Dogs benefit from brushing regularly to remove shedding and loose hair as well as dead skin cells. Brushing also removes dirt and debris in the coat while distributing natural skin oils on the hair. Dogs with double coats shed twice a year and need extra care to remove the undercoat.
Grooming Your Dog
Things You'll Need
- Dog shampoo
- Coat spray
Step 1: Give Your Dog a Bath
Bathe your dog before a major grooming session to soften the coat and maximize the release of hair. Don't bathe your dog too often, however, as this can dry out his skin.
Step 2: Brush Your Dog
Brush your dog with a slicker brush with fine metal bristles to remove the undercoat, or an undercoat rake with extremely narrow teeth to remove the undercoat while leaving the long topcoat in place. Keep brushing in the same area until no more hair comes out in the brush or rake, then move on to another area to de-shed your dog completely. You can use this method daily to remove his shedding hair.
Step 3: Use Coat Spray or Conditioner
Use a coat spray or leave-in conditioner on your dog before grooming if you're not giving your dog a bath. It reduces static and softens the coat to facilitate the removal of hair. Mist the product onto your dog and brush him.
When your dog blows his coat twice a year, he will need grooming more often to remove loose hair before it accumulates in your home and on your clothes.
Weekly combing and brushing when your pet is not blowing his coat will help overall with shedding.
Brush your dog gently so as not to cause brush burn. This occurs when the bristles press against sensitive skin or on warts or other bumps.
Familiarize yourself with how much and when your dog sheds so you know what is normal for him. If he suddenly sheds at the wrong time or excessively, he will need a trip to see your veterinarian. Signs that your pet needs to see the vet include face rubbing, constant foot licking, dull and dry hair, thin coat or bald spots from excessive scratching or any skin irritation. Many things can cause excessive shedding in dogs, including:
- Poor nutrition
- Immune diseases
- Bacterial or fungal infections
- Skin allergies