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How to Control Shedding in Your Home

While we love our pets and think they are adorable, we don’t always love leaving our house full of our four-legged companions’ fur. Don’t fret, though! There are several ways to help control the amount of hair that is left around your home.

Reasons your pet may shed more than normal:

  • Seasons: You may notice that you find more hair lying around during warmer months and that’s because cats and dogs tend to shed more during the summer. It’s common for most animals to shed their winter coats when it starts to warm up outside to keep their body cooler.

  • Stress/Anxiety: Cats and dogs can get anxious for a variety of reasons. For example, if you recently moved and they haven’t fully adjusted yet or if you recently added another pet to your family. They will also shed more than normal if they are sick, especially if they are ill with a skin issue.

  • Over-grooming can occur with cats if they are stressed or anxious, causing them to excessively lick and pull their fur.

  • Allergies:

  • Cats can be allergic to several ingredients in cat food, such as soy, wheat, rice, corn, and gluten, as well as certain kinds of meat, causing them to shed more than the normal amount. Your veterinarian can give you suggestions of other types of food brands if you need help giving your cat a nutritional boost.

  • Providing a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids to your dog can help promote healthy hair growth as well as support joint, heart, and immune health. You should consult your veterinarian prior to starting your dog on supplements to determine if it would be beneficial to your dog.

  • Dehydration: Another reason your pet could be shedding more than usual is due to not getting enough water. Dry skin and coats are common in pets that are not drinking enough water, causing them to lose hair. Be sure to provide your pets with clean, fresh, cool water.

  • Breed: While the amount of shedding varies depending on the breed, some breeds are known to shed a ridiculous amount, while other breeds are known to barely shed at all. It’s important to keep in mind that cat and dog breeds that originate from colder climates have longer, thicker hair, causing them to lose more hair than other breeds throughout the year.

  • Cat breeds that shed the most: Bobtails, Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Siberians, and Himalayans

  • Cat breeds that shed the least: Ocicats, Bengals, Bombays, Burmese, Sphynx, Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Colorpoint Shorthair

  • Dog breeds that shed the most: Akita, Alaskan & Siberian Huskies, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, St. Bernard, Alaskan Malamute, and Great Pyrenees

  • Dog breeds that shed the least: Poodle, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Dachshund, Greyhound

Ways to control shedding:

  • Brushing

  • Dogs

  • Choosing the correct brush for your dog is very important. Different brushes work better for different breeds and coat types. The frequency you should be brushing them also varies from breed to breed – some dogs only need to be brushed once a month, while others should be brushed daily.

  • Bristle brushes are good for all coat types, although using a brush with more widely spaced and longer bristles on dogs with longer coats is more effective. If your dog has coarse hair, using a brush with stiffer bristles will work the best.

  • Wire-Pin brushes work best on dogs with curly, woolly coats that vary in length from medium to long.

  • Slicker brushes are made with fine wire bristles and are great for eliminating mats and tangles.

  • Combs massage your dogs’ skin and help get rid of dead hair from short-haired dogs.