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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.

  • Shedding tools are useful to remove dead hair from their coats, preventing tufts from drifting around your house.

  • Cats

  • The best way you can control the amount of hair around your home is by brushing your feline friend on a regular basis. A slicker brush is a good option, and when your cat is shedding more significantly you should use a de-shedding brush. By brushing your cat regularly, you help keep their skin and coat healthy; it also helps prevent hairballs.

  • If your cat is not a fan of the brush yet, let them gradually warm up to it - never force your cat to be brushed. A good way to get cats to warm up to the brush is leaving it out and letting them examine it on their own terms and rub their scent onto it. An added bonus? Brushing your cat is a great way to bond with them!

  • Vacuuming on a regular basis is one of the best ways to deal with pet hair. Purchasing a small, cordless vacuum is great when you have pets. They are lightweight and efficient. Here is a cordless vacuum option found on Amazon.

  • Bathing

  • Giving your pet, especially cats, a bath can be a daunting task. If you know that your cat is okay with being bathed, it can help with the amount of shedding by removing large amounts of loose hair. If your cat hates baths, using cleansing bath wipes is a great alternative to keep its coat looking great and to reduce excess shedding.

  • When bathing your dog, it will not only clean its coat, but it also helps remove dead hair. Using de-shedding shampoos and conditioners are a great way to hydrate your dog’s skin and fur because they contain moisturizers and omega fatty acids, which create healthier and stronger follicles. De-shedding shampoos and conditioners can also help loosen and get rid of your dog’s excess undercoat. Bathing and brushing your dog on a regular basis can significantly reduce shedding.

If you do notice your pet is shedding an excessive amount or has a noticeable amount of hair loss, you should visit the veterinarian. There are several medical conditions that can cause excessive shedding like parasites, fungal infections, stress, or sunburn, and it’s best to have your vet rule out any issues. We all want our pets to be healthy so they can have the best & longest life possible!

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