It’s spring, the sun is out and the smell of fresh flowers is wafting in the air — along with a bunch of dog hair. As any canine owner knows, many dogs “blow” their coats around the solstice, which is basically a fancy way of saying they shed. A lot.
First, the Basics: Take Your Dog to the Groomer!
Some dogs blow their coat throughout the year (shout out to all the huskies out there!), but the average dog blows its coat twice a year when there’s a big change in the weather. Either way, Rona recommends that you get your dog groomed by a professional once a month. “Even if it’s a short-haired dog like a Lab, groomers have high-powered dryers that blow off dead coats,” she says. “They also have de-shedding tools.”
Also, Try Your Hand at DIY Grooming
Already panicking at the thought of spending money grooming your dog every month? Rona suggests the superaffordable ZoomGroom for pet owners trying to hack it at home — but keep in mind, it works best on short-haired dogs.
You can also try out the FURminator, but be careful with it: “For some dogs it works, like golden retrievers,” Rona advises. “But it’s kind of aggressive, and can end up scratching the skin.”
Make Sure to Hydrate Your Dog’s Fur and Skin
Just like Us, if a dog’s hair gets too dry it can experience breakage. So what you might think is a blown-out coat could (at least partially) be broken hair. The key? Plenty of oil and conditioner! “Their skin and coat should be hydrated,” Rona says. “Imagine just washing your face with a bar of soap and not moisturizing. It strips off the oil — which does get them clean — but if you don’t replenish the oil, the skin becomes so dry it won’t replenish on its own.”
Important! Don’t Shave Your Dog
A shedding dog is a sign of a healthy dog, so you don’t want to prevent the process from happening — you just want to make it as manageable as possible. One thing not to do? Shave super-furry dogs that have a double-coat (like goldens). “It’s a big no-no,” Rona says. “You’re taking off their insulation, and they need their coat to regulate temperature. A lot of people think the coat is like a sweater and the dog is uncomfortable, but each little follicle has little muscles under it which move the coat and helps the skin breath.”
What you want to do instead of shaving is get rid of packed undercoat with a good bath and brush-out, which will help open up the coat so the skin can breathe.
Also, Don’t Over Brush
If your dog is shedding up a storm, you might be tempted to brush it every day. But brushing your pup too much will scratch its skin, so a better option is using a special doggy blow-dryer. “A forced air dryer will just blow off that dead coat,” Rona says. “It’s such a great tool because it’s so gentle. A dryer is non-invasive and doesn’t hurt the skin, it just blows off hair.”
FYI, Rona points out that if you have a good groomer, they should be doing about 95 percent of the de-shedding process for you. Meaning it’s well worth the money.
Us Weekly articles and content are for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in Us Weekly articles and/or content is or should be considered, or used as a substitute for, veterinary or professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you believe your pet may have a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.
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