Battersea Q&A: How can I manage my dog's moulting?

(Q) My German Spitz, Ted, is approaching his biannual moult, which means the sofa will be covered. How can I fashion a triumph out of hairy disaster?

(A) Battersea canine welfare trainer Nathalie Ingham says: Most breeds of dog shed their fur twice a year, in spring and autumn. Some are hardly noticeable, but in double-coated breed types including the Spitz (such as Samoyeds and Huskies) and collies, you may be in danger of being buried under a furry avalanche.

Shedding occurs because of temperature changes - in spring because the heavy winter coat is no longer needed, and again in autumn when the light undercoat has to be discarded so the winter warmer can take its place.

There's no way to stop the moulting process. But you can use it as a perfect opportunity to bond with your dog, carry out basic health checks, promote relaxation and even make trips to the vet less stressful.

Grooming your dog is not only the best way of interrupting his moulting coat's journey to the carpet, but could also have lots of other benefits too. It helps you to bond even more closely. Close handling will create trust, and make your dog more accepting of the touch of people like vets.

Regular grooming is also a good way to check your dog's head, body, legs, feet, and tail for signs of injury, cuts, lumps and bumps, parasitic activity (fleas and mites), skin conditions, or painful matting. If you find anything untoward, get your vet to check it out.

A regularly groomed dog shouldn't have any issues with grooming, or handling in general. However, if you only do it once in a blue moon he may be more concerned and scared. If your dog has any handling issues don't force the matter, but work gently around them and reward sessions with treats and praise. 

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