As summer quickly approaches, memories of fur-coated pillows, bedding, and floors may begin to flood your mind. Although summer is typically the shedding season, say “no” to shedding this year by learning safe grooming practices and using top-quality accessories. At Active Hound, we’ve found that many people simply don’t understand the shedding process and are unaware of the available in-home solutions. We’ve made it our duty to educate customers and provide the best products on the market.
Causes of Shedding
Shedding is the process by which dogs naturally lose old or damaged hair. It is a normal process for all dogs, but the amount of hair and frequency at which each dog sheds can vary depending on a number of factors. Typical factors include the health of the dog, breed type, season, and location.
Many people complain that their dogs shed excessive amounts of hair. Do you feel the same way? If so, it could be due to any number of health factors. The following can cause abnormal hair loss or bald patches:
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Parasites, such as fleas, mites, or lice
- Food-related allergies
- Kidney, thyroid, liver, or adrenal disease
- Certain medications
- Auto-immune disease
- Sunburn or contact with irritating substances
Before jumping to any conclusions, it is best to speak with your veterinarian. Excessive shedding can be relative and is often directly related to the type of breed. If you notice a severe change in shedding behavior accompanied by skin irritation, open sores, bald spots, dry hair, scratching, or constant licking, consult with your veterinarian for treatment options. Otherwise, consider shedding to be a natural part of a dog’s life.
In-Home Grooming Essentials
In order to save money and time, consider in-home grooming as an alternative to expensive visits to the groomer. You can do almost everything the professionals do in the comfort of your own home, including bathing, brushing, and trimming.
- Bathing. The ASPCA suggests bathing your dog every 3 months. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, it may require more frequent baths in the summer months. Regular bathing can reduce shedding. It is suggested that you start by brushing your dog’s coat to remove dead hair and other loose particles. Next, place your dog in a bath tub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water. If you have access to a spray hose or nozzle, use this to wet the coat below the face. Only use shampoos that are specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoo can be too harsh on their skin. You should gently massage the shampoo into the skin, working from the head to the tail. After thoroughly rinsing, dry your dog with a clean towel.
- Brushing. This is one of the most important things you can do for your dog’s coat. By regularly grooming with a brush or comb, you can encourage healthy hair growth by removing unwanted dirt, oils, and irritants. You should purchase a brush designed for your dog’s coat type and consider supplementing with a deShedding tool.
- Trimming. To keep your dog looking good, feeling good, and shedding less, consider regularly trimming your dog’s hair. It’s best to gradually get your dog comfortable with grooming sessions. Start with short 5 minute sessions and increase the length over time. Be particularly careful with the tail, ears, feet, and belly, as they can be especially sensitive areas.
Dogs are similar to humans in more ways than one. Just as people have different hair texture, color, and length, so do dogs. You will want to carefully consider your dog’s hair type before choosing a brush. There are three basic types of brushes for dogs: bristle brushes, pin brushes, and slicker brushes.
Bristle brushes are the most basic form and can be used on any coat. The longer the coat, the more space you will want between the bristles. For coarse hair, choose a brush with stiffer bristles. Pin brushes are ideal for dogs with medium length and/or curly hair. Pin brushes have gentle stainless steel bristles that can remove tangles and knots. The third type – slicker brushes – have fine wire bristles that are typically close together and angled.
In addition to choosing the correct brush, follow a particular brushing technique. Depending on your dog’s coat type, this will vary.
Tips for a Better Grooming Experience
The above tips will decrease shedding and keep your dog comfortable this summer, but what if your dog doesn’t take to grooming well? Try following these simple tips to make grooming less of a nightmare and more of an enjoyable experience:
- Regularity. Think of grooming as part of the training process. Dogs need routine, consistency, and regularity to become familiar with something. If you only bathe and groom your dog a couple of times a year, you aren’t setting yourself up for success all that well. Make a habit of regular sessions and remain patient.
- Short Sessions. As mentioned, it’s best to start with short grooming sessions. Don’t expect to knock out brushing, bathing, and trimming all at once. Spend a few minutes grooming each day.
- Dedicated Room. If you have a small garage, laundry room, or storage room, consider making it your grooming station. An enclosed area is best because it reduces distractions and keeps your dog from walking away.
- Treats. If your dog responds well to treats, you can train it to associate rewards with grooming sessions. This can be an easy way to encourage obedience and cooperation.
At Active Hound, we carry an entire line of grooming tools and accessories. Whether you need dog friendly shampoo and conditioner, deShedding spray, grooming brushes, or any number of other products, we’ve got you covered! We are a family owned business based in the UK and dedicated to customer service. We think you will enjoy our flexible shipping options, which are always 100% free of charge to any UK address. Whether you need your order shipped down the street or across the globe, we will make it happen! Contact us today for more information.
As always, thanks for reading :-)
Zak Taylor (CEO)
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