If you have a pet, you know how frustrating hair can be, especially during the winter months where it needs to be kept long to keep your furry friend warm. However, keeping the fur off clothing, furniture and the floor can be a never-ending battle. Here are a few tips to maintaining your pet’s long hair.
Brush and Cover
Embrace Grooming Responsibilities
Don’t avoid your grooming responsibilities during the winter months. Giving your pet a quick one-minute brushing outdoors or in the garage every day will save time and effort spent dusting, sweeping and vacuuming every week. With a little hair off your dog or cat at a time and place of your choosing, you will soon see a reduction in the amount of fur you find lying around the house.
Protect Your Furniture with Washable Slipcovers
Nobody wants to sit on a couch covered in pet hair. Consider investing in a few furniture covers specifically made for the purpose. As needed, put them in the laundry and replace with a clean one. Remove them when you have visitors and you will have clean furniture for your guests.
Utilize Throw Rugs for Floor Protection
Rugs can be strategically placed so they gather the pet fur and help prevent it from spreading throughout the house. Also, placing one in each doorway to the outdoors allows the rug to catch the dust, dirt and debris your dog (or cat) brings in on his feet and fur. Consider machine-washable rubs with nonskid backing, as they are easy and inexpensive to replace when they become stained or worn out.
Clean Your Pets Paws
After your pet has been outdoors, you should wipe their feet before letting them into the rest of the house. You will be surprise at how clean the rest of your house stays by doing this.
Covering Up Your Pet
After giving your pet a bath or brushing, dress him in that cute T-shirt or sweater. If he wears it between grooming sessions, it will help keep the fur on him and off your belongings.
There are a numerous tools for lifting fur. Consider electrostatic cloths such as Swiffers that pick up hair from hardwood or tile floors, the classic lint roller for removing hair from clothes and the many vacuum cleaners by Bissell, Dirt Devil and Dyson designed specifically for those who own pets.
Some vacuum cleaners even have special attachments and features that you can use specifically on your pets. While some pets really enjoy being vacuumed, you should introduce them to the concept slowly and carefully, or you may end up with unexpected injuries.
You might also be surprised by grooming tools such as shedding rakes that can get excess fur off pets. Just be careful not to remove so much hair that your pet is bald.
Keeping Your Pet’s Coat Shiny
The majority of vets will tell you that the cause of a dull coat is likely “poor nutrition.” This is why you want to make sure you are feeding your four-legged friend a healthy diet full of real meat and protein, with few if any by-products, preservatives, and grains like corn, wheat and soy, which can cause allergies.
In addition, there are medical issues that can affect your dog’s appearance, so a dull coat may be a good reason for a checkup. Parasites such as tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms can all deplete your dog of key nutrients import for his coat health. Infections, fleas and ticks, thyroid problems, kidney conditions and other health issues can also be to blame, so make sure your pet has a clean bill of health.
Natural Ways to Encourage a Shiny Coat
Once your know that your furry friend is in tip-top shape, here are a few other things you can do to encourage his coat to come out shiny and soft.
Tuna, Sardines and Salmon
These food items are full of health omega-3 fatty acids that assist in contributing to a healthy coat, plus they are delicious to a dog! Consider adding these foods to your dog’s food.
Regular brushing stimulates the skin and hair follicles, increasing the natural production of skin oils that make the coat shiny. Brush your pet at least once every other day.
How often you bathe him will depend on your dog, the length of of his coat and how dirty he gets. A general guideline is to bathe your pet once a month—often enough to keep the coat clean, but not so often that you are stripping the coat of essential oils. Moisturizing shampoo can be used that won’t irritate the skin. A natural conditioner can also be added afterwards—those that contain vitamin E are soothing to the skin and hair. Some pet owners use coconut milk on their pet’s fur for several minutes before bath time.
These are just a few tips for maintaining your pet’s long hair during the winter months. While there is no magic bullet yet for keeping your pet’s fur under control, regular grooming and housekeeping will help you fight fur flurries and keep the fuzz to a minimum during the winter months. Contact All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below for more information!