Put Your Best Paw Forward

Article by: Deb D’Andrea

Shedding, My Fur Factory

Regardless of how many times I vacuum and clean, there is always a level of fur to be found either on or off my fur kids.  I gently brush them to minimize where the fur flies, attempting to keep most of their fur in the brush versus around the house.  Fortunately, my girls don’t’ shed too much when compared to some of their furry friends; like Husky’s, who during certain times of the year you can grab handfuls of loose fur right off them as they release their under coat.

As puppies I trained my girls to love to be groomed, brushed, bathed and have their nails clipped.  I always make it the most positive, fun loving time ever so they now enjoy a lifetime of happy grooming experiences.  Shedding is a lifetime cycle, but you’ll see greater shedding in the spring as their bodies release the old hair of fall and winter; though, it has been found that artificial light can cause some to shed year round.

Both cats and dogs shed, with a few breeds appearing to shed less.  With our thick coat companions, it is important to keep their fur free of mats and tangles, not just for their comfort but to also deter fleas and reduce the ability for hot spots to occur.  Bear, my Aussie, always gets little fur mats around her ears which I gently comb out; Tiki, a Blue Heeler/Husky mix, never has any mats and enjoys a light brushing.  Also, keep in mind as they age their skin becomes more sensitive and have a very gentle hand whenever working on them.  If their head is popping up and they’re looking at you while you’re brushing them, you’re probably brushing too hard.  And, as I have long hair, I know what it’s like when working out a knot and always hold at the base of the fur to minimize any pulling of the skin.

As with clipping nails, it is not important for you to brush through their entire body in one session.  You can work on them for fifteen minutes and then take a break till the following day, continuing where you left off.  This will help make each session more relaxing and positive, taking a break when they’ve decided they’re done.  Otherwise, you could end up chasing them around the house, tackling them and holding them in a figure four head lock each time the brush comes out!

So to help with shedding, try to develop a brushing schedule, have lots of treats at hand, and make the time a great bonding experience for you and your furry companion.  If you have stories you’d like to share, questions you’d like answered, email me and I’ll be happy to write about it in this column.  Enjoy the moment!

4TheLuvOfDogz ~ Making Tails Wag Better

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Deb D’Andrea is Founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz.

Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or

email:  info@4theluvofdogz.com

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