Dog Shedding

Dear Liz,

The tumble weeds of shedding dog hair are rolling through my house like it’s the Old West. A few friends are saying the same of their dogs. Why? What do I do?

Signed, Busy Broom

Dear Busy: Yepper! Everyone I talk with this summer says the same thing. Dogs are shedding in a BIG way. Not sure why but I’m thinking it might have something to do with the crazy weather we’ve been having.

Dogs usually shed in the spring and again a little bit in the fall. The reason they shed in the spring is to get rid of their winter coats and to cool them off in preparation for the summer heat. I’ve never figured out why they shed in the fall, though!

Anyway, this spring’s shed seems to have lasted into the summer in a big way. Their coats seem to be coming off in large sheets, like a sheep shearing!

Now, on to what you should do. There are many products out there labeled as shedding preventatives, or shedding reducers. Since the reason for the shed is to let the dog be cooler, it seems that preventing or reducing shedding just works against nature. I’d avoid these products for shedding reasons, but they do give the dog a nice coat!

I’d suggest just keeping up on brushing. I’ve found with my dogs that getting a fine comb and going against the hair growth pattern gets more out than going with the hair growth. I’ve also found that my dogs like it more! They do have “shedding combs” out there as well – but I like just a regular dog comb. Pick what you like, though and go for it.

Giving a bath actually helps in the shedding, too. For the first 24 hours after a bath, though, there will be an immense amount of hair flowing through your house, though! But it will be easier to comb out, too. Oh, and one more thing. We bought a Shop Vac instead of a vacuum cleaner. It’s GREAT for getting hair and it doesn’t clog the filter as much! There will be an end to this madness, though, come winter! Or at least I HOPE so!

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