Autumn and Spring are Shedding Seasons
Unless all of your clothes and furniture matches your dog’s fur colour, you’ll be noticing a marked increase in shedding every spring and autumn. The amount of shedding will vary widely depending on the type of dog you live with.
Back in the day, when your average dog had to work for a living, shedding seasons were more consistent. Dogs who lived outdoors year-round had to maintain a coat to match the weather. Now that dogs mainly live indoors, shedding may occur more gradually throughout the year, rather than two seasonal dumps of fur in the Spring and Autumn. Some dog breeds shed massive quantities of fur for about 2 months per year.
Frequent brushing helps in many ways
Brushing your dog’s coat frequently is a great way to remove loose hair before it spreads all over your clothing and home. Brushing often is also good for your dog’s skin and helps them to both look and feel good. Shedding is an itchy process, so helping your dog to remove the excess fur will be appreciated.
Blowing coat (which is losing a bunch of fur at once) can happen in a dramatic way. Search for videos for “blowing coat” on youtube to see the fur fly! While watching those videos, it occurred to me that it makes a lot more sense to vacuum the fur, rather than spreading it everywhere with a blower. So I typed in “vacuum dog brush” into youtube and voila! Dyson and Shed Pal have already invented it.
Ensure your dog enjoys being groomed
Whether blowing or vacuuming the fur, both of these types of machines make noises that your dog may initially be afraid of. The key to introducing anything new and potentially scary to your pet is to do it slowly and with plenty of positive feedback. This method works equally well with introducing your dog to electric fur trimmers, hair dryers, etc.
First show your dog the machine without switching it on, to simply let them smell and see it. While holding your dog’s collar, turn it on for only a second or two, then calmly give the dog pats and praise. Turn it on again for a very short time. Shower your dog with more pats and praise and redirect the dog to go play with something else for a while.
Later, show the dog again, while brushing, and turn it on for a few seconds. Perhaps reward your dog with a healthy treat, such as a piece of carrot. Turn it on again for ten seconds, with more praises, “good dog!” and leave it until another day. Increase the duration of the machine being on gradually over many repetitions. Only then, you can introduce the function of the machine in the same way. Show the dog how it blows or sucks your own hair, then try it on their back. If it’s a clipper, hold it to your skin, to show how you are unharmed, before holding it up to their body for a short time.
By introducing any noisy machine slowly with lots of praise, affection and patience, over time your dog will come to enjoy being vacuumed, shaved, or blow dried. When you’re done, be sure to tell them how amazing they look!
Whether your dog sheds a lot or not, having a dog who is comfortable and trusts you with loud noisy objects such as a vacuum is a real benefit. It can be super helpful with sand cleanup after trips to the beach among many other messy situations dogs can encounter.
Crafty uses for all of that excess fur
After brushing your dog, you may have wondered if there were something you could do with all of that excess fur. Perhaps you’ve thought of stuffing a cushion or sprinkling some around the edge of your veggie patch to deter squirrels. Or maybe you give it to the birds to line their nests. Usually though, it simply goes to the landfill. Did you know that it’s possible to spin dog fur into yarn! Chiengora, also known as canine cashmere, is yarn made from long-haired dog fibres. If you or someone you know loves to knit, spin, or crochet, please read my post on Chiengora.