Your dog’s dropping hair everywhere.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ve been driving yourself nuts trying to keep your home clean and hair free!
It’s a never ending job. But thankfully, there are some simple and effective ways to significantly reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds.
And in this article, I’ll walk you through each method in detail, so you can get your dog’s shedding under control, once and for all!
How To Stop Your Dog Shedding Excessively [7 Ways]
The truth is, there’s no “magic solution” to stop excessive dog shedding.
And you cannot stop your dog losing hair completely either, no matter how determined you may be. Trust me, I’ve tried!
Shedding is actually a “good” thing though.
The loss of at least some dead hair, is perfectly normal among healthy dogs. So this is something you should get comfortable with going forward.
With that being said, there are some ways you can significantly reduce shedding, to a point it is hardly noticeable.
And here they are:
- Groom your dog regularly
- Feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet
- Take control of fleas
- Use a natural home remedy (that actually works)
- Regularly exercise your dog
- Use supplements to reduce shedding
- When all else fails, visit your local veterinarian
Read on to see how each method can effectively reduce shedding.
1) Groom Your Dog Regularly
Grooming is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of ways to reduce shedding.
And for good reason. Regular bathing and brushing can reduce excess hair loss and stop a lot of unwanted dog hair showing up around your home.
So let’s start with bathing your dog…
Bathing Your Dog
Regular bathing is an excellent way to wash out those loose hairs on your dog and keep your dog’s skin in optimal health.
With that being said, you shouldn’t bathe your dog too much.
Because this can cause dry and irritated skin, which happens to be one of the main reasons for excessive shedding to begin with.
So, how much bathing is too much?
Generally speaking, bathing your dog once every 4 weeks or so is good, depending on how smelly and dirty he is.
It’s also important to use a quality dog shampoo that hydrates the skin. Never use a cheap shampoo just to save a few bucks, they often contain chemicals that can lead to dry, irritated skin.
Look for soap-free moisturizing shampoos containing all (or mostly) natural ingredients from trusted brands.
Ingredients such as Oatmeal and Aloe Vera are great for adding moisture to your dog’s skin. As well with Glycerine which can help the skin retain more moisture.
Also avoid using human shampoos where possible.
Because your dog’s skin is actually more sensitive than ours. But if you must, baby shampoo can do the trick!
Brushing Your Dog
Regular brushing is one of the best ways to reduce shedding that you could have in your arsenal. You can brush your dog everyday, or even multiple times per day if required.
You don’t just wanna use any old brush though!
It’s important to use the right type of grooming brush for your dog. And one that will effectively remove dead hair from her coat. Without causing irritation or unnecessary discomfort.
But with so many grooming brushes and deshedding tools on the market, choosing the right one for the job can be quite challenging.
Which is why we put together this list of our top 5 shedding brushes for 2019 and buyer’s guide, to help you out.
Ultimately, deciding which brush or tool is best to use for your dog, comes down to your dog’s coat. Because there are many different coat types.
So it’s important to choose the right tool for the job.
All of these dogs have different coat lengths, textures and shed at different levels.
Now that’s not to say you need to know every little detail about your dog’s coat and the different brushes available, to successfully groom her.
But it does pay to know the basics.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common dog brushes and what coats they are suited to…
Pin brushes are among the most commonly used dog brush, and can be good for dogs with medium to long, or curly hair. They look similar to regular human hair brushes and come in various shapes and sizes.
Bristle brushes can be used on just about any type of coat depending on the makeup of the individual brush.
For example, short tightly packed bristles are great for short haired dogs. Whereas longer, more widely spaced bristles tend to work better on longer haired dogs.
The slicker brush is particularly useful for working out matts and tangles on medium- long haired dogs. Or curly haired dogs for example.
They come in many shapes and sizes and consist of fine wire bristles. Which means you should use these with care so as not to cause your dog pain or irritate the skin.
You can also use a de-shedding tool, like the Furminator for example. Which works incredibly well for removing excess pet hair and reducing shedding. This tool is made up of one row of tightly packed pins, much like a comb.
It works by removing loose hair from the topcoat and undercoat in a single motion, and it is suitable for most hair types.
They are more expensive than a standard brush, but they work very well, and they can make your life easier.
Anyways, this is by no means an exhaustive list. But it does give you a basic idea of some of the most common types of dog brushes available.
Whatever brush you use, the most important thing is to get the job done without irritating your dog’s skin. And of course, try to maintain a good routine.
A quick 3-5 minute brush each morning with your coffee or an evening session when your dog is laying around is all it takes!
