Reader in hairy situation with shedding dog

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been dog-sitting for a dog who I have fallen in love with. The only problem is that he sheds constantly. I went and bought a great brush that I use but he is still shedding a lot. Do you have any other ideas? He is a short-haired pit bull mix who came from the wonderful Humane Society. He’s very friendly and loves to go to the dog park but we are missing out on many fun things because of his shedding in the vehicle. Thanks! — Sue & Vibes, no town.

ANSWER: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs typically lose their winter coat in spring, when it is replaced by a shorter, lighter one for summer.

The AVMA recommends a regular and frequent schedule of bathing, combing and brushing, as frequently as every two weeks. First, brush thoroughly. Whether a pet’s coat is long or short, frequent brushing is the best strategy for managing shedding. Keep brushing until no more loose hair comes out on the brush. Next, massage shampoo into his coat to help accelerate the shedding process. Rinse thoroughly. Be sure to only use products specifically formulated for pets’ skin. Brush again as the coat dries to remove hair loosened during bathing — it’s time consuming but really makes a difference.

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The AVMA also recommends, for a short-haired dog, a curry comb or hound glove to catch the short fur before it lands elsewhere.

No matter what the breed, shedding — and heavy seasonal shedding — is normal, but some heavy shedding can be a sign of health problems. Skin allergies, hormonal abnormalities and skin parasites may trigger shedding, and poor nutrition can also be a cause of coat problems.

Let the dog’s owner know, or if you will have this dog long term, it’s important to become familiar with your pet’s normal pattern of shedding and ask your veterinarian for advice if the coat’s condition seems to dull or if you notice excessive overall hair loss or areas of complete hair loss.

If this kind of shedding is normal for your dog, try investing in some really good pet hair removal products. Cleaning up hair is a never-ending battle for most pet owners. Good luck!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Parish Guild at the High Street Congregational Church will be hosting its annual Indoor Yard Sale on Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is located at 106 Pleasant St. in Auburn.

We will take donations of gently used items (please, no clothing, furniture or electronics) right up to the day of the sale. All items are priced to sell and there will be coffee and refreshments available for sale.

Table rentals are $20 each and all proceeds benefit the High Street Parish Guild, allowing us to continue our support of the church and greater community through youth camp scholarships and donations to local and foreign missions projects.

For more information on table rentals or to donate goods, contact the church office on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 207-784-1306 or email office@highstreet-ucc.org. — The Parish Guild, Auburn.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com, tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.

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