Hair today, gone tomorrow.... almost!
Hair! Do you find it everywhere? On the furniture, in the carpets, on your clothes, basically everywhere except on the dog!
Most of the time it’s itchy, embarrassing, a huge strain on the vacuum cleaner and a major inconvenience for your wardrobe, right? But all that being said, shedding is a very important part of your dog’s yearly cycle and is essential in keeping their skin and coat in tip top condition.
However, that doesn’t mean that we owners can’t manage it. or at least attempt to.
We’d forgive you for thinking that the fastest and easiest way to speed along the shedding process is to book your pooch a relaxing spa day with your local groomer, however there are a few things you can do at home to make life a little less hairy.
Brushing- What Brush should you use?
When it comes to brushing, unfortunately it’s not as simple as brushing your own hair, we wish it were too.
The truth is that every dog is different and if you’re anything like us at some point you’ve probably felt overwhelmed by the variety of gizmos and gadgets out there all claiming to do what seems like the exact same job and just taken a stab in the dark when purchasing your tools. So, let’s start from the beginning and break it down.
It may seem obvious, but you’ll get the most out of your ‘at home’ grooming session if you take the time to understand your dog’s coat type, and we don’t mean if it’s a Parka or a Puffer.
The last thing you want to do is damage a soft silky coat, give your dog nasty brush burns or spend hours and hours painstakingly brushing only to find that you haven’t even touched the surface of your shedding nightmare.
Short or smooth coated breeds such as Labradors, Beagles and Boxers may give us the impression that they’re low maintenance, however they can be some of the biggest culprits for shedding.
The Hunter Wellness Curry CombWe use the Hunter Wellness Currycomb on our beagle Rocky to remove loose hairs and help keep his coat shiny and soft.
The specially designed rubber teeth are gentle on his skin, provide massage which stimulates blood flow and grab all that dead coat before it has a chance to drop.
The Hunter Smart Luxury ShredderIt’s easy to use, kind on sensitive skin and the rubber handle gives extra comfort for us which is a bonus!
Alternatively, the stainless-steel Hunter Smart Luxury Shredder effortlessly removes loose hairs without damaging intact ones and is great for medium dogs with short fur.
The WAHL 2in1 Rake and BladeBreeds such as Retrievers, Collies and Leonbergers who would naturally live or work outdoors have medium to long double coats.
A double coat is made up of a smooth, sleek exterior as well as a fluffy undercoat which protects them from extreme temperatures and prevents water getting through to the skin. It's this undercoat which produces most of their offending fluff.
The WAHL 2in1 Rake and Blade is ideal for cutting through dense unwanted undercoat. By brushing gently from head to tail the shedding blade will remove dead hair and thin it out, flip it over and the double row rake will tease out any tangles and loose hairs preventing nasty matts from forming which could cause your dog discomfort in the future.
Double sided pin and bristle brush
Ideal for both thick, curly perms such as the wool coats of schnauzers, poodles and most doodles or sleek tresses like those on Yorkies or long-haired dachshunds, the double-sided pin and bristle brush is a super versatile piece of kit and a great finishing tool.
Rounded pins on one side stop any damage to the coat, prevent nasty brush burn and gently tease out tangles whilst the medium spaced bristles on the other side will add shine, help distribute natural oils and are perfect for delicate coats or areas with shorter or sparse hairs such as legs and feet.
The super comfortable handle design gives fantastic grip, whilst the polished pins and rubber flexi pad guarantees a comfortable experience for your fur baby. Win win!
Still not sure? Or just generally need a good all-rounder? Then our favourite, and the slickest of slickers, is probably the brush for you.
The Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
The ergonomically designed self-cleaning slicker brush by Ancol is light, durable and can be used on medium, long, curly, straight, silk or double coat types.
NEW in store, it's stainless steel pins will remove dead or loose hair from both top and under coats and are thin and bendy to gently tease out tangles without damaging the skin. When it’s full, the nifty push button tool will retract the pins and you're free to bin all of that horrid hair. Grooming made easy!
