Shedding is a normal physiological process for dogs and cats, but it is also a source of frustration for many pet owners. Owners often become overwhelmed trying to keep pet hair off of furniture and bed coverings. Fortunately, there are some things that pet owners can do to help reduce the amount of shedding and cut down on stray pet hair.
Feed a High Quality Diet
Feeding a high quality diet is one of the most important things you can do for your pet not only in terms of reducing shedding but also in keeping your pet healthy overall.
The best diet for your pet will depend on your individual pet. It should be a diet that is palatable so that your pet enjoys eating the food. It should also be balanced and complete and appropriate for your pet’s life stage (i.e. puppy/kitten, adult, senior, pregnant or nursing, etc.)
Omega 3 fatty acids are helpful in keeping your pet’s coat healthy and in reducing shedding. These fatty acids are often already added to commercial diets.
Proper Grooming Can Help Reduce Shedding for Dogs and Cats
Proper grooming is another important aspect of keeping your pet’s shedding under control. Regular brushing and combing can remove much of the loose hair from your pet’s coat before it reaches your furniture. Brushing and combing can also keep your pet’s hair from becoming tangled and/or matted. Deshedding tools such as the Furminator can be especially useful for many pets.
Regular bathing can also help keep your pet’s hair and skin healthy and reduce shedding. Bathing can remove loose hair and dead skin cells as well as debris and even allergens from the skin. While once we thought that frequent bathing was unhealthy for your pet, we now know that bathing is actually good for your pet and can cut back on the amount of shedding as well as helping to control skin allergies where present.
For cats, who may not be particularly receptive to bathing, wipes and other products are available that can help clean your cat’s skin and haircoat without requiring a bath.
Controlling Pet Hair
Though it is possible to reduce the amount of shedding your pet experiences, it is not usually possible to completely eliminate the shedding. Providing a bed or blanket specifically for your pet to rest and sleep on can help confine much of the loose hair to these locations. In addition, placing an inexpensive but attractive throw over favorite chairs, couches and other furniture can also help keep pet hair confined to an area that is easily laundered or shaken out to remove pet hair, particularly during periods when your pet is shedding heavily.