Dog hair gets everywhere! Everyone wants to avoid having your couch, clothes, and carpets coated in hair.
To reduce the intensity of shedding it is important to brush your dog frequently. When your dog begins to shed, begin your de-shedding process to significantly reduce the amount of hair in your home.
Steps to Success
In order to de-shed your dog you will need to follow a simple, four-step system. This will effectively loosen, cleanse, and remove your dog’s loose coat. One long process, albeit messy and hairy, will prevent future messes!
- Pre-Brush – We will begin by removing the loose hair from our dog’s coats. Any hair that has already been shed and is simply trapped in your pup’s coat will be removed during this step. This will not remove all the hair, but it will help clean up their coat before we jump into the de-shedding.
- Bathe – An effective shampoo and conditioner will help loosen your dog’s shedding coat. It will also help soften and remove any mats or tangles from your dog’s hair. This step is extremely important, as washing the hair will loosen anything that has not been shed yet (this is the hair that would end up on your rug later). Once we have thoroughly shampooed and conditioned we can expect lots more loose hair.
- Blow Dry Coat – Drying your dog’s coat will continue to loosen the shedding hair. Leaving a densely coated dog’s hair wet can also potentially cause skin irritation or fungal infections. Drying out the coat will also continue to loosen the hairs that still need to be shed.
- Brush Again – This final step will remove all the shedding hair that we have loosened. Removing this hair now will keep your dog from shedding all over your floor! The more thoroughly you brush, the less hair you will have to clean up later on.
Tools of the Trade
Before we being our de-shedding process we will need to have the correct supplies.
The first is a good shampoo and conditioner. Choosing the wrong shampoo can result in the coat being incompletely loosened, leaving you picking up hair later.
The next is a good brush or rake. Using the incorrect brush can leave you wasting your time and fail to remove your dog’s shedding coat and can be very uncomfortable for your dog too.
Shampoo and Conditioner
You always want to purchase a good shampoo and conditioner for your dog that will not irritate their skin or eyes. It is also advisable to choose a formula made specifically for shedding. If chosen correctly, these products should greatly increase the amount of shedding hair loosened in one session.
Choosing the Correct Brush
Your brush choice will vary based on your dog’s coat type. For more information on grooming and your dog’s coat please see our Everything You Need to Know About Grooming article.
If you have a smaller dog, or your dog has a short coat, you can use a fine-toothed de-shedding tool. However, if your dog has longer fur, or is a larger breed, you will want to choose an undercoat rake with more separated teeth.
If you have a small breed or a dog with a short coat, you have a few options on shedding tools. FURminator makes a de-shedding brush with an easy button press hair removal tool.
Thunderpaws also creates a similar de-shedding tool that comes with a convenient blade cover. You will want to use your de-shedding tool carefully above the skin. Pressing the tool into the skin will irritate and possibly injure your dog.
If you have a dog with a long coat you will need something that covers a little more ground. An undercoat rake is the best bet to remove that pesky shedding hair.
Furminator creates an undercoat rake that has rotating pins to avoid pulling your dog’s hair. The rake should be used without scraping your dog’s skin. Instead, brush lightly just above the skin to avoid irritating your dog.
With the proper tools you can follow the above steps and remove most of that pesky hair! Simply brush to remove loose hair, wash to loosen tangles and shedding hair, blow dry, and brush again. That last brushing should remove the vast majority of your dog’s undercoat.
By following these steps you can keep your dog happy and clean while avoiding tangles and mats. You can also keep your clothes, furniture, and rugs safe from piles of loose hair!