Q. My German Shepherd mix sheds like crazy. Is there anything I can feed him to stop it?
A. Some breeds and their mixes shed constantly. The German Shedder - I mean Shepherd - is among the worst. But shedding is normal, and you can't stop it with a simple food addition. You can, however, reduce the flying fur by what I estimate is around 90 percent by using the three Cs: cut, collect and contain.
See Also: 5 Easy-to-Groom Dog Breeds
1. Cut Back on Loose Hair
A healthy coat sheds normally, but excessive shedding or bare spots that indicate excessive fur loss could mean a health problem. A veterinarian will need to check that out. And talk to a veterinarian about the dog's nutrition as well, since a high-quality diet is essential to a healthy coat.
Keep the good health going and reduce shedding by bathing your pet regularly. Bathing loosens and removes fur that's ready to be shed. A bath tool like the Kong Zoom Groom really helps loosen and remove fur in the tub as well.
Between baths, brushing and combing catches more fur. Using a shedding tool such as the Furminator will remove fur before it can be left on the sofa.
See Also: 5 Most Annoying Pet Grooming Myths
2. Collect the Fur
Want to know the one thing you'll find in every veterinary clinic? The humble lint roller - it really gets fur off clothing. You'll also need a good vacuum cleaner. Several companies have models aimed at the pet-lover market, including Bissell, Dyson and Dirt Devil. These usually have special attachments that do a great job grabbing loose fur from upholstery. For what remains, a clean, slightly damp sponge flicked across fabric works wonders.
For bare floors, use electrostatic wipes, such as those from Swiffer.
3. Contain It
While the first two Cs will keep most of the flying fur in check, if you're really furphobic, you can reduce the amount of hair that ends up on furniture by containing it (sort of) on the dog. Depending on your dog's environment, a tee or specially fitted shirt may help contain some of the hair. Ask your veterinarian if this is a good choice for your dog.
But really, good health, regular bathing and brushing, and good housekeeping are the answers. Good luck!