Dog Hair, Don't Care (actually, we kind of care)
Spring is upon us! The pretty flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the DOG IS SHEDDING. Holy dog hair Batman! Georgia, my English Bulldog, leaves a trail of white hair everywhere she goes. So, if you're like me, then you have probably been sweeping up piles of dog hair about 10 times a day, minimum. It's great. But, it's par for the course. Dog's coats are very versatile and adapt to changes in temperature. In the colder months, the "winter coat" comes in to aid in keeping the dog warm. As it starts to warm up in the springtime, the coat loosens and begins to fall out, essentially thinning the fur, making the dog cooler. Many heavy and double coated breeds shed multiple times throughout the year.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways we can tackle this beast. A good ol' scrub down in the tub at home is a good start. This will help to loosen any stubborn undercoat hairs clinging on for dear life. If it is nice and warm outside, a hose bath with a sprayer attachment works well, too. Make sure you are always rinsing your dog thoroughly, as left over shampoo residue can cause major skin issues. After your pup is squeaky clean, and has had some time to dry, you'll want to use a de-shedding tool. These are common pet care items that can be found at most pet stores. Start at the neck and work your way down the back, sides, and chest. You should see quite a bit of hair coming off. Keep brushing until the bulk of the undercoat is gone. You will most likely want to do this every other week or so.
Of course, the best option would be to make an appointment for your dog with your groomer. We have a 3-step process that utilizes products specifically formulated for de-shedding, and it works wonders. It is not uncommon to walk in on our Groomer's Assistant, Taylor, drying a Husky or German Shepherd, wearing safety goggles and a mask, standing smack dab in the Eye of Hurricane Undercoat. There is hair blowing EVERYWHERE. And, usually, a happy dog on the table, who probably feels like he just lost about 10 lbs. We then finish the job with a thorough brush-out using a high end de-shedding tool.
No matter which method you choose for de-shedding your dog, just make sure that you do it on a consistent basis. Heavy undercoat that is left on the skin too long can become packed and matted leaving room for an assortment of health issues such as hotspots, fungus, dandruff, and many more. You can also talk to your Veterinarian about a diet that promotes a healthy coat, as well as supplements that boost the skin and coat condition, such as fish oil. I hope these tips will help you to overcome this shedding season, and will also give the vacuum a much needed break!
Best wishes and Happy De-shedding!