Dogs that shed like crazy make cleaning up a daily chore. Deshedding shampoos, which use natural ingredients to boost skin and coat health, can offer some measure of relief. However, they are not a cure-all, and they are not the only way to help control excess shedding in dogs.
Deshedding shampoos claim to restore coat health and alleviate excess shedding. Since many of these shampoos contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to reduce excess shedding in dogs, they will be effective. However, if you're hoping for a miracle cure that means you will never have to vacuum the carpet or the sofa again, you'll need to adjust your expectations. While your dog will shed less than before you started using deshedding shampoo, she'll still shed.
Place your dog in the bath and wet his fur with lukewarm to warm water. Lather a quarter-size dollop of shampoo in your hands and massage it into your dog's fur. Work slowly to allow the shampoo to penetrate the skin. Apply the shampoo to the dog's neck, back, belly and legs. Keep it out of his face and ears. Let the shampoo penetrate for the amount of time recommended on the product label. Rinse the shampoo off thoroughly, since soap suds can cause the hair to rub off if they dry on the skin.
A deshedding shampoo is not a substitute for regularly brushing your pet, especially one with an undercoat. Brush your dog frequently -- your dog's breed determines how often is appropriate; some you brush daily, others as seldom as weekly. A double-coated dog may need brushing more than once a day during the coat blow, which occurs twice a year for some and once a year for others. Find out the appropriate interval and stick to it, using the brushing tool you and your dog prefer. If you do not brush your dog to remove excess fur, it can become matted. Mats require shaving out by a vet or a dog groomer if you can't comb them out.
As an easier alternative to regular baths, you may give your dog a fish oil pill, which contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. A healthy dog can have up to 150 pounds of omega-3 fatty acids per day per 10 pounds of body weight. High-quality dog foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids also alleviate excess shedding.
- VetInfo: Deshedding Shampoo for Dogs
- DogChannel.com: Excessive Shedding in Your Dog
- Beagles: Everthing About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Handling, and Behaviour; Lucia E. Parent and Lucia Roesel-Parent
- The Whole Dog Journal: The Benefits of Fish Oil to Your Dog's Health
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images