It’s true to say that some dogs shed much more than others, but it is a fact of life that if you have a canine living at home you will need to manage the shedding process.
It can be tricky trying to keep your home clean when it feels like you are drowning in a mountain of fur and it is inevitable you will be spending much longer cleaning than your non-canine friends.
So is it possible to keep a clean house with a dog that sheds?
Yes! It most certainly is. It just requires some extra maintenance at home on your part and giving your canine friend some extra attention to manage their fur in the best possible way.
Let’s take a closer look at why and what breeds of dogs shed as well as some helpful tips to keep your home in tip-top condition.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
To understand why dogs shed, it is important first to understand the purpose of the dog’s fur. A dog’s coat is vital for body climate control, survival, and skin protection. Unlike human hair growth, dogs have several strands of hair per follicle at a time. These strands have a high oil content that helps to keep your dog’s skin and hair smooth, strong, and flexible.
Once the old hair stops growing, it sheds to make way for newer hairs. This can take place at any time and can depend on several factors such as the breed of dog, its overall health, and genetic make-up. Genetics is a key factor as it determines when and how a dog will shed its fur.
What Breeds of Dogs Shed the Most?
It is a known fact that certain breeds of dogs are prone to shedding much more heavily and frequently than others. Dogs in general shed hair daily, however when these guys shed, you really do know about it!
- Akita – A large dog originating from the mountainous regions of northern Japan
- Border Collie – A working a herding dog from the Scottish borders
- Beagle – A breed of small hound developed primarily for hunting
- Chow Chow – Originally from China where it is referred to as Songshi-Quan, translating to “puffy-lion dog”
- Dalmatian – A large breed, with a unique spotted coat and roots traced back to Croatia.
- German Shepherd – A medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany
- Golden Retriever – A medium to large-sized gun dog with the ability to retrieve shot game undamaged
- Old English Sheepdog – A large breed of dog that emerged in England from early types of herding dogs
- Pug – A small breed of dog with a compact square body and well-developed muscles
- Rottweiler – A medium to large domestic breed, sometimes known as the Rottweil butchers’ dogs
- Siberian Husky – A working dog of medium size, recognised by its thick double coat and triangular ears
- St. Bernard – A very large working dog that originated from the Western Alps in Italy and Switzerland
- Welsh Corgi – A cattle herding dog from Pembrokeshire, Wales
How to Keep a Clean House with a Dog That Sheds?
For dogs with long coats that seem to shed frequently, regular brushing is highly recommended. It won’t stop the shedding per se, but it will help to keep the loose hair under control and prevent matting. This is all hair that would usually end up all over the house and has now been contained making cleaning your house a much easier task.
There are plenty of de-shedding tools on the market that is ideal for dogs with long coats. These tools are masters at collecting loose fur from the undercoat whilst still maintaining the topcoat.
Your dog’s diet can have a massive effect on their overall health and can be a great way to prevent unnecessary shedding. A good wholesome diet that is packed full with high proteins and low grains and fillers is ideal to combat shedding.
Supplements can also be very useful and can help improve and maintain the overall coat condition. Omega 3’s and 6’s as well as Zinc are very important building blocks for healthy cell structure and coats. Supplements will not stop shedding but can be useful for improving coat condition which in turn reduces shedding.
Going to the doggy parlour so your dog can have a number 2 on the clipper scale is not generally on many owners to-do list, but some owners choose to have their dog shaved to manage shedding. This can be particularly helpful for dogs with very dense, thick fur that tends to shed all over the house. It can also help to keep them much cooler in the hotter months so is highly beneficial for keeping your dog comfortable.
You don’t have to go for the full shave though. Just a quick trim can make the world of difference. For owners who seem to spend a good proportion of their time cleaning up fur from the rug, carpet, sofa, you can see why reducing some of that hair for dogs that shed a lot, a good option.
De Fleaing your dog will not stop shedding, however, it is important to mention that dense fur is an absolute ideal breeding ground for fleas! Dogs that are prone to shedding a lot are also more prone to catching fleas which increases your chances of getting these parasites in your home.
Investing in a good fleaing programme is important for all dog owners. Spot on treatments are ideal and can kill fleas on contact which ultimately stops them from breeding. You cannot stop dogs from catching fleas in the same way you cannot stop them shedding, but taking this simple step can prevent potential infestations in your home.
Giving your dog a good bath not only keeps them clean and tidy but can potentially help with shedding. A bath once a week is a great idea to keep those loose hairs at bay. Always make sure you give your dog a good brush before bathing them to get rid of as many stray hairs as possible. Using a good doggy shampoo will really help to get stuck into the under hairs and a doggy conditioner can leave their fur smooth and silky for the ultimate finish
Dog hairs tend to be much more manageable after a bath and knowing you have got rid of all of those loose hairs that normally end up on your carpet will probably grant you a few days of minimal shedding.
Let’s be honest, fur gets absolutely everywhere in the home when you have a dog that sheds and there is very little you can do about it except for maintaining and reducing.
One of the most common places in the home that your dog can’t resist is the couch. It is always a very wise idea to cover furniture where you can with a throw or blanket. They are so much easier to remove fur from than the furniture itself and are also useful in collecting odors and preventing scratches.
Rugs are often a great idea for protecting carpets and are once again, much easier to clean than the carpet itself. They can be taken outside, given a good brush, and even be hosed down for an all-round thorough clean.
We are all accustomed to the art of vacuuming the home and some of us vacuum daily to keep our homes spotlessly clean at all times. However, when you own a dog, particularly a dog that sheds a lot, vacuuming becomes a big part of your life. Sometimes once a day just isn’t enough.
Dogs that shed a lot often have long fur that your vacuum doesn’t deal very well with. This type of hair usually clogs up the device which is highly frustrating, to say the least. There are many pet vacuums on the market that are specifically designed to deal with pet fur. They tend to come with various attachments to suit any given situation. You will find going for a pet-specific vacuum makes keeping your home clean much easier and less stressful.
Lint rollers are quite possibly the holy grail of dog cleaning products. These little pocket rocket cleaning tools have quite possibly changed lives since their first appearance on the market. They aren’t much use for the carpet, but they are certainly the most useful cleaning tool for all your other furniture.
The sticky rollers clasp onto dog hairs with ease and can be rolled all over furniture picking up even the longest of doggy hairs. It’s so much more convenient than having to pull out all your vacuum attachments all the time and great for an ‘in the moment’ clean. These are ideal for collecting hairs from smaller or more awkward areas where the vacuum won’t go.
In conclusion, there are many ways in which you can keep your house clean when you live with a dog that sheds. Having a good routine and the right tools goes a long way. It isn’t just about tidying, cleaning, and finding ways to remove fur from everything. There is a certain element of maintaining your pooch too which can prevent shedding such as a good grooming regime and providing a nutritious diet.
‘So, is having a dog that sheds extra work?’ Yes, truth be told it is.
‘Is it worth it?’ Absolutely!