Monday, July 8, 2013

What can I do about my shedding dog?



 Well, it is summer here in the western hemisphere of our planet. With the warmer temperatures, your little buddies will shed more than in the winter months.

Certain breed also tend to shed much more than others. German Shepherds and Labradors tend to shed larger amounts of fur than some other breeds. The Lovely Shane may not believe this based upon the hair that accumulates around the Dog Trainer shack, but, Beagles are fairly moderate shedding dogs. Cuddles, our Corgi mix barely sheds at all.

I once had a lab/pit bull mix named Critten. She was a big time shedder!

A little more hair shed this time of year is normal. However, excessive shedding can, in some cases indicate a medical problem. This is particularly true if there are also other symptoms such as excessive scratching, skin irritation, etc. Our friends at the ASPCA have some information on their website that lists other symptoms for which to be on the lookout. The information may be obtained at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-shedding.aspx .

I have mentioned before that our Whopper Beagle, Copper has a thyroid problem that we treat with medication. Before he was diagnosed, one of his symptoms was excessive shedding. Since he has been on the medication, he does not shed nearly as much and his coat is much brighter and softer.

Excessive shedding can, in some cases, be caused by insufficient nutrients and can be treated through diet or supplements. Only your veterinarian can diagnose this for certain however.

There are things that can be done to control the normal summer time shedding.

I have found that regular brushing is a very effective way to cut down on the amount of shed hair that we find in the shack. The Lovely Shane and I do our best to routinely brush our little guys. The way we do it is that we brush them on the back porch just before they come in to the shack. I use a slicker brush(similar to the red one in the picture)
. It is the type of tool that I have used for many years on Beagles. You must be careful not to scratch the dog's skin with the bristles but once you get the feel for it you will have no trouble.

The slicker brush however, is not the tool that most professional groomers that I know recommend. Most groomers that I know recommend a tool like the Zoom Groom (the blue one in the picture). It is made of some sort of rubber like material. The bristles will never cut into the skin.

There is a great deal of hype about the Furminator (the yellow tool in the picture). It is a good tool but I can not justify the outrageously high price for my use. I have also been cautioned by some of the groomers that I know to be very careful with the blade on these things because they can be rough on the skin.

When I worked for Petco we did a remodel. As a result of this remodel we replaced some of the items that we previously carried with similar items in different sizes. There was quite a good clearance sale on much of the stuff we were no longer carrying. I picked up a bottle of spray on conditioner that was suppose to control shedding. I got it for almost nothing. I tried it and in my experience the stuff works very well. Petco still carries it in a different size than I purchased. The same sort of stuff can also be sourced from many other places.

The Lovely Shane and I have very little carpet in the shack here. Our goal is to have no carpet at all. We have mostly wood and vinyl flooring. This may be extreme for you and I am not suggesting it for everyone, we just find that it makes clean-up exponentially easier.

Something that I do recommend is changing or checking your central air conditioning filters very often this time of year. You will probably be surprised how much dog hair get sucked up by the returns on your AC system.

Remember, if you have any dog training needs or dog related questions or concerns, please contact me at any time.


Till next time

-William -

William Moore
William Moore Canine Training
fayettedogtrainer@gmail.com
678-702-4791