The site was last updated on

24 Aug 2000

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How to Control Shedding

You can't stop shedding completely, but you can help to control it before it ends up all over your house. The key to controlling shedding is daily brushing and combing, which not only helps to remove dead hair, but keeps your dog's coat and skin in top condition.

Shedding is a very normal occurrence for your dog. Some dogs shed more than others. Shorthaired dogs such as Labradors and Doberman Pinschers shed year-round and should be groomed once or twice a week. Longhaired dogs don't shed any more than shorthaired dogs but with hair that can be 10 times as long as a shorthair's, the shedding piles up quickly. Longhairs also require more grooming -- daily -- in order to keep their coats smooth and tangle free. If your dog is an outdoor pet, you may find that he sheds his 'winter' coat in the spring, rather than shed all year round like indoor dogs. If you would like a dog that sheds less and requires less grooming, consider a Poodle, Bichon Frise, or Old English Sheepdog.

Smooth Coats (Boxer):
Frequency: 1-2 times per week.
Start with a rubber brush to loosen the dead hair and surface dirt. Follow with a bristle brush to remove the dead hair. Use a conditioner to keep the hair soft.

Silky Coats (Terrier):
Frequency: 3-4 times per week.
Start with a slicker brush to remove tangles. Follow with a bristle brush to distribute the natural oils and give your pet's coat a healthy shine. If you need to trim your dog's hair, first use a comb to comb the hair straight down.

Long Coats (Sheepdogs):
Frequency: Daily.
Start with a slicker brush to remove tangles and mats. Follow with a pin brush to ensure that there are no large tangles left. And complete with a wide toothed comb to remove all small tangles.
If you still find the shedding around your house excessive, you may need to take more reactionary measures. Washable dog blankets on chairs and couches are very popular. You might also consider stocking up on anti-dust spray for your hardwood floors and counters. And of course, you can always purchase Pet Hair Pick-Ups.

Note: If your dog sheds to the point where bald patches begin to show through the fur, you should consult a veterinarian.

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