Shedding isn’t a huge concern for dog owners…until it gets out of control. Our Chesapeake Bay Retriever was the biggest shedder. We used to call the balls of fur that rolled around the floor – tumbleweeds. As a family, we didn’t care so much about them (until it got crazy) but we didn’t particularly like when people who visited saw them. That’s why we wondered about the answer to the question: Does bathing a dog help with shedding? We did the research and here is the answer.
Does Bathing a Dog Help with Shedding?
Yes, bathing a dog does help with shedding. When a dog sheds a strand of hair, one of two things happens:
- The hair falls out from beneath the skin.
- The hair breaks above the skin.
The reasons for the two ways dog hair sheds differ.
When Hair Sheds from Beneath the Skin
Dog hair that falls out from beneath the skin has lived its life. Dead hair falls out to make room for new hair growth or to regulate body temperature. That’s why dogs shed so much during the spring and summer. As the weather warms up, dogs lose hair so they have a thinner coats. It’s a lot like a person swapping a heavy coat for a lighter one.
When Hair Breaks Above the Skin
Dog shedding that comes from dog hair that breaks above the skin happens when the dog scratches or the dog’s skin isn’t healthy enough to support the hair. That’s why the health of a dog’s skin is so important. Itchy skin makes dogs scratch and also causes hair to dry out and become brittle.
Another way that hair breaks above the skin is due to loose hair getting tangled in other hair. As it gets tangled, it can pull other hair out. The dog may scratch because of the tangles and that pulls out the dead hair and healthy hair.
How Bathing Helps Dogs with Shedding
Dog owners should bathe their dogs at least once every month. A dog’s coat can become dirty quickly, especially if he/she spends a lot of time outdoors. Some dogs require a bath or shower more frequently due to getting dirty.
Bathing helps with dog shedding in the following ways:
- The water removes loose hair from the body. The pressure of the water can loosen the hair from other hair. This leaves room for new hair growth.
- A bath can be an effective way of removing a double coat after the winter months. Special shampoo for shedding dogs can help make the natural process faster and easier.
- Rubbing a dog during the bath can also help with a dog’s shedding process. Bath time is a great time to give your pup a massage and while that’s being done, dead hair will come out and any brittle, unhealthy hair will, too.
Brushing Your Dog Before and After Bath Time Helps with Shedding
In addition to bath time, brushing your dog with the right brush can promote a healthy coat.
Dog owners should invest in a bristle brush, wire-pin brush, or a slicker brush. They are great to use on all breeds and coat types. When used regularly, brushing can reduce excessive shedding significantly. It removes loose fur during bath time and in between baths.
Effective Ways to Decrease Your Dog’s Shedding
In addition to bathing your dog to help with shedding along with regular brushing, you can help your dog’s shedding by doing the following.
Improve Your Dog’s Diet
Healthy skin and coats come from a healthy diet. Dog Ownership Guide recommends a fresh raw dog food diet. It makes it easy to ensure your pup gets all of the nutrition he/she needs for overall health.
For pet owners who don’t want to feed a fresh or raw dog food diet, there are fish oil supplements that can help with shedding.
Use a Dog Shirt for Shedding
Dog shirts for shedding can help contain pet hair to keep it from taking over your home. Dog shirts or dog onesies are clothes that comfortably fit around your dog’s body.
Trim Your Dog’s Hair
Longer coats are more apt to break, so trimming it can help excess shedding. This isn’t to say that short-haired dogs don’t shed. Our articles on whether or not Yorkies shed and Maltipoos shed discuss that. Short hair is easier to manage with brushing, bathing, and cleaning your home.
Summary: Does Bathing a Dog Help with Shedding?
Now you know the answer to the question: Does bathing a dog help with shedding? Go ahead and bathe your dog at least once a month. It will help reduce excessive shedding, especially with regular brushing.
If dog baths are not your pup’s idea of a good time, you may want to read this article: How to Bathe a Dog That Hates Water