Most dogs shed and Australian Shepherds haven’t been left behind. The only breeds that don’t shed are the ones with coats that are tightly curved or extremely short. Australian Shepherds not being either of the two groups, shed heavily and you should therefore brace yourself for the task ahead if you are planning to own Aussies.
Keeping up with this loss of fur in dogs is at times a challenge to most dog owners. So what exactly should you know about shedding in Aussies? Australian Shepherd shedding is a little different from other dogs as they have a coat that keeps shedding all year. This is besides the normal shedding during spring to eliminate the winter coat.
It is for the above reason that it’s extremely important to pay close attention to these dogs. In this piece, therefore, you will be equipped with all the information you need when it comes to maintaining Aussies coats.
Why should You be Concerned about Your Aussies Shedding?
With the Australian Shepherd, rest assured that you will spend a significant size of your time close to them. This is majorly attributed to their heavy shedding. The shedding is usually accompanied with dander which many people are usually allergic to.
Do you have any sensitivity to dogs? Well, if you are allergic to dander then the Australian Shepherd will be a big challenge to keep. Reason being the dander that is often released to the environment as it sheds.
The dander is not so good in closely tight places. Apart from your health, the dander plus fur will accumulate in your mats and rugs which by extension will affect the cleanliness of the house.
As you are already aware, the shedding Aussies is a concern based on health and cleanliness matters. If your allergy is too serious then an Australian Shepherd shouldn’t be your choice. Instead look for a hypoallergenic dog breed as they rarely shed. Alternatively, you can ways of minimizing your allergy to dogs at home.
How to Manage Shedding in Australian Shepherd
Shedding in Aussies is inevitable. What you need to do is just manage how often they shed and the amount of fur and dander released to the environment. In this section, we are going to have a look at some of the ways in which this shedding can be managed.
Here are some of the tips to consider when managing shedding:
Avoid using mats, carpets and rugs in the house
Rugs, carpets and mats usually are the collecting points for fur and dander. With these items in the house, you will experience allergies as they will harbor the dander. Removing the mat and rug isn’t a solution on its self but just a way of minimizing the accumulation of fur and dander.
If it is a must you keep the dog in the house, then it would be a great idea to keep it in non-carpeted area. Use materials such as marble or wood to make the floor for the dog area. By keeping the dander in the house as little as possible you will be reducing the chances of allergies occurring.
Groom your dog
Grooming is the most effective way of managing shedding in Aussies. Grooming every now and then helps remove dander before accumulating and circulating in the environment. However, you should take extra care when grooming as some dander might fly into the environment especially when brushing. To prevent the likelihood of dander flying when brushing, always do it outside. In case you don’t have the time to do it at home you can always take the dog to a professional groomer. This will however be expensive on your side as Australian need frequent grooming.
Due to the high number of times you’ll be required to groom the dog it is important that you have the grooming essentials with you at home. These include tooth and coat brushes, nail clipper and a bathing basin. You could be wondering what the tooth brush is doing here. Well, if you are fond of feeding your Aussie on human foods then you’ll need to regularly brush his teeth. Apart from checking if the human food is safe for the dog, remember to buy a brush for keeping away these treats.
Brush your dog’s teeth daily and in the worst case twice in a week. On the other hand, a coat brush is essential in the removal of fur from the Aussie’s body. For these dogs, do it twice a week of even more if the situation demands. Dog grooming is not complete without nail clipping. Trim those nails as soon as you can hear thumps on the floor if the dog walks around the house. Trimming the nails before they become too long will not only prevent your furniture from getting damaged but also minimize injuries to both you and your best friend. Additionally, don’t clip too short as you might injure the dog.
Dog bathing with a good shampoo should be a once in a while stuff. Making dog bathing a frequent occurrence will most likely expose him to skin ailments. Grooming should be the cause of other problems hence the need to minimize bathing. These grooming tips will definitely help a great deal when it comes to managing shedding in your Australian Shepherd.
Keep the Australian Shepherd out of the house
This might sound outrageous but sometimes if the allergy becomes too much you can consider this idea. This is only possible in regions that are relatively warm. Exposing your Aussie to extreme cold situations isn’t a good thing.
The main point here is the Aussie to shed and release the dander to the outside environment away from the living room. Building a kennel a couple of meters from the main house will definitely be of great help when it comes to shedding.
Even as you consider this idea, explore deeply the conditions of the outside environment before letting your dog stay away from the main house.
The use of HEPA filters at home could also help cushion against Aussie’s shedding. Installing these filters in the entire compound while at the same time minimizing on the furnishings like curtains that are known to catch dust will offer some kind of reprieve against dander.
For these filters to perform effectively, you are required to remove and thoroughly clean them often to remove dander and dust already accumulated. When doing this, remember to also clean dust-catching furnishings around the home such as curtains and seat covers.
A HEPA vacuum cleaner fitted with micro filter bags are capable of catching all allergens including the dander. They are therefore the best and what you should consider buying.
Consider allergy medication
It is not recommended to be constantly be on drugs especially for something that can be avoided. However, you might find yourself in positions in which you might need these drugs. Such are during spring when your dog sheds heavily. Other instances are when there is sensory overload on your sinuses.
You should however avoid buying allergy medication over the counter. A thorough consultation with a physician with detailed explanations on circumstances when they will be used will help you a great deal. Not any allergy medication will work out that’s why it is very important that you visit a physician for the best recommendations.
Wash your clothes as often as possible
With a heavily shedding dog like the Australian Shepherd, rest assured that fur will be all over the house, on your clothes as well. Remember also that your dog will always run to you when you are back from the hassle and in the process some fur left on your clothes.
Even when you cuddle with your dog, know that a significant amount of fur will be left on your clothes. By frequently washing your clothes you will not only be maintaining your cleanliness but also minimizing on the availability of dander in your house. By extension, you will have reduced chances of allergic reactions due to dander as well.
Practice some patience with your dog
Something that most Australian Shepherd owners admit is that the allergies to dander often disappear with time. The human body has a way of getting used to allergens after exposure for some time. It is necessary, therefore, that you give your furry friend some time and allergies due to his dander will be a thing of the past.
There are high chances that with time your body will be immune to these allergens. However, this is not 100% guaranteed as in some instances the reactions have instead become worse. But it is only patience that you’ll be in a position to tell if the condition will be better or even worse.
Feed the dog on well-balanced diets
There are instances when fur is lost in dogs as a result of lack of vitamins or minerals in the body. To avoid such, always ensure that you feed your little friend on foods rich in omega 3 acids, vitamins and minerals.
The Aussies are so loyal and energetic but shed heavily. It is important to know their shedding cycle so that you are not caught off-guard. You can manage the Australian Shepherd’s coat through the tips shared above so that the challenges associated with heavy shedding are eliminated.
Are you planning to acquire Aussies? Are you well prepared to groom them perfectly well? Don’t you have allergic reactions to dander? Well, this piece has laid the facts bare and the decision solely lies with you now.