Pet shedding explained: Dr. Katrina Warren explains why your dog or cat sheds so much and what to do about it


We all love our pets for the joy they bring to our lives, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some maddening moments.

They are called furry friends for a reason, and that reason, namely, is hair loss. Animal hair on floors, on clothes, on furniture, in beds – where animals go, so does their hair. Such is the inconvenient price we have to pay for a few hugs, but, with the right strategies, there is a way to manage it.

Here’s what you need to know about maintaining a pet hair-free home when your pet isn’t a low-shedding breed.

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No-shedding or low-shedding dog or cat breeds, such as a poodle, are the way to go if you are very concerned about hair loss. However, they require regular mowing. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What Are Low Shedding Pet Breeds?

All dogs and cats shed, but some shed more than others. Choosing a smooth or short-haired breed of pet might be your best bet if shedding is an issue.

If you are looking for a dog with low shedding, Bichon Frizes, Miniature Schnauzers, Poodles, Maltese and Shi Tzus are some of the most popular breeds that shed very little. Australian Silky Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Whippets, Greyhounds, and Chihuahuas shed hair, but since they have fine coats, they have less hair and don’t require as much grooming.

For cats, the Hairless Sphynx won’t give you any trouble, and the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex shed very little.

It’s important to remember that low shedding dog breeds in particular require regular shearing, which is a significant expense to consider.

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Adorable photos of animals that look just like their owners

Tips for Reducing and Managing Pet Shedding

Groom your pet regularly: Regular brushing of your pets ensures the removal of loose hair that would otherwise be deposited around the house.

For long-haired pets in particular, regular grooming is ideal to keep their coat groomed. The best way to groom them is to do it outside whenever possible and possibly invest in shedding tools that cut through the top coat to remove loose hair from the undercoat.

Cleaning: Again, this might be another no-brainer, but regularly vacuuming your living spaces to remove hair and using a sticky roller to remove fur from clothes works wonders.

One way to make it easier for you if your pets are allowed on your furniture is to invest in coverings such as washable covers or area rugs, so your furniture itself isn’t what gives it hair. Be sure to wash pet-friendly blankets, bedding, and towels separately from your other laundry and regularly.

While conventionally dark colored blankets may seem logical as they are less likely to show dirt, owners of light colored pets might find it beneficial to choose light colored blankets so that hair does not not appear on the dark contrast. Leather is also a good furniture option if you don’t want to use upholstery, as it doesn’t hold hair back.

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Cat lying on a sofa
If you have a light-haired pet, light-colored furniture is more likely to hide the pet’s hair than dark furniture. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

animal management: If you don’t want you, your family, or your guests covered in hair when they sit in your home, then your best bet is to make sure your pets don’t climb on your furniture.

The best way to handle this is, if possible, to train your new puppy or kitten to avoid furniture as soon as they enter your home.

Restrict your pets to areas of the house with hard flooring, as tiles and floors are easier to clean.

Shedding can also be a sign of a medical problem – animals with fleas and skin problems may shedding more often than usual and are susceptible to secondary problems such as dandruff. Be sure to take your pet to the vet regularly.

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