The Truth About Shedding

Shedding ~ One Downside of Having a Pet

 It gets everywhere ~ on your clothes, collecting in balls and rolling around on your floor, on your furniture, even in your dinner… Yes, I’m referring to pet hair, of course! Sure, we cherish our canine companions and feline friends, but sometimes their coats can be the bane of our existence!

Many people choose the breed of their pet based on factors such as temperament, size, tolerance for children, appearance and demeanor, but not many of us have the forethought to consider whether Rover will leave clumps of his coat against the fabric of the sofa when he gets up, or Roxy will leave strands of her fur strewn on our sweater like tinsel on a Christmas tree. Not to mention, there’s the inconvenient process of moulting; that ghastly seasonal event when, depending if it’s early autumn or late spring, the coat is shed to make way for a more seasonally appropriate one.

Sure, dealing with your pet’s hair can be quite a daunting chore. Between the vacuuming, sweeping, lint-rolling and dust-busting, you can’t help but wonder why your pet hasn’t yet gone completely bald. Is there anything you can do to keep your canine or kitty companion’s hair where it’s supposed to be – on his body? Sorry to disappoint, but there is no way to stop a healthy pet from shedding. However, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of hair your pet sheds.

  • While shedding is normal, excessive shedding may be the cause of an underlying issue, including stress, a poor diet, or a medical problem. An examination by your veterinarian can best determine if your pet’s hair loss is normal or the result of a health issue that needs addressing.
  • Give Fido or Fluffy a good brushing regularly. This is the best thing you can do to keep your home free from loose hair, and it will also make your pet’s coat softer, cleaner, and less likely to shed.
  • Invest in a specialty grooming tool like the FURminator. The tool helps to thin out the coats of both dogs and cats, reaching both the top coat and the undercoat, which is the major source of most pets’ shedding.
  • A pet’s coat is often a reflection of what they eat. Feed your four-legged friend high quality food with good digestible protein sources. Not sure which brand to buy? Ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
  • Washing your pet’s coat is a great way to loosen fur so it collects in a nice pile in the tub, rather than all over your carpet and furniture. Give a good brushing before and after the bath, and let your pet’s coat dry naturally as heat can damage the hair, resulting in breakage and – you guess it – more shedding.
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your pet’s food daily. The omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil will condition the skin and coat, minimizing shedding.  
  • Shortening your pet’s hair can reduce the volume of shedding. Either invest in hand-held clippers, or make a regular grooming appointment. Don’t cut it too short since it’s your pet’s only form of UV protection. By reducing the length of your cat or dog’s fur, you’ll make shedding easier to manage.  

Yes, shedding is a downside of having a pet, but it in no way overshadows all the upsides, including the constant companionship, devotion, entertainment and love they bring to our lives.



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