It’s not uncommon for fulltiming RVers to bring along their family dog. We did. However, there can be some inconveniences to bringing along a pet (or more), such as some RV Parks not allowing them, but they are worth it. Sometimes certain things get forgotten about. And deshedding a Golden Retriever, or any large breed, is definitely necessary to help keep as much dog fur out of the RV as possible. (It’s best to make this a routine.)
The most common RVing dog breeds, at least the larger ones, seem to be Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. Not very surprising considering they are two of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are good with children and gentle tempered, it’s no wonder. Other common breeds are the Huskies and German Shepherds. All of these dog breeds have one major thing in common: They shed. Unless of course yours is a Poodle hybrid, like the Goldendoodle or Labradoodle.
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How to Deshed a Dog
Tobey, our Golden Retriver, is not a hybrid and he requires deshedding during the warmer months if we have any hopes to keep the fur at bay in our travel trailer. To do this we usually head to a local park and bring along our FURminator.
Tips to Deshed Your Dog Outside
It’s best to actually deshed your dog outside of the RV. This is not required. I have been known to not follow this every time I deshed Tobey, but I try not to. The problem with deshedding my dog in the RV is that the hair and pet dander gets into the air. The fur collects and makes a mess on the floor or carpet. And sometimes a cat or toddler will want to play in the pile. 😉
To avoid extra cleaning and vacuuming in your RV or home, head outside and try to find a large grassy area. We like to go to the park for more room and Spirit gets to run around at the same time.
Tip #1: Stay Upwind
You will need to sit next to your dog when deshedding them. Keep fur from blowing at you by staying upwind if there is a breeze.
Tip #2: Remove Mats First
Before beginning to deshed your dog, it’s best to remove any mats of hair that cannot be brushed out. We use scissors to cut the really bad ones out, but you need to be careful not to injure your dog.
Tip #3: Do Not Over Do It
Tools are often used to help relieve dogs of their loose undercoat, the dead hair that gets trapped under the topcoat, and can be overused. Follow the directions of the tool you choose.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
All dogs shed. It’s a natural process for dogs to lose hair, or fur, to make room for a new coat. Although the amount of shedding a dog does depends on the breed, some breeds are notorious for shedding more than others, the seasons and weather affect shedding the most. Dog hair falls out in the warmer months, to help them cool down, and regrows in the colder months, to offer more warmth.
Some breeds shed every year during certain seasons, usually the warmer months in spring or summer, while others shed year round. Although this appears to relate to the temperature the amount of sunlight plays a large role in determining when a dog starts shedding, similar to wolves in the wild.
Tips to Help Reduce Dog Shedding
A high quality, healthy diet can help minimize shedding. Dogs are not made to easily digest grains and corn commonly found in today’s dog foods. Healthier dog food does cost more, but will help provide more nutrition. (Unfortunately, we can’t afford +$50 a bag at the moment. Instead we try to avoid GMOs in the pet food we buy. This is why we buy our dog food at Whole Foods Market, their 365 Brand, which contains no GMOs.)
Add moisture-rich REAL food, such as raw meats and eggs, to ensure your dog is getting enough moisture in their diet. This is to help avoid their coats and skin from drying out when they eat only dry dog kibble.
Supplement with omega-3 oils. Dogs, just like us, need omega-3 fatty acids to help improve their overall health.
Bathe your dog regularly. By washing your dog routinely you can help remove dead hair and encourage fur that is loose to fall out.
While there are a few things you can do to help minimize excessive shedding, the best way to help keep the fur loss under control, and off your couch, is to remove the extra dead fur yourself. You are simply speeding up the process and keeping your home cleaner. Your furry friend will also thank you for helping them to keep cooler without the extra hair.
The FURminator is a deshedding tool you can use to remove the dead hair from your dog’s coat. It helps to remove the fur from the undercoat that tends to stay trapped under the topcoat. This is how mats (the clumps of hair) form. And the FURminator is meant 51to help remove the loose undercoat.-
The company that makes the FURminator recommends using it once or twice a week, for about 15 minutes. You’ll want to brush in the direction your dog’s hair grows, starting at the neck and moving back to the tail. By using the tool methodically you’ll ensure you brush the entire coat without spending too much time in one single location.
You want to make sure you are not pressing the brush too hard against their skin as it can damage the skin. Another thing to keep in mind is to not overuse this tool. It is not meant, or designed, to be used more than a couple of times a week. Many choose to only use it once a week. When it’s not being used you should keep the protective edge cover on the tool when not being used.
Conclusion: Deshed Your Dog Regularly
I love the FURminator! It helps keep our Golden Retriever’s shedding under control. We bought the larger one to reduce the need for extra brush strokes. This makes it more difficult to use on the cats, but I rarely do anyways.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for all dog breeds. It can be more difficult to use on longer haired dog breeds and cause the overcoat hairs to break. This makes the fur look awful, while never actually removing the undercoat. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if this tool will work for your dog.
Another downfall to this tool is the price tag. We purchased ours a few years ago for about $50 from a local pet store. Today the FURminator website sells the Large Long Hair Dog deshedding tool for $62.99 and Petco has it listed on their website for $53.99. (The price will be lower for a smaller brush or more for a larger brush.)
What breed have you seen the most at campgrounds? Let us know in the comments below.Subscribe to our mailing list