Three Step Guide to Stop Excessive Pet Shedding!
Whether it's coating your furniture, sticking to your clothes, or floating into your food, nobody likes to deal with the messy realities of pet shedding! Beyond the obvious nuisance and cleaning issues, pet hair and the dander associated with it can trigger or aggravate human allergies that make having pets in the home far less enjoyable or even impossible. Excessive shedding can also cause significant health-related hairball issues for cats.
The good news is that with the right approach, pet shedding CAN be both reduced dramatically in volume and contained to certain periods of the year. For best results, just follow this simple three-step approach:
Step 1: Get your pet onto the best quality diet possible!
Every week, we have customers come into store looking for a shampoo that will cure their pets' dry, flaky skin and excessive shedding. Unfortunately, a "magic shampoo" does not exist, but you can solve skin and coat issues through diet - from the inside out, rather than the outside in!
Dogs and cats that eat cheap pet food laden with fillers lack high-quality protein and fats (especially beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids) in their diet that support healhy skin and coat. Typically, within one to two months after switching to a food with higher quality ingredients, we see a dramatic improvement in the quality of the coat coupled with a major reduction in "daily" shedding. An additional dietary option is to boost Omega-3 fatty acids further with a product such as Salmon Oil, which helps the skin retain hair longer before it falls out. Longer-haired dog or cat breeds or those with substantial undercoats will still have "seasonal" shedding twice per year in the Fall and Spring, but Steps 2 and 3 below will help you minimize the amount of shedding that you notice when it comes.
Step 2: Use a De-Shedding Tool, such as a FURminator, during periods of "seasonal" shedding!
Even on the best quality diet, certain breeds of cats and dogs with long hair or dense undercoat will still shed in the Spring and the Fall for a period of several weeks to a month. Think of it as your pet taking off their winter coat as the weather warms and putting in back on (and pushing out their Summer haircoat in the process) when temperatures start to fall.
These periods of seasonal shedding are the perfect time of the year to use a "De-Shedding Tool" - a specially designed comb, to get up to 90% of loose hair off your pet FAST. These tools, most notably the FURminator, are designed to pull dead hair from your pet's outer haircoat as well as penetrate into the dense, downy undercoat. With a De-Shedding Tool in hand, you can easily remove an unbelieveable amount of hair from your pet in just minutes (you can fill one to two platic grocery bags full of hair in one sitting from double-coated large breed dogs)! This process could easily take an hour or more (depending on the size of your pet) with a regular comb and brush.
Step 3: Give your pet a bath with a high quality shampoo after their De-Shedding treatment!
Using a De-Shedding Tool will dramatically accelerate the seasonal shedding process. Following your de-shedding session with a bath will loosen any remaining hair to be shed and remove dander from the coat. Use a quality moisturizing shampoo with beneficial ingredients such as almond oil or oatmeal to soothe the skin and add sheen to the fur. Thoroughly working the lather into the coat with your fingers or a rubber curry brush will help loose hair come out during the bathing and drying process.
With this plan of action in mind, you don't have to "dread the shed" any longer! Managing your pet's shedding will become far less painful than a clean the house as you go proposition - as diet, de-shedding, and bathing will make a difference in your pet's shedding patterns that you will notice right away and appreciate for years to come!