Dog owners are all too familiar with the hair that seems to be everywhere. It’s nearly impossible to get your pup clean enough, and it doesn’t help that they’re constantly shedding their fur. Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds most notorious for this behavior, but there are things you can do to reduce shedding in your dog! These 8 easy ways will make your life easier while also keeping your house cleaner.
1) Brush your dog daily
Regular brushing helps remove excess hair from the skin before it reaches other surfaces in the home or on clothing. Brushes should be changed regularly because coarse bristles can irritate tender skin if used too long without being replaced with softer ones. The best way to start is by using a slicker brush which is made with fine, bent wires that help remove dead hair.
2) Bathe your dog regularly
Golden Retrievers are known for their thick undercoats and it’s important to keep the oils in their skin healthy. Oils keep the coat shiny and help prevent matting; they also prevent dryness and flakes (allergy symptoms). Brushing before bathing will help loosen dirt and debris so it can be removed more easily. Once a month or once per season is usually enough for most Goldens depending on how often they play outside. Use COLD water when giving your pup a bath because hot water can strip these oils from their skin. If you’re worried about drying out the fur too much, use lukewarm or room temperature water.
3) Use a de-shedding tool
A brush with stainless steel bristles is the best choice to remove excess fur from your dog’s coat, but this type of metal can be pricey. For an alternative, a rake with rounded teeth will work. They are much less expensive and would be beneficial in helping take out extra hair years before they become a problem for both the dog and their owner.
4) Keep up with regular trims
It’s very important to keep up with regular trims so excess fur isn’t allowed to build up on your pup’s feet and leg hair. This hair can prevent movement which then inhibits exercise, something that should stay consistent in order to control how much shedding takes place.
5) Control your dog’s diet
Holistic diets are often recommended because the ingredients used in most commercial foods are full of fillers, additives, and preservatives that can cause health problems for your pet including skin issues which will increase shedding. Make sure to have your pet checked out by a vet if they show signs of allergies or skin irritation so you can pinpoint what might be causing it before you attempt to change their food.
6) Keep hot spots at bay
If your Golden develops hot spots, there is likely some sort of irritant on their skin causing them to over-groom themselves. Look for things like chiggers, thistle seeds (burs), stickers in the fur, insect bites, any type of rash, or anything that might irritate them when they groom themselves. After you’ve successfully removed the cause of the hot spot(s), it’s essential to keep them clean and treated to prevent further irritation. Some vets recommend using corn starch in combination with water (1:5 ratio) and applying it directly to any open sores or lesions to dry them out and allow for proper healing.
7) Stay consistent with grooming
This goes hand-in-hand with giving your dog regular trims so their coat doesn’t become too long before being addressed. Even if you have a short-haired Golden Retriever, there are still areas where matting can occur. Pay attention to areas like underarms, legs, tail section, and chest for any signs of matting and try to keep them as tangle-free as possible. This will help your dog stay comfortable throughout the year and will help lessen excess shedding.
8) Take care of your home
While we might not always be able to see it, there is dead hair everywhere around our homes and businesses. Make sure you frequently vacuum and sweep or mop areas where your dog spends a lot of their time because this loose fur can easily become stuck to surfaces and cause those who suffer from allergies issues to have reactions. If you don’t mind spending a little extra on something that could help make your life easier, invest in a good commercial vacuum cleaner because these often come equipped with special attachments made specifically for pet owners.