Everything You Need to Know About Dog Deshedding
Dog deshedding is a popular method used by groomers and pet owners to minimize the amount of fur their dog loses.
If you’re new to dog deshedding, this article has all the information you need to get started. We’re covering the basics, the benefits, reviewing our favorite tools, and also sharing a step-by-step guide to help you deshed your pooch at home.
Dog Deshedding — The Basics
In simple terms — it means removing loose fur from your dog’s undercoat.
Deshedding is an effective way to manage how much fur your dog is losing. By removing large amounts of the undercoat in one grooming session, you’re preventing your carpets and soft furnishings from becoming covered in dog hair over time.
Dog Deshedding vs Dog Brushing
Deshedding grooming is different from regular dog grooming — special tools are needed to do the job correctly.
The purpose of deshedding is to speed up the natural shedding process. When your dog sheds, they lose fur and dead skin cells, and many breeds experience entire coat blowouts twice a year. Deshedding your dog means you’re removing the undercoat before it naturally falls away.
Regular grooming and brushing often deal with the top layers of a dog’s fur. And, while regular brushing is an effective way to keep their coat looking good and remove knots, if you want more control of your dog’s fur fall-out, deshedding is one solution.
Dog Deshedding Tools
As mentioned, you’ll need specific tools to master the technique. Here is a list of the commonly used deshedding tools for dogs:
The type of tools you need will depend on your dog’s coat. For example, tools used for dogs with a thick undercoat, differ from those used to deshed dogs with wiry fur and pooches without a double coat.
Should You Deshed Your Dog?
Although there is a small risk of injury, when done correctly, there are several benefits to deshedding a dog — more on that next. However, bear in mind, deshedding won’t prevent your pup from losing dander ever again, but it can help you better manage the amount of dog hair released into your home.
And, although this grooming method has its advantages, deshedding isn’t suitable for all breeds. If your dog isn’t a natural shedder, doesn’t have a thick undercoat, or has very sensitive skin, it’s best to stick to regular brushing and grooming techniques.
There is a risk of injuring your dog while using deshedding tools, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re choosing the best tools for your dog’s breed/coat.
Popular dog breeds you shouldn’t deshed include:
The Benefits of Deshedding a Dog
If your dog is a suitable candidate for deshedding treatment, here are a few reasons why you should try it:
- Fewer knots and matting: When your dog’s undercoat becomes tangled up and matted, it can cause discomfort, and even pain. Regular deshedding reduces the amount of fur, so there’s less chance of their coat knotting up.
- Better temperature control: If your house is always very warm, your dog may feel too hot in the months between their natural shedding cycles. Reducing the amount of fur through a deshedding treatment can help them to stay at a more comfortable temperature.
- A cleaner home: Nobody likes a house covered in dog hair, right? Deshedding grooming gets the shedding process over and done faster. And, if you deshed your dog outside, you can keep all of the released fur and dander out of your home and enjoy a much cleaner living space.
- Bonding time: Dogs love to spend time with their owners, and grooming is a great way for humans and canines to bond. Make your dog feel calm and comfortable before you begin a deshedding session, and seize the opportunity for some quality time together.
- Monitor your dog’s skin: By regularly deshedding your pup, you will come to learn what their skin and coat look like. By regularly tending to your dog’s fur, you will be able to notice if there are any new lumps, bumps, bruises, or marks on their skin that may need the attention of a vet.
How To DeShed Your Dog
While you can take your dog to the groomers for deshedding treatment, you can do this job yourself at home.
As many deshedding tools use sharp blades, it’s essential to know what you’re doing before you start. While these products are made to be as safe as possible, if you use them incorrectly you can cut your dog or scratch their skin.
We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to walk you through how to safely deshed your dog:
Step 1: First, wash, shampoo, condition, and dry them — deshedding is easier on a clean coat. Then, brush your dog — removing as many knots and tangles in their coat to reduce snagging.
Step 2: Make your dog feel comfortable before you begin. Spend time giving your pooch lots of love and attention. Have the deshedding tool around so they get used to it and see that it’s nothing to be scared of. When you think your dog is in a relaxed and happy mood, you can begin.
Step 3: Always brush your dog in the direction of their fur growth, and don’t apply excess pressure when using a deshedding tool. These tools are designed to reach your dog’s undercoat, pushing down too much could harm your pooch’s skin and cause injury.
Step 4: Remember that you’ll need to remove the excess hair from the brush while you’re working around your dog’s body.
Step 5: Move the tool carefully and gently across your dog’s coat and avoid spending too much time in one area.
Step 6: When you’re done, give your dog lots of praise and maybe even a doggy treat or two. Clean out your deshedding tool so it’s free from fur and ready for its next use.
Best Deshedding Tools for Dogs
If your dog is a heavy shedder and you think they would benefit from a regular deshedding treatment — we’ve put together a list of five of our favorites to get you started.
The Maxpower Planet is an effective undercoat rake for deshedding. This tool has a double-sided head, featuring nine sharp, but rounded blades on one side and 17 on the other.
This tool works well to remove a dog’s undercoat, and the brand claims your pet will experience up to 90% less shedding after use.
Thanks to the firm-grip rubber handle and the rounded blades, this undercoat rake is easy to use and will keep your pooch out of harm’s way. Even when you’re removing large sections of the undercoat, your dog’s skin will be safe from knicks and cuts.
