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How to Reduce Shedding in Dogs: 10 Proven Ways

Last updated on January 29th, 2024 at 02:47 pm

Are you struggling with too much pet hair in your home due to your dog shedding? If so, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to help you tackle the problem. We will explain what causes excessive shedding and provide top-notch tips on how to reduce shedding in dogs. Let’s get started!

Video podcast version

How do I know if my dog is shedding too much?

Here’s how to assess your dog’s shedding. First, consider your dog’s breed and typical coat patterns:

    • High-shedding breeds: Huskies, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers naturally shed a lot, especially during seasonal coat blowouts.
    • Low-shedding breeds: Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, and Shih Tzus shed minimally.
    • Moderate-shedding breeds: Beagles, Basset Hounds, and Dachshunds fall somewhere in between.

Next, compare the current shedding to your dog’s usual pattern:

    • Seasonal shedding: Most dogs shed more in spring and fall as they adjust their coats for the changing temperatures.
    • Puppy shedding: Puppies tend to shed more as they lose their puppy coat and grow into adult fur.

Now, look for signs of abnormal shedding:

    • Excessive hair loss: If you’re seeing bald patches, clumps of fur coming out easily, or your dog’s coat is noticeably thinning, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
    • Skin irritation: Redness, bumps, rashes, or scabs on your dog’s skin could indicate allergies, parasites, or other skin conditions that lead to excessive shedding.
    • Excessive scratching or licking: This can be a sign of discomfort due to skin irritation or other health problems.

If you notice any of the above signs or are unsure whether your dog’s shedding is normal, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and recommend the best course of action.

Why is my dog shedding so much?

how to reduce shedding in dogs

If your dog is shedding excessively, there could be a few reasons. Let’s take a look at them:

    • Diet: Poor-quality food or allergies can cause skin irritation and excessive shedding. You may want to check with your vet about switching to a high-quality food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which will help their skin and coat stay healthy.
    • Skin problems: Parasites, infections, or allergies can cause itching and hair loss. Watch out for signs like redness, bumps, or excessive scratching. If you notice any of these, it’s best to talk to your vet.
    • Stress: Anxiety or stress can cause various symptoms, including excessive shedding. Consider any recent changes in your dog’s environment or routine that might be causing stress.
    • Underlying medical conditions: In rare cases, excessive shedding can be a symptom of internal diseases like thyroid disorders or Cushing’s disease. If you suspect any severe health issues, it’s important to visit your vet.

How to reduce shedding in dogs

1. Brush regularly

Regular brushing is essential in preventing fur buildup. The frequency of brushing should depend on your dog’s breed and coat type, but a few sessions each week is generally recommended. Use a brush that suits their fur type to remove loose hair effectively. Begin brushing from the back and work your way to the front to remove all dead hair and prevent any matting.

This grooming routine not only reduces shedding but also promotes a healthier coat by increasing circulation and distributing natural oils. Make it a bonding experience with your furry friend, and keep your living space free of fur.

2. Bath smartly

Overbathing will strip away natural oils and make shedding worse, but you still have to bathe them occasionally to get rid of loose hair and allergens. You should probably aim to do it about once a month unless they get into something super disgusting. Also, use a shampoo specifically made to eliminate loose undercoats and minimize future shedding.

When you’re cleaning them up, just remember to strike a balance between keeping them clean and keeping their natural oils intact. That way, you’ll do your part to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

3. Towel trick

After bathing your dog, you can use a simple towel technique to dry them off and reduce shedding. Gently rub a towel over your dog’s fur, following the natural direction of their hair. This not only dries them quickly, but it also helps capture loose fur, making your living space less hairy.

4. Diet detective

Taking care of your dog’s skin and coat involves paying attention to their diet. Prioritize foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or flaxseed oil. These nutrients help keep the skin and hair follicles healthy, reducing shedding and promoting a shiny coat.

To find the best diet for your dog, talk to your vet. They will help you choose a balanced and nutritious food that meets your pet’s individual needs. 

