How to Handle All the Fur

Have you ever thought that if a strand of dog hair was worth a nickel, you'd be a millionaire? Chances are if you own a dog, even a small one, you deal with the nuisance of shedding. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help keep your dog's shedding to a manageable level.

Bred to shed

The main factor related to how much your dog sheds is what type of breed you own. Certain breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles hardly shed at all, and are especially well suited for people who suffer from dander-related allergies. But if one of these hypoallergenic breeds is not your dog of choice, then chances are you deal with some amount of shedding. You may even be thinking, “How can a dog this small lose so much hair and not be bald?” Well, fortunately we have some practical tips to deal with all that hair.

Bad hair days

Many dogs are seasonal shedders. As the temperatures begin to drop, so does the fur. Dogs shed their summer coats in the fall as their winter coats come in. The best way to deal with this is to be prepared. Brush your dog more often and be prepared to vacuum more frequently. This will keep that extra hair from becoming too unruly.

Dogs will also go through their own version of spring cleaning. When the temperatures begin to rise in the spring, dogs will begin shedding that extra winter hair. Again, preparation is the key. Regular brushing and vacuuming will help you get through these 'hairy' times.

Less shedding through nutrition?

Believe it or not, yes. Between the millions of strands of hair constantly growing, some breeds of dogs grow up to a total of 100 feet of fur per day! Now, while your dog may not boast those kinds of gaudy hair-growth numbers, the demands for constantly replacing fur are extreme. Thirty percent of a dog's protein needs go toward hair growth. If a dog is not receiving proper nutrition, the dog's body will put the protein he's receiving toward maintaining muscle mass, leaving the coat to suffer.

A healthy, shiny coat is not only a sign of proper nutrition, it also sheds less than an unhealthy coat. Premium dog food like Iams ProActive Health provides dogs with the nutrients they need to keep their coat healthy, which means less shedding.

High time for hygiene

Brushing doesn't have to be a necessary evil. Train your little dog to enjoy brushing, offering frequent praise during the process, and maybe even a treat at the end. This is easiest done from the time your dog is a puppy, but older dogs can be taught to enjoy brushing as well. The importance of brushing cannot be understated. Just look at all the hair that ends up in the brush, and realize if it wasn't in the brush, it would be on your couch, floor and perhaps bed.

Be sure you're using the right kind of brush for your dog's coat. Breeds with thick undercoats need a specific type of brush, while longhaired breeds need a comb. Make sure you're using the right grooming tools for your dog.

Last but not least, make sure to give your dog an occasional bath. Aside from the obvious benefit of having a clean, good-smelling pooch, your dog's coat will also benefit. Be warned though, bathing too frequently washes away the natural oil on his skin and coat, resulting in dry skin and, you guessed it, more shedding.

A little extra time goes a long way

Committing the time to maintaining your dog's coat will help keep his shedding under control. Frequent brushing, vacuuming and a balanced diet like Iams ProActive Health will have you worrying less about an overabundance of hair and more time enjoying your little furry friend.