Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best (absolute best) things that we humans have been able to acquire and train throughout our long history is our beloved four-legged, fluffy, silly, and pawed little companions. That’s right, dogs: the ever-faithful energetic balls of fluff that never fail to show why they have earned their iconic nickname of “man’s best friends”. While these adorable creatures never fail to supply us with companionship and entertainment, they do also come with some work.
One of the most annoying/bothersome parts of their upkeep is the shedding! Wow, can they ever shed and shed. If you find yourself constantly trying to sweep away a seemingly endless amount of dog hair, then you have probably asked yourself this question: Does brushing help to reduce shedding? Well, if you are wondering this exact question, then worry no more, for we will be diving into this topic to see if we can maybe shed some light on this burning question. Read on to find out!
Why Do Dogs Shed?
Firstly, we need to understand why our canine friends shed so much. Basically, shedding is a very natural occurrence and serves as a way for your pup to A) lose their heavy and hot winter coats to better cool down for summer, B) get rid of damaged hair so they can grow some better and healthy hair, and C) to just get rid of old unneeded hair; we humans do it too if you think about it. So, these are the principal reasons why your dog is shedding.
Of course, there are also medical reasons or illnesses that could cause hair fallout or skin irritations and rashes that could also lead to shedding, but they are rarer. Dogs, like humans, are also not immune to allergies, some of which can irritate their skin or cause hair loss. If you are worried that your dog might have a medical issue, then we recommend visiting a vet, and please do not listen to some random on the internet.
Does Brushing Your Dog Reduce Shedding
Now that we know why dogs shed, we can get back to answering the initial question of, will brushing help to reduce shedding? The answer to which is, kind of. Keeping in mind that dog shedding is a way to lose old/damaged/unneeded hair, then yes, us giving them a good brushing every now and then will certainly help to speed up the process and really get those loose hairs out.
That being said, the shedding process is also a biological one, meaning that your dog will continue to shed until its body has given the signal for it to stop. You can brush and brush as much as you want, but that will not bring an end to the shedding. It will help to speed it up, but it will not stop it. All you can do is wait for the dog to naturally stop/slow down the cycle on its own. Probably not the answer you were hoping for.
What Can You Do to Reduce Shedding?
However, there are still some things you can do to limit the amount of hair that seems to constantly turn your stone floors into carpet ones. The first, as already mentioned above, is to give your dog a regular brushing. This will remove all of that loose hair in one go and in one spot for you to quickly clean up, instead of it littering the whole house.
The second factor is nutrition. Hair, be it dog hair or human hair, is a very good external and visual indicator of one’s health. Ordinarily, a person with healthy-looking hair is themselves a healthy individual and most likely has a very healthy diet.
Those with sudden hair loss or with dry and dead-looking hair might not be as healthy or are not eating enough healthy foods. This also applies to dogs, whose coats will very much reflect the quality of their diet. Well-formulated and balanced dog foods will not only keep their coats strong and shiny but will also keep them healthy, which in turn will arguably lead to less hair falling out.
The third is linked to the principle of the first, and that is to give them regular baths. Not only will this help to subdue those doggy odors, but it will help to loosen all of those unneeded hairs. The additional benefit of regular bathing is that it will help to get rid of nasty and horrible pests like fleas and mites.
Fleas and mites burrow into and bite the skin of dogs, leading to tiny sores and itchy bites that bother them to no end. While they do not directly cause hair loss or shedding, they do contribute to it. What we mean is that your dog will constantly be licking, scratching, and biting itself in an attempt to stop the itching or to get rid of those pests, which will damage their hair follicles and cause them to fall out as a result.
Lastly, and very importantly, please do not do any at-home grooming that involves using a trimmer or shaver. Your dog’s hair – rather, their undercoat – is incredibly complex and sensitive. Taking a shaver or trimmer to your dog’s coat can very likely lead to you damaging your dog’s undercoat, which can lead to a whole host of skin issues, as well as compromising their ability to regulate their body temperature.
If you do want to give your dog a trim, then please take them to a professional dog parlor where skilled professionals can help you out. Even professional dog groomers prefer to not touch or disturb a dog’s undercoat at all if they can help it. The undercoat is that important.
While there is no one true method to stop your dog from shedding, we do hope that we were at least able to give you some useful information on how to at least handle or reduce it. Ultimately, when it comes to losing their winter coats, all you can do is wait. Other than that, remember to try out some of our suggestions and advice!