Undercoat de-shedding for dogs

Undercoat de-shedding: How to!

Did you know Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Cocker Spaniels are the most profuse shedders? Other breeds do too, but not on par with those four breeds.

Why you should regularly de-shed your dog’s undercoat

When my Border Collie sheds my house can feel like the Mojave desert in tumbleweed season. I could literally make another dog from all the hair.

If you own one of those big shedder breeds then undercoat de-shedding is an absolute must. Usually a dog will shed twice a year in Spring and Winter when new coats come in, but in a more constant climate such as Brisbane’s they can shed all year round.

It’s well worth investing in a decent de-shedding tool like the FURminator as a much simpler option than clogging up your vacuum full of hair. You’ll thank me later, especially if you’ve just taken in your first puppy and don’t know what you’re in for as yet!

Benefits of undercoat de-shedding, and why you shouldn’t shave/clip a double coated dog.

There are many benefits of an undercoat de-shedding rather than a standard clip or shave from your local dog groomer.

Border Collie Bella before using the FURminator de-shedding tool for dogs
Before undercoat de-shedding – Unhappy Bella!

Some benefits of undercoat de-shedding include:

  • A better coat! With a regular full body clip your dog’s hair will grow back faster, thicker and more coarse. This is especially noticeable over time, so if you want the other dog owners to be impressed by your dog then opt for de-shedding over clipping.
  • Better protection! The outer coat actually protects and insulates from the sun. When a dog is shaved/clipped down to its undercoat, it loses this protection and can sunburn more easily. This is especially the case for light coloured dogs. You definitely want to avoid this if you want your dog to be happy and protected from the Aussie sun!
  • Better heat regulation! Many owners understandably assume they are doing the right thing for their dog by getting them clipped in the warmer months, but they’re actually doing the complete opposite. It’s the thick dense under coat which stops air flow to the skin and keeps them hot. If you only have your dog clipped, most of this dense undercoat remains! Undercoat de-shedding will remove much of the thick undercoat and thin out the top coat, which is far better for your dog.
  • Save your vacuum cleaner! Regular undercoat de-shedding will remove loose hair, reducing the amount of hair which normally ends up on your couch and under furniture! You can see from the pictures exactly how much hair this might be! I’ve found at times with so much hair floating around it’s effected my sinuses, so less floaty hair the better.
Border Collie Bella after using the FURminator de-shedding tool for dogs
After undercoat de-shedding – Happy Bella!

All in all your dog will look good, feel good, and stay protected from the elements. This is why many breeders of these types of breeds advise against clipping.

How to de-shed your dog’s undercoat

There are two ways to sort out your dogs coat, which you should do at least twice a year in Spring and Winter when your dogs coat begins to change.

Using your local dog groomer (just make sure they know what to do!)

One way is to call your local dog groomer. It’s the most convenient but also the most expensive way, but most dog groomers these days offer a home visit service.

Not all dog groomers offer undercoat de-shedding treatments or are even aware of what it is (you’d be surprised!). In fact many owners of double coated dog breeds often get them clipped or shaved without realising how bad it can be for their dogs.

Thankfully for you, from reading this you already know undercoat de-shedding is the far better option for your dog!

Undercoat de-shedding at home (you’ll need a tool!)

The second way is to do it yourself, which is surprisingly easy to do at home. The best way is to use an undercoat de-shedding tool, and the one I’ve had the most success with is the FURminator.

FURminator de-shedding tools work by removing the dead, outer layer of fur while loosening and lifting the undercoat. The benefit is it allows for new fur to grow, giving your dog a shinier, healthier coat. When your dog is shedding you can use the tool once or twice a week which should give you the best results.

Just make sure you buy the right FURminator for your dog, as they vary in size and shape for long hair, short hair, small, medium, or large breeds.

To use the tool, start by gently moving the tool back and forth against the grain of your dog’s fur. Be sure not to press too hard as this could cause discomfort. My dog generally enjoys the attention, but it took me a while first using a de-shedding tool on my long-haired cat!

Once you’ve gone over the entire coat with the de-shedding tool, use a brush to remove any loose fur. You may need to vacuum up any remaining fur from your pet’s coat and surroundings.

It’s as simple as that – then you can enjoy your dog’s newly de-shedded coat! You’ll also find it the much cheaper alternative to hiring a dog groomer.

Choosing the right undercoat de-shedding tool

It’s so easy to buy the wrong de-shedding tool for your dog, so here’s a categorised list of the right de-shedding tools for short, medium, and large breeds, for both short hair and medium/long hair. I’ll focus on the FURminator because it’s the tool I’ve had the most success with.

FURminator undercoat de-shedding tool for short hair medium size dogs

You can click the links to check the price on Amazon, but expect to pay around $50 for a de-shedding tool. It’s a good investment, especially in the long term, and it’s cheaper than replacing your Dyson!

Small breed de-shedding tools

Medium breed de-shedding tools

Large breed de-shedding tools

Giant breed de-shedding tools

It’s much harder to get hold of undercoat de-shedding tools for giant breeds due to lack of demand, but hopefully this will help:

Cat de-shedding tools

There’s even a FURminator de-shedding tool for cats. I haven’t used this one (I originally bought a much more primitive Mars Coat King brush to de-shed my cat).

I’ve checked reviews and there’s a lot of positivity about the FURminator de-shedding tool for cats, which you can find here.

Some final good tips for when you de-shed your dog!

After undercoat de-shedding your dog is a great time to bath them. This helps get rid of any small itchy hairs which may cause them irritation after the de-shedding. Using a hypoallergenic shampoo will really help.

After the bath, give them a blow dry. Then they’ll be as cute and fluffy as they were as a pup!

Most dog groomers will offer a Hydrobath dog wash (cleaning hygiene areas such as bum and paw pads), clean the ears, and clip your dog’s nails as well – usually for extra cost.

If you opt for at home undercoat de-shedding then let me know how you go. Before and after pics welcome! If you use an undercoat deshedding tool like the FURminator, let me know how easy it was for you!

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1 year ago

Thank you ! I have been pressured by many people to get my border collie clipped with summer coming up. Now I will go with the de-shedding as I have the facts. I will also be able to see whether he is fat or just has a thick coat ! Now, if only I can find a solution to the chronic shadow chasing