If you’ve ever seen dog-hair tumbleweeds on your floor, you probably have one or more shedding dogs. Like many people, I chose a short-haired breed to minimize grooming. Unfortunately, my dog sheds more than any long-haired dog I’ve met. Below are some do-it-yourself dog grooming tips I’ve used to keep the hair under control.
1) Get a Latex Curry Comb
If your dog is shedding so much you can easily remove it with your hand, try using a latex curry comb to remove the unwanted hair. The most popular brand of curry comb is the KONG Zoom Groom brush, but any latex brush with little numbs instead of bristles will work.
Always use this dog grooming tool outside: the comb does not hold onto hair like a regular brush. The little numbs give your dog a nice massage while you’re working, so this is a great tool for dogs who don’t like traditional brushes. However, I’ve found I still need to use a regular dog brush after using this tool to get the last of the hair.
2) Brush Your Dog Every Day
Even if your dog has short hair, brushing every day allows you to collect any loose hair before it falls off your dog. A simple brush with hooked teeth or even a boar-bristle brush will work for most dogs.
If you want to get a bit more aggressive, consider buying a shedding blade, like a Furminator. This tool grips the hair and removes any loose undercoat. However, some dog’s hair is too fine to use a Furminator. On long-haired dogs with fine hair, it can remove too much hair, which can make your dog look like he’s going bald.
3) Buy a Dog Grooming Shampoo for Shedding Dogs
A specialty shampoo for shedding dogs will help you remove as much hair as possible when you bathe your dog. I’m always surprised by how much hair these dog grooming shampoos remove, so you may want to buy a hair catch for your bathtub’s drain to prevent a clog.
If you get really good at do-it-yourself dog grooming, you may be tempted to wash your dog every week, but every four to six weeks is best. Also, be sure to check the bottle before beginning; most shedding shampoos recommend you leave it on your dog for five to ten minutes before rinsing.
Some shampoos also recommend washing your dog twice. This is one time where I would heed this advice: the amount of hair you’ll remove during the second wash is well worth the extra shampoo.
4) Consider a Dry Shampoo for Shedding Dogs
To help keep the hair under control for that four to six week period when your dog really sheds, try a dry shampoo. Most dry shampoos come in spray form: you just need to use a brush to work in the shampoo.
Unlike traditional shampoos, a dry shampoo usually includes essential oils to help keep your dog’s coat healthy, so you can use it more often. Still, I like to limit using dry shampoos to once a week. If you like the shine the spray creates on your dog’s coat, but don’t have a problem with excessive shedding, a spray conditioner will deodorize and hydrate your dog’s coat.
5) Check with Your Veterinarian
If you feel like you’re always losing the war on hair, a visit to your veterinarian may be in order. A veterinarian can check for all types of things that can cause excessively shedding dogs, such as allergies, skin diseases, cancer, and insufficient nutrition.