Dealing With a Dog Who Sheds Everywhere

Pugs shed profusely, but owners can take steps to limit the mess.

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Q. I realize that Pugs shed, but mine sheds so much I don’t know how she isn’t bald. Her coat is so thick (and beautiful) but it is everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Is there anything I can add to her diet to help this? She is groomed regularly with a Shed-X treatment and follow-up brush out. I must keep in mind that her little gut is very sensitive to things. I heard mineral oil in her food will help. What are your thoughts?

A. Pugs are among the most amiable companions of the dog world. Comical, lovable, relatively clean and good with children, no matter what kind of a day you’re having, one look at that Pug mug will put a smile on your face. But yes, they do have that bothersome fault — they shed a lot!

There are several things you can do to combat the ever-present Pug fluff that attaches itself to your furniture, floors and clothing. Although they are shorthaired dogs and considered low-maintenance in terms of coat care, getting your Pug groomed often —once a month — will help keep her shedding under control. It will also make her nicer to nuzzle because she will always smell good.

These days, many groomers use products that soak into the coat before or during the bath to loosen dead and shed hair on breeds that shed profusely. Some groomers swear by Best Shot products for dogs that shed heavily, shampooing these pets before “rough-prepping” them by brushing their coats out completely. Used in combination, Best Shot’s Ultra Wash Shampoo, Conditioner, and Ultra Vitalizing Mist create a three-step “coat release” formula that cleans, deodorizes, eliminates mats, reduces static, and seals in moisture and shine.

Bathing a dog before clearing its coat of mats, tangles and shed hair is a radical departure for “old school” groomers like me, but I must admit it does save time for the groomer and lessens brushing time for the pet. That said, I would still prefer to give a Pug a good massaging with a rubber curry to help loosen that shed hair before I pop this little shedding machine in the tub.

No matter which brand of high-quality pet shampoo you use, always add a conditioning product to the final rinse when bathing a Pug. Whenever you brush your Pug, whether before the bath, after it’s washed or between grooming visits, I prefer the rubber curry over the wire-bristled slicker brush unless the dog has solid pockets of packed hair that need to be gently and carefully removed.

You need to make sure your Pug’s facial wrinkles are clean and dry after the bath, using a wash cloth or pet wipe to do this job. Also take care not to get shampoo into those beautiful, highly sensitive and somewhat protruding Pug eyes.

Diet also plays a huge role in coat condition and excess shedding. As far as food goes, I recommend a fish-based diet for these dogs. There are also supplements on the market such as Linatone Shed Relief by Lambert-Kay, containing essential fatty acids to lubricate the skin and hair to help control dryness, add sheen and treat itching associated with dry, flaky skin.

Another liquid supplement, Shed-X Dermaplex, also contains essential fatty acids combined with natural vitamins to reduce shedding and produce a healthy lustrous coat. Both are supposed to be added to the pet's food on a daily basis. I would recommend these instead of mineral oil, which won’t help much and may have a laxative effect, adding to your cleanup woes.

Along with shedding, some would also consider snoring, snuffling and sneezing to be unfortunate characteristics of the Pug, but to true aficionados, those trademark noises are simply music to their ears.

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rick   keystone, IA

8/13/2011 8:32:08 AM

my black lab sheds terribly. what should i do?

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