your pup a nice brushing to remove any already shed fur.
Next, coax your dog into the tub and lather them with a gentle pet shampoo of your choosing. Be sure to not go overboard with this process. Once a week during the spring should be plenty. Excessive bathing can strip a dog’s coat of its natural, oily protectants, and can lead to skin irritation.
Once you’re done, use a thick-bristled brush to dry your pup and pull any dislodged hair from their coat.
Good diet makes a difference. For people and for dogs. And while you cannot do away with seasonal shedding entirely, there are some nutritional supplements that can help speed the process up.
Consult with your veterinarian about adding Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to your dog’s diet on a regular basis. Vet thinks it’ll help? Visit your local Murdoch’s, or Murdochs.com, to shop our selection of supplements.
When it comes to staying on top of shedding fur, fight the good fight with the right tools.
Match your dog’s hair length and shedding tendencies to the appropriate brush for the best results. For example, long-haired and winter-ready dogs can benefit from a shedding “rake” or comb-style brush. They’re specifically designed to pull out undercoat, while leaving the outercoat intact.
Short-hair breeds will benefit from a combination of bristle brushes and slick brushes to loosen and then remove shed hair.
Vacuum, Vacuum, and Vacuum Some More
It comes with the territory. The daily whiiirrrrrr of the vacuum cleaner.
A shedding dog leaves a mess, and no amount of brushing can negate the need for good housekeeping practices. Stay on top of cleaning up dust balls and consider using a stand-alone air filter to cut down on dust particles.
Make Murdoch’s Your Pet Care Stop
Not feeling ready for shedding season? We can help. Stop into your local Murdoch’s, or visit Murdochs.com, and shop our comprehensive selection of pet care essentials, like brushes, shampoos, and more.