Shedding can be the bane of some pet owner’s lives, especially if they live with a heavy shedder who loses fur all year round. Large dog breeds — including Labradors, Huskies and Saint Bernards — can be some of the worse offenders. Thankfully, there are a range of things that can be done to minimize shedding and ensure it becomes less of an issue. Veterinarian, Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS, shared the the best tips to handle shedding in big dogs.
Vet Tips to Handle Shedding in Big Dogs
Incorporate daily brushing into your dog’ routine.
This should be done all year round and may need to be increased to twice daily during their molting season. This not only removes dead fur and debris, it helps ensure your dog is accepting of their grooming regimen and tolerates a daily brush without putting up a fight. This everyday task also enables you to work out any tangles or knotted spots before they worsen.
Use a product that is up for the task and fit for big dogs.
If the brush you are using isn’t right for the job, you may end up causing your dog discomfort and not adequately removing the dead fur. The right type of brush depends on your dog’s coat type and it is important you know if they have a double coat or not. If unsure of which brush to use, ask your dog groomer. Brushes like Furminators are popular because they have the ability to remove a large amount of dead fur quickly. Use one that is big enough, ensuring the job doesn’t take too long.
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Brushes for Large Dog Breeds
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Feed your dog a diet rich in skin and coat supporting nutrients.
Micronutrients such as Biotin, Vitamin E and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are all important for strengthening your dog’s coat and preventing shedding. On top of that, supplements can be added to their meals.
Don’t keep the house too hot.
If it is always a sauna in your living room thanks to the central heating, your dog’s body will think they are in the middle of summer. The fur will then start to shed, as the brain decides it needs to do something to regulate your dog’s temperature.
Big dogs may mean big cleaning!
Consider investing in an automatic vacuum cleaner such as a Roomba or Eufy. These devices can be set to travel around your house, collecting the fur while you’re out and about or sleeping. When you can, opt for a model targeted at collecting pet hair. For many busy owners, these products are a real life saver. While they can be costly, most owners I’ve spoken to feel that the investment was worth it.
You may wish to start using furniture covers, particularly for fabric sofas.. As many large dog breeds also drool, this can help keep your furniture dry and prevent it from developing that characteristic ‘doggy smell’.
Keep your big dogs up to date with their parasite prevention all year round.
Some dog owners think that it is only important to do this in the warmer months, but this is simply untrue. An external parasite infestation will cause excessive itchiness and fur loss. Not only will this mean excess shedding, parasites can cause discomfort and skin disease for your beloved pet. Remember to use a vet approved product as some over the counter items aren’t effective.
Tips From Owners Of Big Dogs
We’ve also gathered some great tips from fur parents of big dogs and here are what they have to say.
For dogs with short coats, you can use a natural bristle brush or a glove with bristles. You will have to brush your pooch in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling out all the dead hair and then in the direction of the growth to shed them. Repeating the process a few times will remove most of the dead hair.” — Leo Gomez
“Brush, Brush, Brush – One of the best things you can do is get your dog on a schedule where you brush them a minimum of two or three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes a session. You can adjust this to match your dog’s coat and shedding habit, and you’ll find that some breeds require daily brushing to stay on top of the loose hair and prevent matting. For seasonal shedders, be prepared to step up for daily brushing when they begin to shed heavily in the spring or fall months.” — Jen Stark
“During shedding season, a great approach to ease with the cleaning is to simply limit your dogs access to your home. Essentially, you are preventing them from shedding in multiple places. While you don’t want to confine and limit their space too much, you do want to keep them to certain areas of the home that you can more readily and easily clean. For instance, keeping them in the kitchen and not letting them on the sofas! Child gates can be useful here” — Jeremy
Hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any more tips to share, please comment below. And remember: Big dogs don’t necessarily mean big messes!
Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS – veterinary surgeon and also a veterinary consultant for FiveBarks.
Leonardo Gomez – Lulu’s dog dad and founder of Try Runball.
Jen Stark – dog lover and passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs on her farm.
Jeremy – has owned dogs for over 25 years, he had numerous large dog breeds.