How to Reduce Shedding in Pets

by Sam

Pets are lovely, but they do tend to leave their hair where you don't want it, here a simple tool that helps to reduce shedding in dogs and other pets!

Do you like pets? Yep, I guessed so, that is the reason you have one (or more). Do you like dog hair all over your place? On your clothes? What about the hair of your cat? Does it show up where you don't want it, like white cat hair on dark trousers? Or the reverse? Do you feel embarrassed by the fact that your pets decorate everything – and everybody – around them with their hair. Fear not, there is help at hand. But first lets have a look at why pets shed their hair, what you can do to avoid it and which tool is the best. In my humble opinion the best option and tool to groom and de-shed your pet is the 'Furminator' (fur + terminator = Furminator ;-)) for your dog, cat or even ferret! Lets look first on why mammals shed their fur coat:

A (nearly) miraculous grooming tool? Furminator and Furejector!

Why pets shed

Cats, dogs and other pets can't change their clothes when the weather changes, what they can do is shedding hair from their winter coat to get a lighter, less warming, summer coat. Similar things happen when a puppy or kitten grows up, they shed the fluffy, cute baby fur that protects them to a more streamlined, adult appearance. But there is more to the story, most dogs (and many other mammals) have two coats! Yep, two coats to shed from! But mostly they shed from their soft, fluffy and insulating undercoat, especially when the season and the weather is about to change, like in Spring. This undercoat is what protects the dog from cold, and even from snow and water, to a certain extent. When it gets warmer, the dog needs less insulation and hence sheds its coat. Or nature tells it to build up an undercoat as winter approaches but the dog is actually living most of the day in the heated indoors and doesn't need such a thick winter coat. It starts to shed! Same is valid for cats, btw. Both can shed massively! Some dogs, cats and also ferrets shed more than others because they have a thicker undercoat. Especially breeds that originate in cold climates tend to have developed an especially thick-coated fur! So, a Mexican Chihuahua will logically shed less hair than a Norwegian Elkhound! And a Maine Coon cat more than a Abyssinian ;-)

Pet Shedding Visualisation

Click images for larger versions ;-)
That came all out of my coat ???
That came all out o...
Now I have more fur off me than on me ;-) Happy meow!
Now I have more fur...
Meow, here is second me, all made out of fur - my fur, meow!
Meow, here is secon...

Hairball Prevention

An additional problem are hair balls, whilst dogs suffer less from them, cats and especially ferrets can be greatly affected by them. Cats tend to cough them up, but still can get an obstruction of their intestinal system if they don't manage to do so. Ferrets can't cough fur balls up, so they are either lucky and can pass them the natural way or they get extremely ill, life threatening ill, because of a hair ball blockage in their intestine or stomach! So, apart of reducing the shedding of hair, you are also preventing serious health risks for your pet when grooming them regularly with the right tools!

See also my other article, referenced below of the next paragraph.

So, what is now the solution when dog or cat hair is covering your home, your clothes and simply everything? What can you do to reduce the amount of hair your furry friend shed to just 10% of what it sheds now? Saving you 90% of the usual cleaning up! Enters

Has your vet declared your cat 'perfectly healthy', but is it still throwing up regularly? Here some tips that helped our cat to stop throwing up, we hope they help yours too!

The Furminator System

The furminator system consists of several tools and aids to help you to get a handle at your pets hair shedding problem:

  • The Furminator Grooming Tool
  • The Furminator Shampoo
  • The Furminator Solution or Conditioner
  • FURminator Waterless deShedding Shampoo and Conditioner

Lets look at each in turn:

The Furminator Grooming Tool

It consists of what looks on first sight like a traditional flea comb and a handle. If you look closer you see that consists of a fine toothed stainless steel blade that passes through the topcoat and reaches the undercoat easily. It then removes with each movement all the dead, loose and 'ready to be shed on your furniture' hair. Whilst doing so, it also brings the natural skin oils your cat, dog or ferret produces to the top coat and so making it soft, smooth and shiny. Bear in mind, the Furminator doesn't cut, nor rips it out hair that is still alive and anchored in the skin. It only removes the dead hair, ideally before it gets matted! This way this grooming tool, when used correctly can reduce the hair shedding of your pet by up to 90%! And this effect can last for up to 6 weeks. That not also ensures that your home and your family look cleaner, i.e. pet hair-free, it also helps to reduce the suffering for pet hair allergy sufferers that might want to visit you!

Available in different sizes!

