The Water Bowl
Breed & Health Resources

Furball Freedom In Seven Simple Steps

By Dr. Patty Khuly

Fur Shedding Frustration

Fur got you down? Join the club! Having four dogs in our household means fur galore. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Here are seven simple steps I recommend to help you get the furballs and dust bunnies under control:

#1 Get a vet check.

Plenty of pets shed extra-copious amounts because of untreated skin diseases. Allergic skin disease, thyroid disorders and parasitism are just a trio of these.

#2 Clipping

For allergies (yours), aesthetics, hygiene, or simple fur control, plenty of pet owners take it all off. The lion cut is most attractive, IMO, but any short cut works, even for breeds of pets who don’t normally get clipped. Clipping every couple of months is best.

#3 Brushing

This is the most effective way of keeping fur from hitting your floors, furniture, or clothing. Doing it outside is my approach. The Furminator is by far the most effective tool I’ve ever found for serious shedding. Some pets need it done daily.

#4 Gizmos

Though I love those awesome 3M tape rollers for my furniture and clothing, nothing beats a great vacuum cleaner for picking up stray hair off the floor and other surfaces (I have a Dyson). There’s even a robotic Roomba that’s made especially for picking up pet hair. Some of my clients swear by it.

#5 Bathing

Though not strictly necessary for most pets beyond the dirt-losing, every-couple-of-weeks sort of process, bathing more frequently will help tremendously with heavy shedders. Though it may mean you need one of those plastic hair-catchers to keep your pipes clear of hairy debris, I promise this approach will help get loose hairs off any hair coat. Sure, your cat might protest, but consider that bathing is what gets those bigger clumps of undercoat better than most anything else (except maybe the Furminator).

#6 Prevention

Keep those fleas off. Address skin allergies head on. Keep skin healthy with a great diet and some fatty acid supplements (ask your veterinarian about these).

#7 Selection

Though it’s not always an easy thing to do, choosing certain breeds can help mitigate the fur issue. Many pet owners select (or adopt) pets with shed-prone fur then realize their households are not ideally suited to dust bunnies aplenty. Everyone has a different level of tolerance for fur. Knowing yours is half the battle.

So those are my seven “words” of furry wisdom. How about you, what do YOU do to keep Fluffy’s fur from ruining your home life?

Mind if we pay your vet bills?

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