My worst dog mama pet peeve is dealing with shedding.
Even though my dog is short-haired, his fur still ends up everywhere: On my white sheets, woven into my carpets and yep, even in my food.
If you’re also a dog owner, this isn’t anything new to you. And if you own a fluffy dog, chances are that you have it a lot worse than me.
No matter how much you clean, hair will still be scattered over the home. I’ve been researching, and there’s no magic solution. Still, there’s a few things we can do to lessen the mess.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
In the same way hair naturally falls from your head, dogs also lose hair.
Dogs shed to get rid of old, damaged hair and make room for a new, healthy coat. Shedding can be worse seasonally when your dog needs less fur to stay warm. For example, a full coat in winter protects her but can be too hot during summer.
As you probably know, some breeds shed more than others. Huskies shed seasonally but may seem to leave a trail of hair wherever they go year long. Other breeds may lose hair during a brushing, but require little cleaning up after.
Although you may thinking having a hypoallergenic dog means no cleaning up, that’s not necessarily true. It’s commonly misbelieved that what makes a dog hypoallergenic is less shedding. In reality, a breeds likelihood of including allergies depends on the allergens in their dander and saliva.
If you think your dog is shedding too much, you should see a vet. Excess hair can be the result of allergies, stress or other medical issues.
17 Dog Shedding Remedies
Spoiler alert: There’s no magic remedy to make your dog shed less. But we’re going to share some tips to reduce shedding and make clean up a lot easier.
Feeding your dog a healthy diet can prevent her from shedding in clumps or wherever she moves. Just as vitamins and nutrients make your hair strong, the same is true for dogs. A healthy diet includes one with:
- Fatty acids
- Essential vitamins
The quality of the ingredients you choose is also important. A high-quality kibble or wet dog food is generally more nutritious than cheap options.
A Good Brushing
Brushing your dog means that the hair will come off at one time instead of spreading all over the house. As you can imagine, this makes clean up a lot easier. How frequently you brush your dog depends on the breed. If hair around the house is really upsetting you, brushing your dog daily may be a good solution.
Dog Hair Roller
With my dog, there’s no not having dog hair on furniture. There’s just no way around it, so I’ve gotten over it. But if you want a guest bed or sofa to have a cleaner appearance, the quickest way I’ve found is to use a dog hair roller. Simply peel off the sticky adhesive, roll it on the area and let it collect all the hair. This also works great if your freshly washed and ironed suit is a magnet for hair.
The only negative thing is that if there’s a lot of hair, it could take a while to fully clean it and you may use an entire roll.
If you have a dog, getting an air purifier can be a good idea for a few reasons. It can take away that lingering dog smell while taking the hair along with it. If anyone in your home has allergies to pets, it’s a must!
Keep in mind that the filters should be changed frequently, too. About every 60 days is ideal, but if you have more than one dog, you may need to change it sooner.
Wash Bedding Frequently
This the most unexciting tip on this list, but it works. Think about it: The most hair likely where your dog spends most of his time. Since a dog spends a lot of their days sleeping, it’s likely their begs, cages and blankets are harboring fur. That’s then spread all around the home for you to clean up. Cleaning their fabrics frequently will minimize the clean-up time. If your dog’s bed isn’t washable, consider laying a blanket over top that’s easier to throw in the laundry. Of course, if your dog sleeps in your bed, that’s should be washed a lot, too.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Adding omega-3 to your dog’s diet can help improve his coat and reduce shedding. This can include:
- Feeding your dog fish (sardines, pink salmon or mackerel)
- Feeding your dog straight fish oil for dogs
- Fish oil capsules for dogs
- Dog food containing Omega-3s (look for high quality brands)
Keep in mind that it can take a few months of consistent dosing to see any changes. Ask your vet how much to give your canine every day.
Some people report that giving their dog molasses has reduced their shedding. The blackstrap variety contains iron, calcium, vitamin B-6 and a host of other nutrients. Choose a brand without additives. Make sure it doesn’t contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs. Giving her a teaspoon to a tablespoon should do. Since it’s still a sweetener, make sure not to overdo it.
If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, he can become dehydrated. When this happens, his skin can become dry, causing him to shed more. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is always full. To incentivize him to drink more, you can add flavor, such as putting some broth into his kibble.
Keeping with the dry skin theme, keeping a humidifier in the house can prevent dryness and therefore excess shedding. This can be particularly helpful during cold months.
Bathing your dog can get rid of excess hair so that it goes down the drain instead of in your house. However, washing her too much can lead to dry skin and more shedding. How often you should give your canine baths depends on her breed (some are prone to dryness)
Dampen Paper Towels
Instead of a full-on bath, you can dampen a paper towel, ring it out and brush it over your dog’s skin. This should collect any loose hair.
Wet Rubber Gloves
Similar to the above tip, wet a rubber glove and run it over your pup to collect excess hair.
If you have hardwood floors, you may feel that sweeping or vacuuming simply shifts the hair around instead of fully removing it. Wetting and ringing out a mop can help pick up the hair left after cleaning attempts.
If you’re worried about hair on your fabrics or sofa, simply take a dryer sheet and rub it over the area. It should act as a magnet for any loose hair.
One of the more costly, yet effective, options is to invest in a robotic vacuum. That way, you can turn it on whenever you feel the home is getting a little too hairy. If you have several dogs, this can save you hours of time.
Research shows that stress can cause humans to loose hair. Although we can’t be certain these results are the same for dogs, reducing your dog’s stress levels can’t hurt. If your dog has separation anxiety, take the necessary steps to address that.
Pet Hair Washing Machine Balls
If you have trouble completely getting rid of the hair left on clothing even after a wash, you may want to try washing machine balls. These help scrub the clothes and remove debris.