Akitas are double-coated dogs, meaning their plush, thick undercoats are guarded by a longer outer coat. Akitas are known for their easy grooming maintenance; however like many other dog breeds they will shed their coat throughout the year. Your Akita will "blow" his coat two or three times per year, meaning he will completely shed out the old fur and bring in new, healthy fur. Help you Akita through this process with proper de-shedding techniques.
You are probably aware that your Akita requires weekly brushing to maintain a healthy coat, but while he is shedding, he'll require daily brushing. Some helpful brushes include a rubber curry comb, an undercoat rake, a slicker brush and a shedding blade. By brushing your dog daily, you speed up the natural shedding process of his coat and help him feel more comfortable throughout the shedding period. Proper brushing also ensures that no old fur is blocking airflow to your dog's skin.
Use your rubber curry comb in a circular motion to bring up any debris on your dog's skin and loose hairs. Next, use your undercoat rake by pulling the brush along the grain of your Akita's coat, bringing out under-hairs that will be shed. The slicker brush can be used to pull out these hairs. Last, use your shedding blade to remove excess hair from both your dog's under and outer coat.
Use diluted, mild dog shampoo to bathe your Akita while he is blowing his coat. It is best to bathe your Akita by starting at the tip of his back between his shoulders, called the withers. Do not start with his head, as this may irritate him and make the bathing process unpleasant. Do not use human shampoo on your Akita and do not bathe your Akita more than four times a year, as this can cause skin irritation. To avoid irritation, rinse out the shampoo completely. Following your Akita's bath, allow him to shake his fur dry and run a towel over him to hasten the drying process.
An Akita's shedding period lasts between two and four weeks, depending on your individual dog. During this period, you may find an intense amount of fur around your house. To minimize where your dog sheds, you may choose to only allow him in certain rooms of your house while his coat is blowing out. It is also a good idea to invest in a vacuum that is strong enough to remove your Akita's hair from carpet, as well as one with attachments for furniture if you allow your dog on couches, chairs or beds.
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