How to Handle Your Adult Dog’s Shedding
How to Handle Your Adult Dog’s Shedding

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How to Handle Your Adult Dog’s Shedding

If you own a dog, chances are, you deal with the nuisance of shedding fur. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help keep your dog's shedding to a manageable level.

If you own a dog, chances are, you deal with the nuisance of shedding fur. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help keep your dog's shedding to a manageable level.

 

 

Bred to Shed

The main factor related to how much your dog sheds is which breed you own. Certain breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles, hardly shed at all, and are especially well suited for people who suffer from dander-related allergies. But if one of these hypoallergenic breeds is not your dog of choice, then chances are you deal with some amount of shedding. Here are some practical tips to deal with all of that hair.

 

 

Bad Hair Days

Many dogs are seasonal shedders. As the temperatures begin to drop, so does the fur. Dogs shed their summer coats in the fall as their winter coats come in. The best way to deal with this is to be prepared. Brush your dog more often and vacuum more frequently. This will keep that extra hair from becoming too unmanageable.

 

Dogs also will go through their own version of spring cleaning. When the temperatures begin to rise in the spring, dogs will begin shedding that extra winter hair. Again, preparation is the key. Regular brushing and vacuuming will help you get through these “hairy” times.

 

 

Less Shedding Through Nutrition?

Between the millions of strands of hair constantly growing, some breeds of dogs grow up to a total of 100 feet of fur per day! But, while your dog might not boast those kinds of hair-growth numbers, constantly replacing fur still places a demand on a dog’s system. Thirty percent of a dog's protein needs go toward hair growth. If a dog is not receiving proper nutrition, the dog's body will put the protein he's receiving toward maintaining muscle mass, leaving the coat to suffer.

 

A healthy, shiny coat is not only a sign of proper nutrition, but it also sheds less than an unhealthy coat. Premium dog food like IAMS™ ProActive Health™ provides dogs with the nutrients they need to keep their coat healthy, which means less shedding.

 

 

High Time for Hygiene

Brushing doesn't have to be a necessary evil. Train your dog to enjoy brushing, offering frequent praise during the process, and maybe even a treat at the end. This is easiest done from the time your dog is a puppy, but older dogs can be taught to enjoy brushing as well. The importance of brushing cannot be overemphasized. Just look at all the hair that ends up in the brush, and realize if it weren’t in the brush, it would be on your couch, floor, and perhaps, bed.

 

Be sure you're using the right kind of brush for your dog's coat. Breeds with thick undercoats need a specific type of brush, while longhaired breeds need a comb.

 

Last but not least, make sure to give your dog an occasional bath. Aside from the obvious benefit of having a clean, good-smelling pooch, your dog's coat will also benefit. Be warned though: Bathing your dog too frequently washes away the natural oil on his skin and coat, resulting in dry skin and, you guessed it, more shedding.

 

 

A Little Extra Time Goes a Long Way

Committing the time to maintaining your dog's coat will help keep his shedding under control. Frequent brushing and vacuuming, and feeding your dog a balanced diet such as IAMS ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks will have you worrying less about an overabundance of hair and more time enjoying your furry friend.

  • Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

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    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

    What Is Bloat?

    Bloat is a life-threatening condition that acts rapidly and can lead to death within hours if not recognized and treated immediately. Unfortunately, the cause of bloat remains unknown at this time.

     

    The scientific term for bloat is gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. Bloat is characterized by rapid and abnormal expansion of the stomach with gas (dilatation). This can be followed by rotation of the stomach (volvulus). This rotation closes both the entry to and exit from the stomach. The blood vessels also are closed down, and blood flow is restricted.

     

    What follows is an increase in pressure inside the stomach and compression of the surrounding organs. Eventually, shock will occur as a result of the restricted blood flow. Here are a few key facts about bloat:

    • Bloat should always be treated as a medical emergency.
    • Bloat can kill a dog within hours after onset.
    • The cause of bloat is unknown.
    • Bloat affects 36,000 dogs in the United States each year; 30% die as a result of this condition.
    • Bloat can occur in dogs of any age.
    • Certain breeds are more susceptible to bloat, particularly deep-chested dogs.
    • The stomach rapidly expands with gas then rotates on the long axis. Entry to and exit from the stomach is prohibited, causing blood vessels to close and restriction of blood flow.

     

     

    Signs of Bloat

    Bloat is a true medical emergency, and early identification and treatment is critical to survival.

     

    In the early stages of bloat, the dog will be very uncomfortable. You might see him pacing and whining or trying unsuccessfully to get into a comfortable position. He might seem anxious, might lick or keep staring at his stomach, and might attempt to vomit, without success.

     

    Other indications of bloat can include weakness, swelling of the abdomen, and even signs of shock. Signs of shock are increased heart rate and abnormally rapid breathing.

     

    If you notice these signs, call your veterinarian immediately!

     

    • Whining
    • Inability to get comfortable
    • Pacing or restlessness
    • Pale gums
    • Unproductive attempts to vomit
    • Abnormally rapid breathing
    • Increased heart rate
    • Anxiety
    • Pain, weakness
    • Swelling of the abdomen (particularly the left side)

     

     

    Helping Prevent Bloat

    These suggestions could help you prevent bloat in your dog. However, they are based on suspected risk factors and are not guaranteed to prevent the onset of bloat.

     

    • Feed small amounts of food frequently, two to three times daily.
    • Avoid exercise for one hour before and two hours after meals.
    • Don't let your dog drink large amounts of water just before or after eating or exercise.
    • If you have two or more dogs, feed them separately to avoid rapid, stressful eating.
    • If possible, feed at times when after-feeding behavior can be observed.
    • Avoid abrupt diet changes.
    • If you see signs of bloat, call your veterinarian immediately.

     

     

    Digestible Foods

    Another way you might help prevent bloat is to feed a high-quality, highly digestible food with normal fiber levels.

     

    Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of bloat can be identified. Although not 100% effective, these measures can reduce the number of dogs that face this serious, life-threatening condition.

     

     

    High-Risk Breeds

    • German Shepherd
    • Bouvier de Flandres
    • Great Dane
    • Boxer
    • St. Bernard
    • Doberman Pinscher
    • Bloodhound
    • German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Irish Setter
    • Gordon Setter
    • Borzoi
    • Irish Wolfhound
    • Dachshund
    • Labrador Retriever
    • Basset Hound

    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
    Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog
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