Timothy just had an intense petting session with his pet dog Ginger. After all the belly rubbing and hugging, he found himself covered with dog hair, an everyday occurrence. Of course it was not only Timothy who found Ginger’s hair sticking on him, most often, the entire house would be covered in dog hair and his mother would be complaining about it in her annoying-yet-affectionate tone.
If you are a dog lover who has had your pet for many years, dogs shedding hair is just a normal process that you have learnt to cope with.
If you just got a dog as a pet and getting used to having it licking you and jumping around and suddenly found yourself covered in hair, CALM DOWN. It is only natural for your pet to shed hair and not something for you to panic over.
However, haven’t we all wondered why our pets tend to shed so much of hair and if it is possible at all to actually reduce it? Read on, to find out more.
Most people might reckon that hair shedding is a natural process for a dog, and they are absolutely right! It does not take a Darwin to figure that out. Just like humans, dogs are wont to shed hair and dead skin so that new skin can grow again. It has been noted by most experts that dogs usually shed hair in response to exposure to different intensity of light. For dogs that live outdoor, hair shedding varies according to seasonal changes. However for most of our domestic pets living indoors along with us, exposure to artificial light throughout the year is common, so they tend to shed hair round the year.
So, it is not always a cause for worry if your dog is shedding hair. However, certain breeds of dogs such as Poodles and Terriers don’t shed hair away from their body. Rather, their hair collects as a curly coat around their body to give them their beautiful and unique appearance, creating their aesthetic appeal.
The amount of hair loss as well as the frequency of hair shedding varies from breed to breed. Make sure you know and get accustomed to your dog’s type of hair shedding. It would be extremely handy if you think your dog is shedding more than usual or if it is a cause for concern.
Pregnancy in dogs is also another cause for dogs to shed their hair due to the hormonal changes that take place in their body. Most often, your dog might be shedding more than usual during that period. So take it easy.
When do you worry?
After you have acquainted yourself with your dog’s nature of shedding hair, if something unusual happens, you will definitely notice the difference. Suddenly your pet might be shedding more hair than usual or there might be excessive hair fall. In fact it might even leave a hairless patch on its skin which does not seem to grow hair again. That is definitely a cause for worry! Rush your dog to the Vet right away and find out what the problem is.
Reducing Hair Shedding
Let me tell you that there is a way for you to control the hair shedding that might cover every surface of your house, making cleaning a Herculean task. While you will not be reducing the amount of hair shedding, you will make it much more manageable.
The trick is- grooming!
Just regular brushing and combing your dog’s hair would go a long way. Some of the grooming tips you absolutely must pick up are listed below:
Brushing that hairy mane – Brushing your dog’s coat of hair is an effective way to catch the stray hairs before they settle on your floor carpet. Make sure you train your dog from a young age to enjoy the experience of being brushed. The right brush should be chosen according to your dog’s breed. Ensure that the brush is suitable for its hair coat. Start brushing from its head to tail, in the direction in which the hair grows, in short strokes.
Combine combing- Combine combing when you brush your dog. After you are done brushing, combing is an effective way to catch hold of the excess hair that might have been missed while brushing it out. Wide toothed metal combs are useful tools while grooming your pet. You could wear shedding gloves while you are at it, which will pick up the stray hair.
No Long Strokes- Dogs have very thick hair on their coat and long strokes are not really going to help combing out the loose hair. Use short strokes that go deep while brushing and combing your dog. It is wise to comb your dog in the direction of its hair growth, and after that against it. This ensures that no hair is missed when you are combing it out.
Regular baths help- If your dog has a thick double coat, brushing or combing It might be irritating. A bath will help to loosen the hair on your dog’s coat and a wet dog will be easier to brush. However even before you bathe your dog, make sure you brush him out slightly to prevent the formation of mats on his hair coat. Otherwise, you are just going to have twice the amount of work cut out for you.
Dog Diet Check- It shows if your dog’s diet is not making it healthy and if your pet is malnourished. Excess hair shedding is an indicator of malnourishment. Ensure you provide your dog with healthy food to meet its dietary needs. A glossy hair coat is what your pet needs, and if you feed it well, it will have it in no time!
Just a few of these grooming tips, along with a healthy diet, you could have that hairy mess in your house under control. However, look out for any unusual hair shedding which might be a symptom of something much more severe. Then, it is time for a visit to the vet!