As a proud owner of a Border Collie, you know that these dogs are wonderful pets. They are intelligent, loyal, and energetic, making them excellent companions for those with an active lifestyle. However, one downside of owning a Border Collie is their shedding habits. These dogs have thick, double-layered coats that shed year-round, leaving hair all over your furniture, clothes, and floors.
Why Do Border Collies Shed So Much?
Border Collies tend to shed a lot because of their thick double coat, which is designed to help regulate their body temperature. The undercoat is responsible for keeping the dog warm in colder temperatures, and the topcoat protects the undercoat from dirt, debris, and water. Both layers shed year-round, and shedding tends to increase during seasonal changes such as spring and fall.
Shedding is a natural process for dogs and is not a sign of an underlying health issue. However, excessive shedding can indicate a health problem, such as allergies or hormonal imbalances, especially if there are bald patches and skin irritation. If you notice that your Collie is shedding excessively, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.
The Health Benefits of Managing Shedding
Although shedding may be a nuisance for pet owners, it’s actually a healthy process for dogs. Shedding helps to remove dead hair and skin cells, keeping the coat healthy and preventing matting. Regular daily/weekly grooming and brushing can help to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from the coat, which can prevent skin irritation and infections.
Additionally, managing shedding can help to reduce the amount of hair and dander in your home, which can benefit family members who suffer from allergies or asthma. By keeping your home clean and free of excess hair, you can create a healthier living environment for everyone.
Brushing & Grooming Techniques for Border Collies
Brushing helps to remove loose hair and dirt from the coat, which can prevent matting and tangling. It also stimulates the skin and promotes healthy circulation. When brushing your Collie, use a high-quality brush designed for long-haired breeds such as slicker brush, pin brush or undercoat rake, as they tend to have sensitive skin. Brush your dog at least once a week, focusing on the areas where shedding is most prominent, such as the back, legs, and tail. In addition to brushing, regular bathing can also help to manage shedding. Use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner, and avoid over-bathing, as this can dry out the skin and cause excessive shedding. Aim to bathe your Collie every 1-2 months, or sooner as needed.
The Importance of Diet & Nutrition
Diet and nutrition can also play a role in managing your Border Collie’s shedding. A high-quality diet that is rich in protein and essential fatty acids can help to promote healthy skin and coat, which can reduce shedding. So, look for dog food that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil. These essential fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation as well. It’s also important to provide your Border Collie with plenty of fresh water and avoid feeding them table scraps or human food. These foods can be high in fat and can contribute to excessive shedding.
Tools for Managing Shedding
There are many tools available to help manage your Collie’s shedding habits. Here are some of the best tools to consider:
Slicker brush: A slicker brush is designed to remove loose hair and dirt from the coat. It has fine, wire bristles that can penetrate the undercoat without scratching the skin.
Pin brush: A pin brush has long, flexible pins that can detangle and remove loose hair from the coat. It’s ideal for dogs with longer hair.
Undercoat rake: An undercoat rake is designed to remove loose hair from the undercoat. It has long, sharp teeth that can penetrate deep into the coat, removing dead hair and preventing matting.
Shedding blade: A shedding blade is a metal tool with a serrated edge that can remove loose hair from the coat. It’s ideal for dogs with thicker coats.
Dog vacuum cleaner: A good vacuum cleaner can help to remove loose hair and dander from your home, keeping it clean and free of allergens.
Managing Shedding During Seasonal Changes
As mentioned earlier, shedding tends to increase during seasonal changes, such as spring and fall. During these times, it’s especially important to be vigilant about managing your Collie’s shedding. It helps to increase the frequency of brushing and grooming during these times, and consider using a deshedding tool, such as a shedding blade or undercoat rake, to remove loose hair from the coat. You may also want to consider using a coat supplement or omega-3 fatty acid supplement during this time to promote healthy skin and coat.
Best-Selling Deshedding Tools
Sometimes the difference between a house that is dander-free and one that is caked in it, is a simple de-shedding tool or two. Here are some of the most popular ones.
The Furminator is one of the most popular deshedding tools to use on small, medium, and large size dogs. This affordable tool can effectively and safely remove dead, loose hair, dirt, and other debris. The stainless steel blades cut straight through the top coat and remove loose hair without damaging it. The Furminator works for all breeds of dogs and comes with a money-back guarantee. And last but not least, this tool is ergonomic and has a release button to easily remove hair from the tool for cleaning.
Hartz Combo Brush
The Hartz Combo Brush is a combination brush that combines two brushes: a pin and soft bristle. It’s lightweight, but sturdy and easy to hold. The brush measures 12 inches in length and 3 inches width, and it’s suitable for medium-sized dogs to large dogs. Hartz offers a satisfaction guarantee for all grooming tools, and for a refund or replacement, simply return the brush along with a copy of your receipt within one-year of purchase.
JW Pet Gripsoft Soft Slicker Brush
This slicker brush has a rubber grip and a curved handle for maximum comfort and control while using it. The brush is well-suited for double coated dog breeds and those with long coats, making it ideal for Border Collies. It can help with detangling and removing loose hair before giving your dog a bath.
Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush
The pins in this brush are made of high-quality stainless steel and have polished and rounded tips. They are also set in a firm cushion with an air vent hole that allows for more flexibility. Overall, you’ll find that this brush is lightweight and has solid construction. It’s comfortable to hold and can help provide hand respite during brushing sessions.
Wrapping Things Up
Managing your Border Collie’s shedding habits can be a challenge, but it’s a necessary part of their care routine. By brushing and grooming your Collie regularly, providing a high-quality diet, and using the right tools, you can keep them healthy and comfortable. Remember that shedding is natural and healthy for dogs, but excessive shedding can indicate a health problem. If you notice any significant changes in your Collie’s shedding patterns or skin and coat health, consult with your veterinarian for appropriate care.