To use the Maxpower Planet deshedding tool, start with the 9-tooth de-matting side and remove any knots, tangles, and mats from your dog’s fur. Once you have safely and gently removed the knots, you can switch to the 17-tooth side and deshed your dog’s undercoat.
- Dual-sided head for multi-purpose use.
- Reduces shedding by up to 90%.
- Rubber grip handle helps you stay in control.
- Easy to clean.
- Not suitable for use on all dog breeds.
- Doesn’t collect much hair — frequent picking off required.
This deshedding brush from Ruff n Ruffus claims to reduce shedding by a whopping 95%. This tool features a 4-inch deshedding comb specifically designed to remove loose fur from your dog’s undercoat, as well as detangle the hair and take away any trapped dander within a double coat.
The head of this deshedding brush can easily be removed with just the touch of a button. The removable head makes cleaning this product a very quick and easy process. For best grooming results, it’s always good practice to clean your deshedding tool after use.
The ergonomic handle means you will have a safe and comfortable grip on the brush and will be able to effortlessly run it through your dog’s fur, quickly and efficiently.
The Ruff n Ruffus deshedding brush also includes a pair of professional nail clippers. These clippers have dual safety features to keep you and your dog safe from cuts and injury. This also means you can give your dog a full grooming session from the comfort of your own home.
- Ergonomic design.
- Removable head.
- Suitable for dogs of all sizes.
- Free nail clippers.
- Some felt the comb pulled on their dog’s fur.
- Not as effective on dogs with thick and dense fur.
This FURminator deshedding tool for large, long-haired dogs is geared for pooches weighing between 51 to 90 pounds with coats thicker than 2 inches.
With a row of closely-packed, short stainless steel bristles, the brand states this deshedding tool can comb through the top coat and remove dead hair from the undercoat without harming your hound.
The sturdy ergonomic handle means you’ll find the deshedding process comfortable and easy too — handy when you have a large dog with lots of fur that requires a bit of attention.
And, it features a proprietary FURejector button. All you need to do is press it to remove the hair from the tool — saving you the fuss of picking off the collection of fluff.
- Stainless steel deshedding edge.
- Robust build.
- FURejector button — no-nonsense de-fluffing.
- Different tools for different-sized dogs.
- More expensive than similar products.
- Feels heavy to hold after prolonged use.
This shampoo from The Coat Handler is made from 100% natural ingredients. It’s formulated to loosen hair from the undercoat while also improving the strength of the roots.
It includes ingredients like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and vitamin E. Not only does this shampoo help with shedding, it keeps your dog’s coat looking shiny and smelling amazing. The ingredients used work to nourish your dog’s dry skin.
This shampoo can safely be used if your dog is also using a flea or tick treatment — providing you follow the suggested dilution ratios.
- Soothes sensitive skin.
- Removes loose hair from dog’s undercoat.
- Won’t remove tick or flea treatment.
- Strengthens fur at the root.
- Not as effective as deshedding brushes and combs.
- Smell may not appeal to all.
A deshedding tool made for canines, felines, and equines, the SleekEZ is made from solid wood with a stainless steel blade.
The patented undulating teeth pattern gently grabs the top of the fur, minus the uncomfortable tugging or painful pulling. And, thanks to these tiny teeth, fur doesn’t build up on the blade itself. Instead, it will fall to the ground, where you can collect when you’re done.
The SleekEZ has a curved, ergonomic design and is straightforward to use and comfortable to hold. Plus, the poplar wood is premium grade and gives the tool a high-end and luxurious appearance.
- Ergonomic wooden handle.
- Patented wave pattern blade.
- Fur doesn’t get trapped in the comb.
- Strong and sturdy design.
- Blade is sharp and must be used with caution.
While deshedding your dog won’t cure your allergies, it can massively decrease the amount of allergy-triggering dander in your home. There are various tools you can use — from brushes to blades, FURminators to rakes.
Removing fur from your pooch’s undercoat helps speed up the natural shedding process — preventing large amounts of fur and dander from settling in your home. Hence, dog deshedding is beneficial for dogs and their pet parents too.
Dog Deshedding FAQs
Is It Better To Deshed a Dog Wet or Dry?
You should deshed your dog after washing with shampoo and conditioner. However, for the most comfortable experience, your dog’s fur should be fully dry before you begin.
How Often Do You Deshed Your Dog?
The frequency will depend on your breed type. Yet on average, you should aim to deshed your dog once a month. That said, if your pooch is a heavy shedder, you may want to use deshedding tools more often.
Do Deshedding Brushes Hurt Dogs?
No, deshedding brushes don’t hurt dogs. However, if you use the wrong brush or comb, you may pull or snag their fur, which can be uncomfortable. Also, applying too much pressure to the blade may cut or scrape your dog’s skin.
How Can You Tell If a Dog Has An Undercoat?
You can usually tell just by looking at a dog. Dogs that are fluffier such as German Shepherds, Huskies, and Labradors have double coats and shed like nothing on earth. But this is not 100% effective — some breeds don’t follow this rule. So, doing your breed homework will definitely be beneficial here.
Can You Over Brush a Dog With the Furminator?
The FURminator should be used once or twice a week, depending on your dog’s fur. It’s suggested that the tool is only used for around 10 to 20 minutes at a time. There is no need to use the FURminator more than this.