Spring brings spring cleaning, blooming flowers and, for dog owners, pet shedding. As winter comes to an end, your dog begins shedding their thicker winter coat to prepare for the hot days of summer. Seemingly overnight, you start seeing wisps of fur floating around. While it’s reassuring to know that spring shedding is a healthy and necessary process for your cat and dog, keeping a pet home clean can be challenging, to say the least.
Why Dogs Shed in the Spring
Dogs have a natural circadian rhythm that tells their body when it’s time to get rid of the thick fur and start growing the thinner summer coat. Shedding, or “blowing the coat,” is a natural reaction to the temperature changes and increased amount of daylight that we see in spring. Dogs actually shed all year long, but it’s spring that puts that shedding into overdrive.
During shedding season, you may see thin patches or uneven areas on your furry friend as the old coat falls away and the new one comes in. These variances in your dog’s coat during shedding are perfectly normal, and once the new coat fills in, your dog will look good as new.
Keeping a Pet Home Clean During Shedding Season
While you can’t stop all that shedding, and you shouldn’t even if you could, the good news is that there are solutions for keeping your home a little less furry! From reducing the amount of hair and fur that’s floating around over speeding up the shedding process to getting the whole thing over with more quickly, there are ways for pet owners to keep their home clean during shedding season. Here are some tips for keeping your pet home as mess-free as possible during the spring shed.
Brush, Repeat, Brush, Repeat, Brush…
When it comes to shedding, your dog’s breed makes a big difference. Dogs with a double coat have a coarse outer coat that covers a dense undercoat; these breeds tend to be the biggest shedding offenders. But even short-hair breeds shed, so no matter what dog you have, you still need to do some maintenance to keep shedding under control.
Regularly brushing dogs with double coats is not only important for keeping a pet home clean, but it also helps prevent discomfort and possible health issues. Excess fur can build up in the undercoat and form matted lumps and knots. This build-up can cause abrasions, hot spots and even infections, so regular brushing helps keep your dog’s coat healthy and cuts down on the amount of shedding.
No matter what type of dog you have, brushing is essential for the dogs’ health. To make the most of those frequent brushings, it’s best to use a quality brush designed just for this purpose. Your vet can give you some good ideas about which brushes are best for specific breeds, and this article from the Canine Journal offers some guidance as well.
Bathe Your Dog to Speed Up the Shedding Process
When you bathe your dog, you’ll loosen up any matted fur and knots in that dead undercoat, and he’ll shed even more. So how does this help with keeping a pet home clean if we’re causing even more shedding? By loosening the hair, you make brushing more productive so you can get more of the hair out of his coat each time.
Give your dog a bath, dry him enough that the hair isn’t too damp, and start brushing. You’re going to get a lot of hair coming off during this post-bath brushing. Take your time and keep brushing till the brush no longer fills up. Keep a trash can handy, so you can periodically clean the brush off during your brushing.
Bathing and brushing aren’t going to stop the shedding, but it will lessen it for a while and ultimately speed up the shedding process for a shorter shedding season. Depending on your dog’s type of coat, two or three baths during the spring shedding season will make all that shedding more manageable.
Lint Rollers Aren’t Just for Lint!
No matter how much preventative maintenance you do, you’re still going to have plenty of hair and fur flying all over the house. During spring shedding season, an excellent tool for keeping a pet home clean is the trusty lint roller. Stock up on lint rollers and keep them handy throughout your home for quick and easy shedding clean up. Keep at least one in each room your dog has access to and keep a few by the front door for those unexpected fur balls and loose hairs on your clothes you find as you’re heading out.
While using a lint roller to clean up a house covered in dog hair may seem tedious, it’s the perfect tool for shedding maintenance to keep things from getting out of hand. To keep your guests comfortable, especially those with pet allergies, keep a few lint rollers in the guest bath and guest bedrooms for overnight stays. Your visitors will certainly understand the challenges of keeping a pet home clean during shedding season, but they’ll appreciate the efforts to keep them fur-free even more.
Cover-ups and Cleaner Carpets
All that shedding can be pretty visible on furniture and other exposed surfaces. You can use your vacuum, but make sure you keep it cleaned out between vacuums. If possible, use a vacuum with HEPA filter. This filter will help keep those small dander particles out of the air for a healthier environment. Vacuuming works well, but some pet owners have found some unique tools for getting rid of all that pet hair.
Many dog owners have found success in keeping shedding under control with rubber brooms with squeegee bristles. The hair and fur sticks to the rubber and the squeegee action clumps the hair together in a ball for easy removal. A vacuum and the rubber broom seem to be an effective combo for removing much of the pet hair. Some dog owners have even used rubber-soled shoes to clump hair together!
Your dog probably has a favorite spot or two around the house where he loves to nap or just relax. If his chill-out spot is on your sofa or one of your chairs, a machine-washable blanket or furniture cover is the perfect solution for keeping all that dander off the upholstery. Just take the cover outside and shake it off or give it a wash when it gets too furry. If your dog shares your bed, a duvet cover works great for keeping the pet hair off the sheets and pillows.
Hopefully, these tips for keeping a pet home clean during spring shedding season will help you keep the pet hair in your home at a manageable level. If things are already past that and you’re seeing hair everywhere, contact The Maids® and let us take care of that pet hair and dander once and for all.