I’ve been finding tufts of dog hair around the house all week. For a couple of days I was puzzled– I’m brushing my dogs as often as I always do! Then I realized it’s June, and in most parts of the Western hemisphere, pet shedding season is well underway. Pets shed their Winter coats when the days grow longer and warmer, meaning extra chores for pet owners. Even if you own a “non-shedding” breed, you should step up your grooming routine during shedding season. Non-shedding pets may not leave hair all over the house, but that doesn’t mean dead hair shouldn’t be removed from the coat.
Brushing in Shedding Season
How often do you usually brush your pets? Weekly? Daily? However often your pets need brushing normally, brush at least twice as often during shedding season. You may wish to invest in a Furminator or similar de-shedding tool, particularly if you have a dog or cat with a short to medium-length coat and a thick undercoat. If you do decide to buy a Furminator, see if you can get a professional groomer to show you how to effectively use it.
Speaking of Professional Groomers…
Constant brushing is hard on dogs’ coats, particularly if the coat is a longer one. If you’d rather spend a little money and brush a little less often, take your shedding dog to a groomer and have them bathed and the coat blown out. A skilled groomer can remove as much hair with a blow dryer as you can with a brush, and you’ll also get a clean, fresh-smelling dog out of the deal. For dogs who really, really shed, the groomer can also often offer a special de-shedding treatment, which generally involves using a particular type of shampoo that removes loose hair during the bath, blow-drying the dog, and then brushing with a shedding tool.
As Far As the House…
No matter what you do to your dog’s coat, he’ll shed on your furniture, carpet, and clothes at least a little bit. Many pet owners find that a Roomba is handy during shedding season. If you don’t have a Roomba, try to vacuum daily, before hair has accumulated in your carpets to such a degree that it’s impossible to get it all out in one vacuuming session. For your furniture and clothes, experiment with different pet hair removal products until you find an effective one for the fabrics you wear and the materials used for your furniture.
After shedding season is over, shampoo your carpets (or have them cleaned professionally) and upholstery to remove the allergens that were deposited along with the extra pet hair.