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Just like humans, dogs depend on enough water to support their bodily functions. To keep their skin smooth and shiny, ensure they have access to clean water throughout the day. This is especially important if your dog is shedding excessively, as water helps prevent skin dryness and promotes a glossy coat. 

6. Seasonal shedding support

During the spring and fall seasons, dogs shed a lot due to temperature changes. To minimize this shedding, you should brush them more frequently to remove loose fur and prevent excess shedding around your home. It’s also a good idea to give them a temporary omega-3 fatty acid supplement. This supplement provides essential nutrients that promote healthy skin and coat and reduce shedding. This seasonal shedding support will help your dog be more comfortable during transitional periods and ensure a cleaner living environment. 

7. De-stress your dog

Stress can cause your dog to shed more than usual and affect their mood. To prevent this, make sure they get enough exercise by playing, walking, or training with them. It’s also essential to keep their mind active by introducing toys that challenge them. 

By taking care of these things, you’ll create a happy and stress-free environment for your dog, minimize shedding, contribute to their overall well-being, and strengthen your bond.

8. Address allergies

If your dog is persistently itching or losing hair, it may be a sign of an allergic reaction. Consult your vet as soon as possible to help them feel better. They can perform allergy testing and suggest medication options that may provide relief. 

9. Keep cool in summer

purebred pug

When it’s hot outside, your furry friend may shed more than usual to stay cool. To help them out, set up some shade during the hottest parts of the day and make sure they have plenty of water to drink. You can also give them a spot with air conditioning to chill out in.

10. Medical checkup

In rare cases, excessive shedding can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition like thyroid disorders or Cushing’s disease. If you’re concerned about your dog’s health or the shedding seems abnormal, always consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Tools to deal with excessive dog shedding 

1. Best dog vacuum cleaner

Best overall

Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum Cleaner: This high-end cordless vacuum boasts powerful suction, a laser head that reveals hidden dirt and debris, and an anti-tangle hair screw that prevents clogs. It’s versatile enough to handle carpets, hard floors, and furniture, making it a great all-rounder for dog owners.

Best for budget

Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet Reach Vacuum Cleaner: This affordable upright vacuum offers strong suction, a rotating head for maneuverability, and a tangle-free brush roll specifically designed for dog hair. It’s a great option for those who want a powerful and pet-friendly vacuum without breaking the bank.

Best for hardwood floors

Kenmore 600 Series Friendly Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum: This canister vacuum features a motorized brush head that agitates and lifts dog hair from hard floors. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it ideal for quick cleanups.

Best for carpet

Shark AZ3002 Stratos Upright Vacuum: This cordless vacuum has a powerful motor and a self-cleaning brush roll that prevents dog hair from getting tangled. It’s also lightweight and maneuverable, making it easy to clean tight spaces.

Best for handheld

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Handheld Vacuum: This handheld vacuum is compact and powerful, making it perfect for quick cleanups of dog hair on furniture, upholstery, and car interiors. It also features a flip-over brush for easy cleaning.

2. Good dog shampoo for shedding

Best overall

Earthbath Green Tea & Awapuhi Pet Shed Control Shampoo: This gentle shampoo is formulated with natural ingredients like green tea, awapuhi, and oatmeal to cleanse, soothe, and nourish the skin while reducing shedding. It’s perfect for dogs with sensitive skin and leaves their coat soft and shiny.

Best for deep cleaning

FURminator Ultra Premium deShedding Shampoo for Dogs: This powerful shampoo features a dual-action formula that removes loose hair and undercoat while promoting healthy skin and coat growth. It’s ideal for heavy shedders.

Best for sensitive skin

Wahl USA Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs: This gentle shampoo is specifically formulated for dogs with dry, itchy skin. It contains soothing oatmeal and aloe vera to calm irritation and reduce shedding caused by scratching.

Best for longhaired dogs

Isle of Dogs Coature No. 20 Royal Jelly Dog Shampoo: This luxurious shampoo is designed for longhaired breeds and helps prevent matting while controlling shedding. It’s enriched with avocado oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter to leave your dog’s coat soft, silky, and manageable.

