As you start to consider dragging up your window unit and putting it back in place, you probably start noticing that your dog has been shedding more than usual, too. If the constant shedding is starting to drive you crazy, you’ll love these helpful tips for managing spring and summertime grooming.
Keeping a dog comfortable during shedding season is relatively easy, provided you know how to keep up with the excess hair. One of the best tools for lessening the burden of excess shedding is the Furminator—particularly if you’ve got a dog with a double coat. This brush and ones like it help remove vast amounts of hair and fur, and can greatly reduce the amount of overall shedding. It’s important to start up a grooming routine to keep your dog as healthy and clean as possible.
First Step: Wash
Part of any successful grooming routine is bathing. Give your dog a bath at the start of shedding season, using a dog-safe shampoo to ensure it won’t irritate the dog’s skin. If your dog has naturally dry skin, you can use oatmeal shampoo for dogs, and you can also use dog conditioner as well for extra moisture. During the bath, check your dog’s paws for dryness or cracks, and use paw ointment if necessary.
Second Step: Brush
After your dog is clean and dry, it’s time to brush them. There are a variety of brushes on the market, and each is geared toward a different type of dog or different purpose. For instance, a boar bristle brush is good for all fur types; these brushes help circulate the hair or fur’s natural oils throughout the coat. A shedding blade can work well for the undercoat, as can the aforementioned Furminator. The shedding blade can be too pointy/sharp for some dogs, so it’s important to exercise caution. Slicker brushes are best for getting rid of mats and tangles, but again, exercise caution and don’t pull too hard. Rubber curry brushes are good for shorthaired dogs and are good for undercoats as well as stimulating circulation in the dog’s skin. Finally, wire pin brushes are best for dogs with longer coats or dogs with thick, several layer coats (Golden Retrievers and Sheepdogs or Collies, respectively). Brushing not only helps remove dead skin and loose hair while stimulating circulation, but it is also a good way to check for fleas and ticks. When you brush your dog, you can check to see if there are any fleas hopping around on the dog’s coat or buried underneath layers of fur/hair.
Third Step: Teeth and Nails
Finally, to finish the grooming routine, brush the dog’s teeth and clip or file its nails. Both of these are tasks that sometimes can’t be done at home, but groomers or vet offices typically offer these services for dogs that are a bit more fidgety.