How to Reduce Shedding for Double Coated Breeds
Shedding is a natural process for dogs, however can be quite annoying for their humans. Many double coated dog owners are looking for ways to reduce the mess around the house, while still keeping their fluffy dog fluffy. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to control the amount your dog sheds. You cannot completely eliminate the shedding, however you can drastically reduce it. Keep reading for some steps you can take to control your dogs shedding.
What is a Double Coat?
Double coated dogs have 2 layers of fur. They have the top guard coat, and the softer undercoat that lies beneath the guard coat. Some examples of double coated dogs are Spitzes, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, Golden Retrievers, Leonburgers, Collies, Pomeranians and Huskies, to name a few. Many double coated breeds were originally bred as working dogs to work regardless of the weather conditions. The guard coat helps to protect the dogs skin against UV rays, and also prevents the undercoat from getting wet. The undercoat works as a built in temperature regulator. It helps to keep the dog cool in summer and can prevent overheating, as well as keeping them nice and warm in the colder winter months.
Should I Shave my Double Coated Dog?
Shaving a double coated dog is not generally recommended, unless recommended by your vet. Shaving a double coated dog will not reduce the shedding. The dog will still shed, however the shedding fur will be shorter and sharper, making them stick into skin, clothes and furniture more easily than before. Shaving a double coated dog can also result in skin irritation, and can even cause conditions such as alopecia, resulting in permanent hair loss. Even if your dogs coat does grow back after shaving, it likely will not be the same. Shaving can cause the fur to grow back thicker, or thinner than before. It is very hard to predict what will happen when you shave your double coated dog, and for this reason, it is recommended to keep your double coated dog in full coat, unless advised otherwise by your trusted veterinarian.
What Can I do to Reduce the Shedding?
Regular bathing and brushing is key to reducing the shedding around the house. If regular grooming is not prioritized, the shedding undercoat can get stuck and tangle in the guard hairs, resulting in knots and tangles throughout the coat that can be hard to remove later.
To maintain a healthy, knot free coat, it is recommended to brush your dog daily if possible, or 2-3 times a week if you have a busy schedule. At the very least, your dog should be getting a full body brush out once a week. The more often you can make time to brush your dog, the better!
For bathing, anywhere from once a week - once a month is acceptable. Dogs shouldn't be bathed more than once a week, as it will strip their coat of natural oils, and can result in a dry or damaged coat. At the very least, you should bathe your dog every 3 months. The more often you bathe and blow-dry your dog, the easier it will be to stay on top of the shedding.
A lot of hair can removed in the bathing process with the right products. The ProGroom Furex 3 Step System is highly recommended for double coated dogs. This 3 step system targets removal of stuck undercoat of double coated breeds, eliminating the need to pre-groom before the bath.
The Furex 3 step systems contains a Shampoo, Conditioner, and a Finishing Spray.
The Step 1 - Cleanse Shampoo deeply penetrates the coat and cleanses the skin and fur while neutralizing the ionic charge within the coat. It removes dirt, odour, excess sebum and oils, and preps the coat for loose hair removal.
The Step 2 – Release Conditioner contains protein ingredients which fill in damaged or rough areas of hair cuticle, making a smooth surface that permits easy release of loose coat. Advanced silicone ingredients provide slip and allow dead coat to slide out with little or no force.
The Step 3 – Close Finishing Spray is a mildly acidic silicone conditioning spray that further seals the hair cuticle and promotes the maximum release of tangled and collected hair within the coat. The spray application allows you to adjust the amount of product applied to different areas of the coat as needed.
Check out this video of the Furex 3 Step System being used on a Japanese Spitz!
The Furex 3 Step system drastically improves the amount of shedding around the house, and the amount of work when grooming. To maximize the effectiveness of this product, dilute the product in warm water, as per instructions, and wash twice with the cleanse shampoo to ensure the entire coat is properly cleaned and prepped. Then follow with the release conditioner and allow the product to sit for a minute or two. You can then rinse the coat, while brushing the product out of the coat with a slicker brush. This will help to remove lots of undercoat, and reduce the amount of fur that will be flying around your room as you dry. After the conditioner is thoroughly rinsed out and towel dried, you can spray the close finishing spray all over the coat before blow drying. Make sure to completely cover the coat, lifting the hair as your spray. Then you can blow-dry as usual to remove the remaining undercoat. Using a high velocity or forced air dryer will help to remove even more undercoat, and is highly recommended when grooming your own double coated dog.
To find a dryer that suits your needs, check out our dryer guide: How to Compare and Choose the Right Dryer.
Shop the Furex 3 Step System here
After giving your dog a thorough bath and blow dry, you can brush out their coat with a de-shedding rake or a slicker brush. A de-shedding rake will remove undercoat and reduce shedding by up to 90%, while still maintaining the correct texture of the top coat. This tool is a must have for many double coated dog owners.
A slicker brush will also help to remove undercoat, and is especially useful when removing tangled undercoat or matting. Depending on the severity of the matt and the tolerance of your dog, you may be able to remove matts with a detangling spray and a slicker brush.
You can also use a standard comb to go through the coat once you have brushed the coat out with a slicker brush. This helps to check for any remaining knots and to remove any final undercoat that may have been left behind.
Brushing your dogs coat regularly will distribute the natural oils to promote a healthy and shiny coat, while also reducing the shedding and eliminating the risk of matting.