The popular dog breeds in most of the world are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers; they are all heavy shedders and dogs that require quite a bit of grooming. For those dog families lucky enough to own one of those dogs, and not willing to look for one of the hybrids or the less popular dog breeds that do not shed much, these five methods are sure to help.
Tips to Decrease Shedding in Dogs
- Use a raking brush on your dog often and thoroughly
- Feed your dog a balanced homemade raw diet
- Supplement your dog’s diet with an omega 3 fatty acid
- Supplement with coconut oil
- Feed eggs as part of the diet or as a supplement
1. Use a Raking and De-Shedding Brush on Your Dog Often
I know that many people end up with a large dog that sheds excessively but have no idea what the dog was going to be like at the beginning. A cute little Lab or Golden puppy does not have long hair, even a German Shepherd puppy looks deceptively easy to take care of.
So if you do end up with one of these companions, what do you need to do? The most important answer is to buy a raking brush and deshedding tool and use them every single day.
These grooming tools are designed to remove loose hair, both those that are dead and others that are close to falling out. If you spend a few minutes each day you can reduce shedding by up to 90%, and most of the groomers I have worked with recommend I also use a conditioner-type spray on my shedding dogs to improve the process. (Many of those sprays are available from Amazon or a pet superstore. Try one and find out what works for your dog—if you do not like the brand do not give up, just try another.)
You should do this every day; if the dog is groomed daily it will be more efficient and very little hair will be shed in the house. I recommend that this be done outside since the brushes and rakes work well and will make quite a mess. It will be a lot of added work just to vacuum up that much hair.
If you take care of your dogs in this way, the added benefit is that there will be a lot less allergens in the house where your dogs are spending much of their day. Anyone who suffers from dog hair allergies will notice an improvement right away.
2. Feed Your Dog a Balanced Raw Diet
One cause of excessive shedding is poor health. If you want your dog to be in optimal health and have a shiny coat indicative of good health, feed a raw diet that contains adequate protein, fat, and vitamins.
There are several dog foods out there that are labelled “holistic” and claim to be what your dog needs. Dog food manufacturers, however, are in the business to make a profit. Government agencies are there to support those companies. If you want to improve your dog´s coat and help control his shedding problem, the best thing you can do is feed your dog a raw diet made up at home.
The diet that you feed your dog will provide him with what he needs in the way that nature intended. He will not be getting cheap fillers like corn, soy, and wheat, nor will he be eating the rancid fats and preservatives contained in commercial dog foods.
There are numerous web sites available to teach you how to develop a balanced raw diet for your dog. If you would like to read about a paleo diet that I developed you can read about it here.
3. Supplement Your Dog’s Diet With an Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Some dogs have poor hair coats and shed excessively despite their adequate diet. If you choose to feed your dog one of the cheaper commercial diets he will definitely need an additional source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Even some of the better commercial dog foods that advertise “less shedding” and “fatty acids added” do not really have enough to give your dog a healthy coat that will shed less. Those companies are in the dog food business to make a profit, and they will add the cheapest source available and probably not meet your dog´s extra needs.
A little fresh fish in the diet might be enough, but if you do not have access to fish you can purchase salmon oil. The dosage recommended by the company may be a little high but it is not excessive, and this is an excellent method to improve the coat and keep your dog from shedding excessively.
4. Supplement Your Dog’s Diet With Coconut Oil
If you are feeding your dog a commercial diet, it probably has adequate vegetable sources and your dog is eating plenty of omega-6 fatty acids. Despite that, there are probably benefits to giving coconut oil to your dog. Any level of the omega-6 fatty acids that your dog is deficient in will be provided, along with a source of extra vitamins and antioxidants. The dog will have a healthier coat that will shed less.
If you have fresh coconut available, this is a great source of fats and vitamins. If you need to buy a commercial product you can add about a teaspoon for a medium-sized dog. (At this point there are no definite doses available, so just use this as a guide. Giving him a little more will not hurt.)
If you do have fresh coconut available, be sure to give your dog the water too. Coconut water has potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, B-vitamins, and even vitamin C. Humans use it as a natural sports drink, but I use it in my puppy milk replacer because of the vitamin levels. My adult dogs just drink it because they enjoy it!
5. Feed Eggs as Part of the Diet or as a Supplement
Although I am not really sure why this works, I do know that it has been recommended by dog breeders for a long time and is effective in improving the quality of the coat. It may just be because many of the commercial dog food diets out there are deficient in protein, or it may be because of the added levels of vitamins provided by eggs.
I do not mind giving my dogs raw eggs and when my hens are producing excessively the dogs usually benefit from raw eggs. Dogs have no trouble digesting raw eggs but some veterinarians will recommend dogs only eat cooked eggs, both because of the danger of intestinal infection and because of a slim possibility of a vitamin B deficiency. I do not agree since many of the healthiest components in the eggs are destroyed by cooking.
A shiny coat and less shedding are nice side effects of a raw egg added to the diet.
At the moment I do not have much of a problem with shedding in my house. I have Pitbulls, which are a short haired breed, and my small dog is a schnauzer, a dog breed that does not shed much. I use a deshedding brush once a day, all of my dogs eat a good diet of raw food, are supplemented with omega acids and coconut oil, and also get fresh eggs.
No matter what you do, some dogs are still going to shed more than normal. If none of these methods provide adequate shedding control the only alternative is to find a dog that does not shed much. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you do not want a shedding dog, and if you look around there are plenty of dog breeds available that do not shed much.
Most of the breeds available are small but there are some larger breeds available if you are willing to look.