Shedding pet hair is a universally disliked nuisance. The pet hair can get everywhere, and it can be notoriously difficult to clean. Almost all dogs (and cats) sheds, and although some have longer and thicker coats, shedding is not exclusive to them—they just shed more, and the shedding from these breeds is more noticeable.

Shedding is a natural part of way for animals to get rid of (and replace) old or damaged hair. The amount and frequency at which dogs shed hair depends on the breed and health of the dog. But if a dog is shedding excessively, it may be a sign of ill health, allergies, or some type of skin irritation.

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop a dog from shedding, as it is a natural function of their lifecycle; however, there are things you can do to minimize the shedding, and also make it easier to clean up the hair that does shed.

Regular Brushing: If you can put aside some time each week (or even daily) to brush your dog’s coat, it can result in greatly reduced shedding, as well as a cleaner, softer, and shinier coat. Be sure to use the proper type of brush for your dog’s coat. The variety of brushes you will have to consider are: slicker brush, shedding blade, and mat breakers.

Proper Diet: If you are familiar with the saying, ‘You are what you eat’, then it will come as no surprise that even dogs are bound by that rule. A healthy diet will prevent excessive shedding. So it is important to feed your dog high quality, and high protein diet. Whether you decide to make your own dog food at home or buy from the store, the most important part is to pay attention to the ingredients and make sure there is a good balance of all the necessary nutrients for a healthy dog diet.

Give a Bath: Cleanliness is next to godliness, or at least that is how the saying goes. Bathing your dog regularly, especially during the hot months of summer will help reduce the shedding by keeping your dog’s coat clean and healthy. Depending on how active your dog is outside, you can try a bath once per week or every two weeks using a gentle shampoo.

Regular Veterinary Appointments: Aside from keeping your dog up-to-date on his vaccinations and other recommended medical checkups, regular veterinary appointments can help catch any health issues before they become too serious. This also goes for any skin conditions which may be causing excessive shedding.

Vitamins & Flea/Tick Control: There are vitamins specifically designed to keep a dog’s coat healthy and shiny (and less prone to shedding), so consider utilizing such products after consulting with your veterinarian. It is also recommended that you keep your dog’s skin free of fleas and ticks which can cause rashes, and other skin conditions which will results in excessive shedding.

Keeping the House Clean: No matter how fastidious you are, dogs will shed. To keep the shed hair from taking over your house there are several steps you can take: First, try and clean any shed hair as soon as possible—the longer shed hair stays on a couch or carpeting, the harder it is to clean. Second: To make cleaning easier, cover your furniture, or better yet a designated chair/couch, with furniture covers that are specifically designed for dogs, and are easy to clean.