How can I prevent my dog from shedding?

Nearly every dog breed sheds, but those with thicker coats shed a greater volume of hair which can be more annoying. For some dogs, it can be a big problem, and they end up covering their owner's house in dog hair. When your dog sheds will also vary based on the breed - many breeds shed only seasonally, and the natural cycle is usually to shed in spring as the dog loses its winter coat. However, because many dogs live indoors, this cycle gets disrupted by the air conditioning and heating, and they will shed year round.


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The very first thing to check for is a health problem. Most dogs won't have one, but a lot of people go looking for solutions because they are seeing excessive shedding. There are some problems that can cause this in dogs - ringworm, mange, and some skin infections are big problems, and fleas can cause irritation and biting that may lead to shedding. Look for bald spots or skin discolorations. Scaly-looking skin is another bad sign. If you see any of this, your dog is shedding because of a health problem - take it to the vet.

Ways to Reduce It:

Shedding can be reduced fairly easily, but you have to spend time grooming your dog to do it. Basically, there are two different aspects of this: combing and brushing the dog regularly and cutting the hair. Combing and brushing are important to get loose hair out of the dog's coat. For many dogs, this is enough alone - all you need to do is sit down and do it once or twice a week. Instead of getting fur on your stuff, you'll get out most of the loose hair on the brush. For some dogs, you also need to trim the hair. This is mainly if the dog has longer hair - brushing may not be enough, and giving it regular trims will keep the hair length down and also can keep the dog from shedding as much because its coat will not be as thick and will be less likely to trigger the body to shed.

Grooming can be a huge topic all on its own. Each breed has different needs and techniques. Your best bet if you've never done it is to go get a guide:

This one is $13.00 here and covers 150 different breeds, so it will probably have tips for your specific dog's fur.

You should also get grooming tools. You need a dog brush, a dog comb, and clippers if you're going to cut the hair. If you're planning on trimming your dog's coat, then it's best to just get a dog grooming kit:

This one is $57.59 here online and has pretty much everything you'd need. If you're just going to brush out the loose hair, then it's cheaper to just get a dog comb and a dog brush.

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Text copyright 2005-2006 and may not be reproduced without consent. This is not the official web page of any of the products listed on this site, this is a review page created by an individual. It is not by a vet, and is meant to be informative and not to substitute for a vet's advice - always consult a vet if you suspect a health problem.