Warning! You may want to cover your pooches’ ears for this next part because we’re bringing out the B-word.... BATH.
That’s right, we said it. After some quality de-fluffing time a good bath will have your pooch feeling and smelling like new.
We recommend spending a little extra time (if you dare) really massaging in the shampoo. Massage in small circular movements right down to the skin to spread the product evenly, promote blood circulation and most importantly bond with your dog. They’ll love it.
But don't overdo it! Bathing too often can have the opposite effect and actually strip the coat of its natural oils. Once a month is plenty.
Unfortunately, after every bath comes the dreaded shake and with it comes clumps of loose, wet, will stick to anything hair.
You can’t stop it and you can’t hide from it, but you can whip on a Dog Robe to protect yourself and your home from it. Yes, you read that right. A robe.... for dogs.
Made from patented longer loop Egyptian-style cotton and 100% Velcro free, we promise this snazzy little piece will be your new best friend. The long length double looped material on the inside of the robe soaks up moisture and traps body heat as well as stray splashes. Ideal for muddy adventures or swims in the sea, we’ve got robes available in pink, red, grey or blue. Simply slide it over your dogs’ head and fasten around their tummy for super-fast drying and minimal sogginess. They are useful all year ‘round, as you can soak them in water and pop them on during warm weather to help cool your hot dog down. Simply use 2 or 3 times and then wash at 40 degrees, we’ve had ours for Rocky now for 2 years and it is as good as new, he looks pretty cute in it too!
Food for thought
Diet, diet, diet!!! Just like in humans, a healthy diet full of nutrients and containing minimal grains will work wonders for your dog’s skin and coat. It will also help control their shedding.
Our 7 Grain free dry food selection is vet approved and has over a 50% meat content and packed full of protein and rich in essential oils to help maintain cognitive function and visual health. The Superfood grain free dog food varieties are 80:20 (80% meat content).
Sound like fishy business? It's not, we promise.
Unfortunately, dogs’ bodies can’t naturally produce the fatty acids they need to stay healthy and strut that shiny coat, so they need to find them somewhere else, in their food!
But, if a change of cuisine isn’t on the menu then try Pooch & Mutt Salmon oil instead.
Sustainably and ethically sourced from Atlantic Salmon reared in Scottish lochs, it's a tasty, natural source of essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9, and a great addition to your dogs’ tea time.
Not only does it improve coat condition, but it also boasts benefits for the heart, immune system, brain function and joints.
So basically, just an all-round good fish!
Do you drink enough water? As people we’re told time and time again of the health benefits of staying hydrated and believe it or not the same goes for our canine companions.
Dehydration can result in dry, itchy, flaky skin and a coat which sheds more than normal.
Fleas and Ticks
Flea season is upon us and pesky little parasites can be a problem for even the cleanest of pets, causing itching and... (insert drum roll here) hair loss.
The Hunter Smart Flea and Dust CombRemove traces of them, their dirt and their eggs with the Hunter Smart flea and dust comb, a natural alternative to spot on treatments.
This nifty little tool is perfect for all hair lengths as the tight stainless-steel teeth cleanse your pet of skin, dust and unwanted visitors.
The Tick Pick
If left untreated or removed incorrectly ticks can also cause all kinds of problems including itching and spreading nasty diseases.
Our handy little Tick Pick tool attaches to your keyring, so you’ll never be caught off guard by the little blood suckers ever again and it can be used on both animals and humans.
Simply slide the tick pick under the body trapping the head, push forward and lift. Easy!
So, while neither you nor your pooch will ever be able to rid the hair-mare completely, take our advice, choose your weapons carefully and you at least might be able to enjoy morning walkies together without wearing matching outfits from now on!!!
*Content written by Lauraine Maddox - Team Member of Paws in Padstow