If you’ve got pets, you’ve got pet hair. There is no getting around it. Pet hair will find its way onto your furniture, your clothes, and, on occasion, even your food.
Indoor pets will shed throughout the year. Pets that spend a large portion of the day outdoors will have a more dramatic shedding season. Twice a year, they really “blow their coats,” as groomers like to say. During the spring and fall months, many pets shed more than usual. In the spring, pets will lose that winter coat; in the fall, they will lose their summer coat to make way for thicker winter fur.
Shedding, while it cannot be prevented, can be managed with grooming and housecleaning.
Brushing your pets will help remove much of that unneeded hair. Dogs with double coats may need to be brushed with a rake, a specially designed tool to help remove loose fur that is trapped beneath the outer coat. That loose fur is susceptible to matting, especially if it gets wet. If you can, brush them outside.
De-shedding tools are another answer. These tools contain a covered blade that helps cut away the loose fur. De-shedding tools are made for both dogs and cats to handle all lengths of fur.
For shorthaired pets, a hound glove may be the answer. This type of rubber glove has short nubs on the palm. You will just pet your dog or cat, and the rubber in the glove will help brush away even the shortest loose hair.
After a good brushing, bathing your pet can also help control shedding. Wash your dog, then after his fur dries, give him another good brushing to remove the fur released after the bath.
While most people do not bathe cats (cats bathe themselves), it is equally important to groom your cat to help handle excessive hair. As cats groom themselves, some of the excessive loose hair will be swallowed, creating a hairball in your cat’s stomach. She will usually vomit the hairball up but it can, in rare situations, lead to intestinal blockage.
A good diet is also key to controlling shedding. A high-quality diet that contains fatty acids to help create a healthy skin and coat will diminish shedding.
For some pets, a summer haircut helps relieve the problem of shedding. Although you never want to shave a double-coated dog, many dog owners opt for shorter haircuts during warm weather. Not only does it help address the problem of shedding, but it also makes it easier to spot ticks and fleas, which are other summer issues.
In spite of all your efforts, though, there will be shedding, so be prepared. Frequent vacuuming will go a long way towards keeping that loose fur in check, as will using covers on your upholstered furniture. Vacuum attachments can help clean upholstery, and a simple dish washing glove, slightly wet, wiped across upholstery will also roll up loose fur.
Controlling that loose fur may take a few extra minutes a day but, after all, what’s a little fur between friends?