As we keenly welcome the warmer days in Australia, dog owners also brace for the flurry of fur—the summer shedding season is upon us! If you’ve found yourself vacuuming more than usual or constantly lint-rolling your clothes, know that you’re not alone. Shedding is natural for dogs, especially as they prepare for the hotter months. Here’s what every dog parent should know to manage this furry situation better and keep their pet comfortable.
Understanding the ‘Why’ Behind the Shed
Firstly, it’s vital to understand that most dogs shed to some degree, and it’s a healthy process to renew their coat. As we transition into summer, dogs shed their winter coat to make way for a lighter, airier one, helping them regulate body temperature efficiently in the heat.
Regular brushing is the cornerstone of managing shedding. It helps remove dead fur, distributes natural oils throughout the coat, keeps the skin clean, and reduces the accumulation of hair on your floors and furniture. Depending on your dog’s coat type, different brushes may be required:
- A slicker brush works well for most breeds.
- A rake is suitable for dogs with thick undercoats.
- A bristle brush is beneficial for short-haired breeds.
During peak shedding periods, daily brushing is more effective in keeping the loose hairs under control.
The Role of Nutrition
A balanced diet contributes to a healthy coat. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve skin health and reduce excessive shedding. Consider discussing with your vet about incorporating fish oil supplements or flaxseed into your dog’s diet.
Hydration is Key
Hydrated skin is less likely to become dry, flaky, and itchy, which can exacerbate shedding. Ensure your dog has constant access to fresh water, and consider adding wet dog food to their diet to increase moisture.
Bathing: Timing is Everything
A clean dog is a happy dog, and regular baths can help loosen and remove excess hair. However, overbathing can cause dry skin, increasing shedding. Use dog-specific shampoo and try to limit baths to once or twice a month, unless they’re particularly dirty dogs!
Professional Grooming Services
Professional groomers have the tools and knowledge to efficiently manage shedding, particularly for breeds with specific grooming needs. They can also provide treatments like de-shedding shampoos and heavy-duty blow-drying that significantly reduce loose hairs. We have a team of highly trained, skilled and attentive groomers right upstairs that are more than willing to help!
Flea infestations can lead to scratching and increased shedding. As the weather warms up and fleas become more active, ensure your dog is up-to-date with their flea treatment to prevent these unwelcome guests.
Consult Your Vet
If your dog’s shedding seems excessive or they’re losing hair in patches, it’s best to consult your vet. Unusual shedding can be a sign of stress, hormonal imbalances, allergies, or other health issues.
Shedding can indeed be a hassle, but it’s a sign of a healthy, happy dog adapting to the changing seasons. With these tips in hand, managing your home (and your pet’s comfort) is bound to be a breeze. So, next time the fur starts to fly, just remember: it’s all part and parcel of the joy of having a loyal mate by your side!