All dogs, including short-haired pups, shed to some degree. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and keeping him well-hydrated can go a long way toward preventing excess shedding. Careful attention to grooming can also help eliminate excess hair, as well as serve as a good bonding opportunity for you and your dog.
Regular bathing with a good quality conditioning shampoo formulated for your particular breed can help reduce shedding. Bathing helps flush out loose, dead hair, as does blow-drying your pup afterward. Some dogs, especially those with oily coats, can get dry skin from overbathing, so ask your vet about how often you should give your pup a trip to the tub. Make sure you use a hair trap when you bathe your dog, or you could end up with a sink or tub with a nasty hair clog.
Brushing your pup daily can significantly cut down on shedding. The stimulation will help with circulation and keep fur healthy while eliminating loose hair. Select a brush appropriate for your breed. For example, a short-haired dog may do well with a soft bristle brush, whereas a long-haired dog or a pup with an undercoat may need a pin brush or curry brush.
A fine-tooth comb can be helpful for ferreting out minute hairs that result in shedding. A comb can also help you keep an eye out for ticks and fleas, as well as help you get a feel for the contours of your dog’s body. This can be beneficial in identifying lumps, scabs from mites, bites, infections or skin conditions before they get too advanced.
Your vet may recommend essential oil supplements to help you keep your pup’s coat in good, low-shed condition. Some oils are applied topically, while others are given orally. Never give your dog any supplements intended for humans, and always consult your veterinary medical provider before using natural remedies or products not specifically prescribed for your pet.
Taking your pup to the groomer for a trim can help keep shedding down, particularly if you have a dog breed with long hair that is challenging to maintain through home grooming alone. Groomers can supplement your at-home efforts with deep conditioning baths and specialized grooming tools. Regular professional care is much like a haircut at your favorite salon -- you eliminate dead ends and reduce the chance for hair breakage.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.