There is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t shed and doesn’t leave some kind of smell behind. Although some dogs shed and smell more than others, dog shedding is an inevitable part of owning a furry friend. It can be frustrating for dog owners, but shedding is essential for dogs. That’s how they get rid of old or damaged hair, making way for new hair. This will help them keep their coats full, warm, and healthy.
It’s also important that dogs don’t keep any loose hair trapped in their coat as it can get matted, trapping dirt, debris, and oils close to their skin which can lead to skin issues. Although you can’t stop your dog from shedding and leaving some smell and loose hairs around the house, there are some things you can do to make it a bit more manageable.
1. Feed a balanced and healthy diet
To help your dog keep a healthy coat, you’ll need to feed it a healthy diet. That means feeding high-quality food with high-quality protein which can help make your dog’s hair follicles stronger. More resilient hair follicles will help minimize hair shedding caused by undernourished fur. Another important aspect of nutrition is hydration. Dehydrated skin is one of the major causes of hair loss in dogs which can lead to increased amounts of loose fur around your house. To avoid this, ensure your dog always has fresh water available.
If you want to go above and beyond when it comes to your dog’s diet to reduce dog shedding, there’s one more thing you can do which is to give your dog a fatty acid supplement. Fatty acids such as omega-3 can help promote healthy skin and hair growth. A simple way to give your dog this supplement is by adding salmon oil to your dog’s dry kibble.
2. Brush your dog using the right tools
Brushing your dog regularly is key to catching those sneaky loose hairs before they hit the ground and help keep your dog’s coat softer and cleaner. The more you brush your dog, the more hair you’ll be able to remove and that’s less hair for your dog to spread around your house. This is especially important during the shedding seasons of fall and spring and for dogs with long-haired coats. The longer your dog’s coat is, the more often you should brush it.
You may even need to resort to shedding tools if your dog has a double coat like Pomeranians or Huskies. These shedding tools can help remove dead hair from your dog’s extra undercoat fur. It’s important to note that not all dog coats are made the same, so choosing the right brush for your dog’s coat is essential.
3. Bathe your dog regularly
Giving your dog a bath every now and then will not only help clean its coat but will also remove any dead hair, dead skin cells, and any dirt that can create an infection and cause your dog to smell. Using de-shedding products can help maintain healthy hair and skin since they contain moisturizers and omega-3 fatty acids.
Dogs with short hair and no skin problems don’t need to be bathed more than once every two to three months and heavy shedders can be bathed up to twice a month. To prevent that wet dog smell, towel dry your dog or blow dry using the cold setting on your hair dryer. For any extra cleaning, you can use dog or baby wipes to freshen up your dog’s skin and coat without having to go through all the hassle of giving it a bath. These wipes usually have aloe vera and other supplements that can help keep your dog’s skin and fur hydrated.
Besides bathing, another way to keep your dog smelling good is by regularly brushing its teeth and cleaning its ears as these are the primary areas prone to developing some bad scents.
4. Clean your dog’s sleeping spots regularly
Wherever your dog usually sleeps, that’s where the main source of dog smell and hair is. Because your dog spends most of its time there, it’s where there’s a lot of dirt, saliva, dead skin cells, and hair build-up. So, it’s important to clean these spots often. Whether it’s a dog bed or a spot on your couch or carpet, you can have it clean with stain repellent to keep off future dog smell or protect it with a removable and washable cover.
5. Use baking soda or vinegar to neutralize dog smell
When you don’t have removable covers and you want to get dog smell out of fabric, you can use baking soda. Although baking soda itself is odorless, it can absorb odors. You can sprinkle baking soda on the carpets, leave it overnight and vacuum it the next day. Vinegar is also great at neutralizing dog smell. You can even mix vinegar and baking soda and spray it on curtains, carpets, and even your dog’s bed. You can even add it to your laundry detergent when you wash linen, duvets, or towels.
Another effective tip to reduce dog smell is by rinsing your dog with vinegar. Although it doesn’t smell great on its own, once dried, it removes any odors. Simply dilute two cups of vinegar with four gallons of water and, after washing your dog, spray this mixture on your dog coat and dry it without rinsing off the vinegar mixture.
Making sense of it all
Dog shedding is natural and normal and, although there are things you can do to reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds, it’s impossible to stop it completely. Keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy with things such as a healthy diet, brushing, and bathing regularly can help keep shedding and smell at a minimum.
It’s important to pay attention to how much your dog sheds and keep an eye out for any changes as excessive shedding can be a warning that your dog may be developing a skin disease. If you notice more hair loss than usual, inflamed skin, excessive scratching, or some bald patches, it’s time to take your dog to the vet and have it checked out.