Best for budget

Burt’s Bees for Pets Natural Tearless Puppy Shampoo: This gentle, tear-free shampoo is perfect for puppies and dogs with sensitive skin. It’s made with natural ingredients like aloe vera and honey to cleanse and nourish the skin without irritating the eyes.

3. Good dog brush for shedding

Best overall

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool for Dogs: This brush is like a magic wand for fur! Its stainless steel teeth reach deep down to remove loose undercoat without damaging the topcoat. It’s perfect for all coat types and sizes.

Best for short hair

Le Salon Essentials Rubber Grooming Brush: This genius brush features rubber teeth that massage and stimulate the skin while removing loose hair. It’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive pups and doubles as a massage tool, keeping your dog relaxed and happy during brushing sessions.

Best for long hair

Andis 40160 Self-Cleaning Animal Slicker Brush: This brush is a lifesaver for longhaired breeds! Its slicker bristles detangle knots and remove loose hair effortlessly, while the self-cleaning button releases trapped fur with a single click. 

Best for budget

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush: This affordable brush does double duty with nylon bristles for detangling and removing loose hair, and boar bristles for adding shine and smoothing the coat. It’s a great option for budget-conscious paw-rents who want a basic yet effective brush.

FAQs

What months do dogs shed the most?

Dogs usually shed twice a year, during spring and fall. In the spring, they shed their thick winter coats as they prepare for the warmer weather. This may cause an increase in loose hair and fur balls at home. In the fall, dogs grow a thicker coat for warmth as temperatures drop. This is another period of shedding as they replace their lighter summer fur.

What can I feed my dog to stop shedding?

what human food can a dog eat

Feeding your dog a high-quality diet can significantly improve their coat health and reduce shedding. Follow these tips:

    • Choose dog food with at least 25% protein from real meat, poultry, or fish.
    • Look for food rich in omega-3s from sources like salmon, sardines, flaxseed, or krill oil.
    • Ensure their food provides essential vitamins and minerals such as biotin, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
    • Consider switching to a high-quality food formulated for your dog’s breed and age.
    • Discuss potential allergies or sensitivities with your vet and try a hypoallergenic diet to rule out potential allergens.

Does giving dogs baths help with shedding?

Regular baths can help lessen shedding in dogs by removing loose hair, promoting coat health, and reducing itching. However, be cautious of overbathing, which can lead to dryness and worsening shedding. Use gentle, dog-specific shampoos and rule out underlying health issues if shedding is excessive or sudden.

How often should a shedding dog be bathed?

To manage a shedding dog’s bath schedule, find the right balance between too much and too little bathing. Factors like breed, activity level, skin health, and coat type will determine the required bath frequency. For instance, high-shedding breeds like Huskies may need a bath every 4-6 weeks, while low-shedding breeds like Poodles may only need one every 6-8 weeks.

What is the best oil for dog fur?

To choose the right oil for your dog’s fur, you need to consider their specific needs. Fish oil is good for overall coat health and shine, while olive oil is great for preventing dryness. For calming itchy skin, use jojoba oil or coconut oil. Always use dog-safe oils, start with a small amount, and consult your vet before using any oil, especially if your dog has any underlying skin conditions.

Does coconut oil reduce shedding in dogs?

Coconut oil can help reduce shedding in dogs by moisturizing the skin, possessing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and conditioning the coat. However, it is not a guaranteed solution, and overuse will worsen shedding. Remember to use a small amount, choose dog-safe coconut oil, and monitor your pup for any signs of irritation.

Can I give my dog olive oil for shedding?

Olive oil can help reduce your dog’s shedding, moisturize their skin, add shine to their coat, and provide some omega-3 fatty acids. But if you use too much oil, their coat can become greasy and attract dirt. So, use it sparingly and choose extra virgin oil. 

Last but not least…

Unique tricks to teach your dog

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs

Etc.

Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.

About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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