2) Feed Your Dog a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Feeding your dog the right food is essential to his overall health and well being. But it also plays a large role when it comes to reducing shedding.
The first and most obvious thing to point out here is that you want to feed your dog quality dog food. Because cheap foods really are just that… cheap.
It may be kinder to you wallet for now, but a low quality food can often be the root cause of health problems which can in turn cause a higher level of shedding.
Which can end up costing you more money and issues down the road.
Low quality dog foods are often packed with cheap fillers such as rice and grains, with bare minimum nutritional value.
On the other hand, quality dog foods contain a good percentage of quality meat and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. The ones your dog needs for optimal health and well being.
The ideal food is one with a healthy balance of protein and fat, with relatively low carbohydrates. You also want to consider a dog food that is high in omega 3 fatty acids such as Tuna and Salmon, and plant based Omega 3 such as Flaxseed.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for helping reduce shedding, because they provide your dog’s skin and coat with the moisture it needs to be healthy.
It’s not all about food though. Make sure your furry friend is getting the water he needs too. This may sound pretty obvious and you likely already do this.
But hydration is very important for any healthy dog, or human for that matter! Adequate water intake will improve your dog’s natural skin hydration, which can help with excess hair loss.
3) Take Control of Fleas
Almost all dogs get fleas at some point and it’s always a good idea to stay on top of this with a good flea treatment.
The reason this relates to shedding, is because your dog will scratch when infested with fleas, which leads to irritated skin, which in turn leads to excess shedding. In most cases, a flea treatment in conjunction with a flea comb is all you need.
However, sometimes the problem can be worse and your dog may need more than this.
One of the most common dermatologic diseases in household dogs throughout the US is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). Believe it or not, just a few (literally a few) flea bites can cause untold skin irritation for your pooch, even weeks after you get rid of nasties!
Rather than the actual bite itself, it is the saliva of the flea which triggers the allergic reaction that results in itching, skin irritation, and even excessive shedding or acute hair loss.
Contact your local vet immediately if you notice redness, patchy balding or scabs and take appropriate measures to reduce your dog’s exposure to fleas.
4) Use a Natural Home Remedy (that actually works)
One cost effective home remedy to help with shedding is simply adding a couple of teaspoons of organic Flaxseed or Olive oil to your dogs food each day.
This can give your dog the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids he needs which can help with dry, irritated skin. It can take up to a few weeks or more to start seeing results, but (provided you use the right oil) can be a great way to go.
Some people prefer to use Coconut oil to help with shedding, or even fish oil, instead of Olive oil.
Whatever you choose it’s best to use a high quality organic oil if possible.
You can apply the oil topically or orally. The first way is simply applying the oil directly onto your dog’s coat, while the latter is a matter of applying a the oil to your dog’s food each day.
In most cases, a teaspoon will do the trick, but it does depend on the size of your dog, his constitution and the type of oil.
If in doubt, seek the advice of your local vet.
5) Regularly Exercise Your Dog
Regular exercise is super important for you dog’s health, and will definitely help with shedding. It goes without saying that a healthy dog will have a healthier coat, but this can also reduce stress.
Your dog is less likely to be self destructive, biting and scratching, if he’s well exercised. A brisk walk each day is a good goal to aim for and can make the world of difference.
6) Use Supplements To Help Reduce Shedding
This really is more of a last resort, and one you should absolutely not do without checking with your vet. But there are some worthwhile supplements out there that can help reduce shedding.
It’s not worth buying into any products claiming to completely stop the problem though. Much like the “magic pill” people search for when it comes to losing weight, it simply doesn’t exist- or it’s not good for you!
With that being said, supplements can reduce excessive hair loss when used appropriately. Choose something with natural ingredients, that is rich in vitamins, minerals, selected herbs and the right type of oils.
7) When All Else Fails, Visit Your Local Vet
If you’ve tried everything and/ or you are genuinely concerned it could be a health problem, you should absolutely contact your local veterinarian.
It is possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction to food or the environment and, while a lot less common, there can be serious underlying health issues which cause excessive hair loss.
If you are seeing balding, redness, scabs and/ or notice foul smelling spots on your pup, you may have a bigger problem and it may be time to visit to you local veterinarian practice.
Your dog will shed hair to some extent, it’s only natural. And let’s be honest, cleaning up all that loose hair is frustrating and time consuming!
But the good news is, by following these simple and effective methods of reducing shedding, you’ll be living in a hair free home in no time.
Updated: October 3, 2019