The 5 Steps to Reduce Shedding
As a groomer or pet owner, one of the most challenging issues we face (along with our four-footed friends) is constant shedding or tangled mats in the dog’s coat. While you may not be able to completely eliminate shedding altogether, there are some simple steps you can follow that will certainly make a difference in the health and appearance of a pet’s coat.
The secret to a great-looking coat and reduced shedding is a healthy coat. With the endless amounts of products on the market it can be an overwhelming task to determine what works and what’s a waste of time. The reality is that there are only five simple steps you need to follow to ensure your (or your client’s) dog has a great-looking and healthy coat.
So…what are the steps to a great looking coat? The answer is to develop a deshedding system that promotes a healthy coat:
Step 1: Pre-Brushing
A healthy coat starts with removing the loose hair and mats that have formed. Some coats need more frequent brushing than others and it is a good idea to have the owner brush the dog in between visits. This helps to maintain the coat and allows the owner to bond with the pet. Brushing between visits is also important because it helps the pet get used to being brushed. There are several tools that are useful in this step, but which tool you use depends on the condition of the coat.
For average coats try:
For more serious tangles and mats try:
Tangle removers and coat conditioner sprays are also useful because they soften minor tangles and mats, making them easer to break up with a grooming tool.
Step 2: Shampoo
This is where you can really make a difference in coat health. Pick a shampoo that contains ingredients designed to moisturize the skin and strengthen the coat. Look for things like aloe, coconut milk, oatmeal, jojoba and other natural oils. Vitamins A and E are also important for strengthening the hair shaft, which will help to reduce shedding. Other ingredients may be proteins or fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Step 3: Conditioner Solution
The key here is that healthy coats will have less excessive shedding. A well-formulated conditioner solution will help to release the undercoat. A good conditioner solution will also contain natural oils, vitamins and/or fatty acids that help to make the coat shiny and soft. Just like human hair, conditioner solutions also help to moisturize the skin and strengthen the hair shafts.
Step 4: High-Velocity Drying
Once the dog has been bathed, a high-velocity dryer may be used to remove the loose hair. This is the most important step in the deshedding system. As much as 75-80% of the shedding hair can be removed in this step alone. High-velocity dryers are forced-air dryers where the airflow is concentrated through constricted nozzles to create a more forceful airflow. High-velocity dryers can also be used before bathing.
Step 5: Brushing
Running a brush through the dog’s coat will help to catch any loose hair that remains after the conditioner solution and high-velocity dryer have been used. A final round of brushing enhances the dog’s coat and prepares the dog for their owner. The last step is to encourage owners to brush at home. Brushing in between visits will help the coat stay healthy and further reduce shedding.
There you have it – the 5-step deshedding system. Using brushes, shampoos, conditioners and dryers together in harmony will yield far more substantial results than just one item on its own.