The Old English Mastiff, or Mastiff, is most known for its large size and intimidating appearance. However, people who personally know Mastiffs will more often know them as docile, gentle giants. They make wonderful pets for experienced dog owners, but they’re often not a good fit for allergy sufferers because they have heavy shedding seasons throughout the year.
Finding loose hairs throughout the house is a common expectation to have when living with any kind of dog. However, there are some things you can do to make shedding more manageable while living with a Mastiff.
A Mastiff’s Coat Type and Shedding
Mastiffs have a double coat that consists of a topcoat with coarse, short hair and a dense undercoat. They’re moderate shedders throughout the year, and they’ll shed their undercoats seasonally in the summer and fall. Mastiffs are heavy seasonal shedders, and it can become an issue, especially if you live in a smaller home.
Tips for Reducing Shedding in Mastiffs
It’s important to first note that it’s impossible to stop a Mastiff from shedding completely. However, there are certainly some things you can do to reduce shedding and make it more manageable.
Mastiffs have short hair, so you won’t have an issue with tangles or mats. However, it’s still a good idea to brush your Mastiff regularly to remove loose and dead hair from their coat. Brushing your Mastiff about every other day can help reduce shedding on furniture and other areas of the house. It’ll also make cleanup easier by gathering all the loose hair in one location.
Brushes that work well on a Mastiff’s coat include curry combs, pin brushes, and bristle brushes. Grooming gloves are also helpful for picking up hairs in harder-to-reach places like the underarms.
Use a De-Shedding Tool
You can find several different kinds of grooming tools specifically designed to help reduce shedding. One example is a de-shedding rake. This tool has narrow teeth on the end that reach to the undercoat and pick up loose hair. A de-shedding blade works similarly, but it often has wider coverage than a de-shedding rake.
Use Shampoo and Conditioner for Shedding
Some shampoos and conditioners have formulas that nourish the coat and reduce shedding. When shopping for dog bathing products, make sure to choose ones that are paraben-free and don’t contain any chemical dyes. They should also contain ingredients proven to nourish the skin and coat, like omega fatty acids.
Add Fish Oil Supplements to Your Mastiff’s Diet
Unhealthy skin and dry hair cause dogs to shed more. So, make sure to check up on your Mastiff’s skin and coat health periodically. Look for any dry spots, flaking, inflammation, and skin irritation. Your Mastiff’s topcoat will feel coarse, but it shouldn’t feel dry and brittle.
Adding supplements to your Mastiff’s diet may improve your dog’s skin and coat. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help nourish and moisturize the skin and coat and alleviate itchiness from dry skin. If you’re interested in adding supplements to your Mastiff’s diet, consult your veterinarian before making any changes. Some foods and supplements can interfere with certain medications and cause adverse effects on dogs with chronic health issues.
Mastiffs are moderate shedders that also tend to shed heavily during the summer and fall. Brushing them regularly can help reduce shedding around the house, and using specialized grooming tools can help manage heavy shedding seasons. If you notice that your Mastiff’s heavy shedding is due to skin and coat issues, consult your veterinarian to see if adding nourishing supplements to their diet would benefit their skin and coat health and reduce shedding.
Featured Image Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock