If you are a pet owner, you no doubt experience shedding in your home. Honestly, pet shedding can be one of the more frustrating aspects of pet ownership especially if you own a long-haired breed. At times, it can almost seem that the shedding is literally taking over…..particularly in the winter. We’d like to “shed some light” on this subject for you and explain why dogs shed and what you can do to help minimize the hair that you see in your home during the periods when shedding increases.
Why do dogs shed?
First of all, shedding is completely normal and healthy for your dog. However, in order to understand the shedding process, it’s important to first understand a dog’s coat. A dog’s coat has two layers, the outer layer or overcoat and the more dense, insulating layer also known as the undercoat. A dog’s hair goes through three cycles:
- The Anagen phase where the hair grows
- The Catagen phase which is a transition phase
- The Telogen phase where the hair rests and dies
The hair that dies during the telogen phase falls off, which is known as “shedding.” There are certain times during the year when this telogen phase is dominant causing more shedding to occur. The increased shedding as winter approaches is to make room for a warmer coat for the dog during the cold winter months. You may also notice an increase in shedding during the spring as the winter coast gives-way to a lighter coat that will keep them cool in the warmer months of summer.
Interestingly enough, for dogs who primarily live indoors, the more consistent temperatures may make it difficult for their body to recognize the change of season and will therefore shed all year round.
How can I minimize my dog’s shedding in the winter?
Believe it or not, there are some things you can do to minimize the shedding you see in your home. First, daily brushing will greatly reduce the amount of hair you see on your clothing, furniture and carpet, especially during those seasons when shedding increases. Sure, it may take between 15-30 minutes of your time, but look at it this way, it’s either quality time you spend with your dog, or time you spend doing housework…..
Second, a poor diet can also contribute to excessive shedding. If you notice a foul smell to your dog’s skin, along with shedding, that might be a clue that his food is not providing adequate nutrients. To learn more about your dog’s diet, check out Our Comprehensive Guide to Dog Food. Also, regular vet visits are equally important since excessive shedding could also indicate other health problems.
The Holy Grail of fur control: Furminator.
Finally, routine grooming is an essential factor in staying on top of shedding and using the right tools can make all the difference. Here at Cascade Kennels, we offer the Furminator Treatment for those pets who are heavy shedders. A special Furminator solution is applied to their coat during the bath which helps to loosen the shedding hair. Then, the Furminator brush is used to reach deep under the top layer to remove the loose under-coat and reduce shedding.
If you’d like more information about our Grooming Services here at Cascade Kennels, give us a call. Our groomers will be happy to discuss the condition of your dog’s coat and help you determine the best service for your pet.