You see the signs on your sofa, on your carpet, and on your bed. Hair seems to find a way into every corner of your home. If you have a dog, you know that they shed. Some dogs lose hair at a faster rate than others, but all dogs, no matter the breed, will shed.
This is a natural and expected part of owning a dog. Knowing when your dog is likely to shed at a faster rate can help you understand how best to deal with the shedding situation in your home.
Not All Dogs Are Created Equal
All dogs might shed, but the amount of hair that you find around varies greatly from breed to breed. Dogs with single coats shed less. These dogs might have short or long hair, but the key is that they only have one layer.
Boston terriers, poodles, and greyhounds are dog breeds that have a single coat. On the opposite end of the dog hair spectrum are the dogs with two layers of hair. Dogs in this group will have a longer layer of outer hair as well as a shorter and denser layer underneath. Collies, shepherds, and huskies fit into this category.
Why do the coat layers matter? You might be wondering at this point.
Dogs with a double coat will shed more seasonally. These dogs do not need the super thick hair for warmth during the spring and summer. They will enter into a period of extreme shedding to get rid of all the hair that they do not need for the hotter months ahead.
But dogs with single coats do not need to shed an extreme amount of hair during the warmer months, though you might notice slightly more shedding in spring and summer even with single coat dogs.
Look Out for Shedding Seasons
Single coat dogs, like terriers and poodles, will shed more or less consistently year-round. These dogs may shed more in the spring, especially if you live in an area that experiences very hot summers.
Dogs with double coats will go through several times of the year when shedding will occur at a much faster rate. We will start with spring, since this is the time of year when you will notice the most hair around your home. Dogs with double coats will not need much of the insulating layers during the summer. They will shed hair from both layers, since such a thick coat would lead to them overheating in the summer.
During the summer, shedding will slow down, and your dog will likely shed at a “normal” rate during this season. Fall is another season when the lighter summer hairs will make way for the thicker undercoat and top layer that will keep your dog nice and warm for the winter. During the winter, your dog will likely return to their “normal” level of shedding, since the coats are needed for winter warmth.
Controlling The Hair in Your Home
All dogs will shed, but there is plenty that you can do to help control the hair that you find on your furniture and floors. Brushing is key for any breed. No matter the length, type of hair, or number of coats, brushing will help control the hair found in your home and reduce matting and tangling.
If your dog has a single coat, brushing every other day during shedding season should be enough to control shedding. When your dog's shedding slows down, twice a week is typically enough. Look for a soft bristle brush for your single coat dog and spend some quality time grooming your best friend.
If your dog has a double layer of hair, you will need to brush it daily to help control the extreme amount of hair in your home and keep your dog comfortable by preventing matting of the hair. Spring and fall will require daily brushing, but summer and winter are seasons when twice a week or every other day will be enough to care for your pet and keep your home clean.
Look for a stiffer brush or even a hair rake to get through not only the top layer but also reach the undercoat. For all dog breeds, you want to brush in the direction of the hair growth and get down to the skin. You should make sure that no matter which brush you choose, it is one that will not damage their skin or cause them pain.
Just because you love your best friend doesn't mean that you want to see their hair over anything and everything in your home. You likely put a good amount of thought into giving them proper nutrition and exercise, since you know that both are vitally important to their health and overall happiness.
Brushing and bathing their coats is just as essential. By brushing them on a consistent basis, you are not just helping your home stay cleaner, but you are also helping them stay comfortable and adapt to the changing temperatures. Removing dead hair and preventing tangles and matting will keep them comfortable and ready to play at the park, keep you company on the sofa, or guard the foot of the bed while you sleep.