If you’ve lived with a dog for long enough, you know that eventually you’re going to find little tumbleweeds of fur rolling around your home. No, it’s not the wild west in there. It’s just dog shedding season.
All dogs will shed part of their coat depending on the season and the type of coat they have. There are things you can do to ensure your home keeps clean during that time though.
Today we’ll discuss the dog shedding season and how you can make it a little easier on you and your dog.
What is Dog Shedding Season?
Each breed of dog has a specific kind of coat that will shed a specific amount. No two dogs will be the same. This is the result of the unique character of each dog.
Long ago when dogs were used in the field, they had to adapt. Dogs were put to work, and this means a lot of time outside. Whether the dog was a shepherd or a hunter, they would have to be ready for any kind of weather that would come.
This means that during cold months, a dog would have to grow a warmer coat. Then in the spring, they’d have to get rid of that coat. By growing and losing hair with the seasons, dogs have been able to survive even in some of Earth’s toughest environments.
Today, it’s hard to imagine your couch potato mushing through the Arctic. Even so, many breeds of dogs have retained this trait. This means that springtime is when many breeds need a little extra help shedding their winter coats. Some breeds even need help shedding their summer coats when the weather turns cool.
Which Breeds Shed the Most
It’s important first to point out that ALL dogs shed. Even dogs that are said to be hypoallergenic will shed a small amount of hair. Many of the dogs that shed very little will shed all year. Then there are dogs who are known to shed a lot.
Dog shedding season can be difficult for the owners of Golden Retrievers, Newfoundland’s or German Shepherds. These dogs can usually use a brushing each week, but during shedding season you might consider a daily brushing. As a rule of thumb, dogs with a double coat are going to shed more. The type of coat your dog has is going to change the way you should groom them.
How to Groom a Shedding Dog
Generally, the idea for dealing with a shedding dog is to brush them of course. You want to try and loosen as much dead hair as you can from their coat so you can brush it away. Otherwise you’ll be left with their hair falling off all over your home. It’s much easier to keep things clean if you take care of it at the source.
But what brush should you use? You first need to look at their coat. There are two types of coats for our purposes, long and short.
Brushing Long Coat Dogs
For dogs with long coats like Collies or Pomeranians, you’ll need a brush that can penetrate deep into their coat. It’s kind of a waste of time to brush their coat and only penetrate halfway down. You’ll be leaving dead hair deep in their coat. Here are a couple tools for you to consider using:
- Slicker Brush – The slicker is made of very thin bristles that are set at an angle.
- Coat Rake – A coat rake is made of small plates that are used to hook the dog’s loose hair.
- Shedding Tool – Most shedding tools are made of a plate that has teeth ground into them. The teeth of these tools are sharp enough to “grab” loose hair.
These tools are slightly different, but their purpose is to accomplish the same task. The idea is to get as much loose fur out of your dog’s coat and toward the very top of their fur so it can be removed.
Brushing Short Coat Dogs
When grooming dogs with short coats, there are a few specialized tools you can consider using.
- Natural-Bristle Brush – A natural-bristle brush is gentile so as not to harm your dog. It is also great at getting loose hair to the surface where you can brush it away. Try brushing your dog is the opposite direction of hair growth to pull out dead hair. Brush in the direction of growth to help remove the loose hair. This will also help distribute your dog’s natural oils for a lustrous coat.
- Hound Mitt or Grooming Glove – This glove has small nubs on it to help loosen and remove hair. While wearing the glove, pet your dog’s coat in a circular motion. This will loosen the hair. Then brush in the direction of hair growth to remove the hair.
A not so specialized tool you can also use is your vacuum. Some dogs are terrified of the vacuum. For them, bet just to stick to regular brushings. If your dog tolerates the vacuum, you can even try brushing them with the soft bristle attachment.
Once you loosen their dead fur, you’ll be able to easily brush it away and keep your home much cleaner during this dog shedding season. In addition to cleanliness, you’ll relieve allergy symptoms if anyone in your home suffers from dog allergies.