Click image for more details!
FURminator Large Yellow deShedding Tool with 4-Inch Edge
Only $0.00

How to groom your pet with the Furminator

Many professional pet groomers use the Furminator system, but you do not need to be a trained professional to use it successfully at home. And bearing in mind what professional pet grooming costs nowadays you will easily recover the purchase price in one or two 'groom it yourself' sessions!

Pets normally love to be groomed with the Furminator even more than they love grooming with other tools because of the nice 'scratchy' it gives them. Ok, some cats don't like to be groomed at all - period! And some ferrets can be extremely ticklish, but generally you will have more less problems to 'convince' your pet to get groomed than with many other tools. So, lets get to the task at hand!

  • If possible use the tool outside (less cleaning up to do after wards).
  • Keep your pet on a collar / harness and leash if there is any danger in it escaping.
  • Make sure your pets fur is clean and dry before starting to use the Furminator on it.
  • Put pet on a table or sit yourself on the ground, making sure that you are both comfortable with the grooming position.
  • If necessary get another person to help you to handle your pet.

Furminator Videos

  • Remove any matted hair, tangles, burrs etc. The furminator is a specialist grooming tools for the removal of dead undercoat hair (de-shedding), it is not meant to be used for getting rid of hair knots in your pets fur.
  • Grab the Furminator by its ergonomic formed handle and pass it firm but carefully deep through the fur coat, remember you need to reach the under coat for optimal success.
  • When hair has accumulated in the blade, just use the thumb push button to release it into a garbage bag or similar.
  • Continue to groom your pet until all loose hair is removed and as long as you both feel comfortable.
  • If your pet hasn't been properly groomed for a long time, you might want to split the grooming session up to avoid that you both get exhausted.

Which size to buy

The smallest size is usually the best for ferrets, small dogs and small to medium sized cats. The medium size should fit smaller dogs and most cats and the large size will be the right one to choose for medium sized dogs upwards. Don't make the mistake of buying the tool too small, you might save a few bucks, but you will need much more time to groom your pet. And obviously you also shouldn't try to attack a baby ferret (called a kit) with an overly large grooming tool. As for all decisions, just use your common sense and you should be fine!

The rest of the Furminator System

You can increase the effect of the Furminator De-Shedding Tool by combining it with other components of the Furminator Grooming System for maximal impact. These are:

Furminator Waterless deShedding Shampoo and Conditioner for Dogs and Cats

Easy to use, this waterless shampoo and conditioner helps to prepare your cat or dog for the grooming session and loosens up the undercoat for maximum grooming and de-shedding success. As it is waterless, it is fast applied and your pet is ready to be de-shedded in no time. As it is a waterless shampoo it is great for cats – and dogs – that simply hate to be bathed the traditional way. It also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids amongst other ingredients that help to give your pets coat this extra 'just freshly groomed' shine. It is recommended also for pets that have a very sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic, but please try it out first time on a very small area, where you can see the skin well to be 100% sure that your dog or cat tolerates it well. You will notice that it helps to reduce odor, dandruff and even leaves a nice, natural fragrance on your pet fur. Whilst it helps to remove a dead hair, it also strengthens the ones that are alive and anchored in the skin, by nourishing it with its ingredients. This helps a long term solution to the whole shedding problem. Healthier fur coat means less shedding in general. For the curious, here a short summary of the ingredients of the Furminator Waterless deShedding Shampoo and Conditioner for Dogs and Cats:

  • Coconut based cleaners
  • Glycerin
  • Hydrolyzed collagen protein
  • Safflower oil
  • Omega 3 + 6 fatty acids
  • Vitamin E

Further advantages are also that you can use it in winter when it is too cold to give your dog a traditional bath and that it also helps to reduce dandruff, something especially annoyin in black dogs in my opinion.


How to use it:

  • Follow the instruction that come with it, but in a nutshell:
  • Give the fur a quick brush and clean out any hair knots.
  • Spray pet with the waterless shampoo and conditioner and rub it in.
  • Proceed with the Furminator Deshedding Tool as usual and enjoy the even easier grooming and the superior results.

