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Shedding Solutions

Shedding Solutions

You don’t need a calendar to know it’s spring: irises are blooming, schoolchildren are frolicking, and your furniture and clothes are covered in dog hair. Spring and fall are the two biggest shedding seasons for dogs. The changing temperatures signal that your furry pal needs to shed his coat so he can grow a new one more appropriate for the season. Dogs with undercoats, like retrievers, German shepherds, huskies and other northern breeds, are the biggest shedders, but every breed loses some hair. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to balls of fur all over your house. Here are some tips on how to reduce shedding.

• Brush. A daily, five-minute grooming can remove the excess hair Fido would otherwise deposit all over your new black pants. If you don’t have the time or patience to brush your dog every day, at least try to do it weekly with one of the new shedding rakes that reach all the way to your dog’s undercoat. CJ Puotinen, author of Natural Remedies for Dogs and cats (Gramercy, 2003), recommends Shed Ender and Furminator grooming tools.

• Bathe. A warm bath can loosen hair, which can then be brushed away.

• Vacuum. It sounds strange, but Puotinen says vacuuming her black Labrador, Chloe, with the soft brush attachment really helps remove excess hair.

• Supplement. Oils with omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids work on dogs just like they do on us—by keeping hair healthy and less likely to fall out. The makers of Shed-Stop, an EFA-enriched oil blend, claim their product won’t help seasonal shedding but can reduce light, year-round shedding by 70 percent. You can also try dumping a teaspoon of vegetable or fish oil on your dog’s food, but beware: It could cause loose stools. Or try giving your dog canned salmon. Be patient though—according to pet products manufacturer Doctors Foster and Smith, it will take at least two weeks and maybe as long as 12 weeks before you see results.

If your dog sheds a lot, all the time, or has bald spots, it may suffer from a more serious problem. Buddy could have a skin infection, ringworm, mange, hyperthyroidism, or Cushing’s disease. Consult your vet if you think your dog is losing too much hair.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Read more: Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, ,

By Vicky Uhland, Natural Solutions

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Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.

15 comments

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5:33PM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Thank you

5:02PM PDT on Oct 4, 2011

Any advice for cat people?

11:40PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

If you pet your dogs with moist hands, he'll love it and you'll probably remove most of the excess hair and fur. Frequent bathing is a really bad idea - it will just dry out your dog's skin and make him shed more.

7:00PM PDT on Jun 7, 2010

I'll just put up with my 6 dogs shedding and keep brushing them. I won't buy products made in China because of their animal cruelty and being a country with no animal welfare laws.

12:51PM PDT on Apr 24, 2010

thank you

4:43PM PDT on Jun 23, 2009

I make my own food for my dogs and i do the supplements they shed a little but,not much as i know it seems to be a problem this year.Also glad to hear theFURminator works well to.

11:01PM PDT on Jun 20, 2009

Thank you for the solutions. I have five dogs ... rescued strays just picked up off the streets. They are going through their spring shedding (though it's well into summer here, in India). The bi-annual shedding DID pose a bit of a problem.
Thank you once again.

8:12PM PDT on Jun 16, 2009

I have a kirby vacuum with a soft pliable rubber combing attachment. I also have a 15 year old dog rake, non-furminator, that reaches the undercoat but has very blunted tips that do not scratch the skin... My german shepherd mix actually takes very little time with the rake, and the kirby attachment does a nice tidy up....

4:21PM PDT on Jun 16, 2009

Susan B., Thank you. I didn't know the furminator was made in China. Will keep the one I have, but won't buy another one. Will also contact PetSMART. What a shame! It is a good product, but China's animal welfare record is dismal.

8:01AM PDT on Jun 16, 2009

I have just done some research and sadly found that the Furminator is Made in China. As a passionate animal advocate the only country in the world with no animal welfare laws is the one country I will not give my money to.

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