Traditional Shampoo from Furminator

This one is ideal for cases when your pet enjoys a nice bath but is reluctant to let you groom it. It works obviously even better with a good grooming session, but some de-shedding is still better as a shedding pet in your home! It works like any other shampoo. Carefully lower your pet into the bathtub or bath it in your back yard, on a short leash. Wet the fur throughly with nice warm water, make sure the water penetrates to the skin! One of the undercoats functions is to prevent this, so you will have to rub the water in for maximum effect. When coat is throughly wet, give little dabs of shampoo on it and lather it up well until the foam penetrates every thing. But make sure to spare carefully your pets face, especially the orifices and the eyes. Work it in for at least 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with clear water. Repeat if necessary. You can now proceed directly to drying your pet and to de-shed it with the Furminator tool if so desired. The shampoo is of the same high quality and as hypoallergenic as the waterless shampoo. But if you have a pet that tends to have allergy troubles you should make sure to test the product first on a small piece of skin. In all cases you should supervise your pet in order to avoid that it licks larger amounts of the shampoo. Apart of this, nothing special, easy to use and you will enjoy your new, less hairy pet! Which brings us to the next, additional step available

The Furminator De-shedding Solution

Suitable for both cats and dogs, it contains oatmeal, Omega 3+6 Fatty Acids and Aloe Vera. Further ingredients are: Kava Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Vitamin A, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Chamomile Extract.

Its composition is meant to help to loosen up and to release dead hair and fur from the undercoat and to nourish the remaining hair and the skin. As all Furminator solutions and products it is hypoallergenic, and as always you should test it first on a small area on your hypersensitive pet before using it on its whole body! It basically works like a conditioner and is applied after you have shampooed and rinsed your pet throughly. And last but not least a few extra items in the Furminator system, first the

Furminator TubNub Pet Bathing Brush

A triangular shaped brush with nubs, made out of extra soft and smooth rubber. It is meant to give your pet this little bit of extra massage when bathing it and it really helps to lather and foam up the shampoo. Additionally it will help to loosen up dead hir even more and to work the products better into very thick pet coats. It is rather small, 3 inches / 7.5 centimeter each side and therefor most effective with smaller and medium sized pets. Apart of loosening up the coat and working in the products it also gives a nice, stimulating massage to your pets skin and healthy hair. Apparently some dogs enjoy it so much that they beg for an extra massage, even when not bathed ;-) And there is also the

Furminator Super-Absorbent Microfiber Drying Towel

Ok, that might now not necessarily necessary, but as it is part of the de-shedding system, I think it is worth a few words. Basically it is a 18x24in / 45x120cm large micofiber towel that helps to dry small and middle sized dogs faster. It might be a bit undersized for a Grand St. Bernard dog ;-) It is machine washable and therefore reusable. As I said, it adds a nice little touch, but an old, traditional towel will do just as nicely, especially for larger dogs. For small dogs and cats it is surely nice to have and effective.

Special Furminator Cat Tips

Only a few cats enjoy bathing, but all cats, at least in my opinion, can be trained to tolerate a bit of grooming. If your cat doesn't like to be brushed (nor bathed), start slowly, using the smallest Furminator size available. For larger cats, like the Maine Coon, the medium sized one might be better if the cat enjoys being groomed. Start slowly, work only for a few minutes, give praise and treats and have a second person helping you if necessary. Never engage in a power struggle with a cat, the cat will always win. Better to coax her into giving in with praise and treats. Cats, like dogs, learn best by positive reinforcement and least well by punishment ...

My own Furminator experience

I have used the Furminator de-shedding tool on a variety of dogs and cats, both my own and those of friends, and I can confirm that it works! All the hair you get out of them and into the bin / on the compost you will not find anymore in your home or on your cloths!

Nearly all dogs, and most of the cats, I used it on enjoyed the experience very much and thought it to be a treat ;-)

Special Furminator Ferret Tips

The smallest sized Furminator tool should be sufficient for a ferret. Just be aware of that a lot of these furballs can be horrible ticklish and difficult to hold still. All what I wrote about cat de-shedding above is also valid for a ferret, especially the part with needing a second person. As for the shampoo etc, it seems to be released and described only for cats and dogs. I see no reason whatsoever in using it also for a ferret, but to be completely on the safe site, please ask your vet or local pet care professional!

Furminator Feedback

If you have any further questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment, rate this hub and / or to participate in the poll, Thank You!

Do you know of and use the Furminator Tool and System?

Updated: 07/02/2012, Sam
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Sam on 07/03/2012

Dustytoes, you are welcome ;-) The great thing about the furminator is that it 'attacks' directly the under-coat and also prevents matting of the same ;-) SY

dustytoes on 07/03/2012

This is a great subject to address. I don't have dogs, but one of my cats has thick, long fur. I have a wide tooth metal brush / comb that does a great job and I have to brush her every day. That picture you have with the pile of fur next to the cat is what I'd have if she let me brush her long enough! Thank you for pointing out the health benefits for the animals too.

Sam on 07/03/2012

Thanks for the comment Angel! Yes, dogs that are 'low shedding' don't need this tool - so lucky you ;-) SY

Angel on 07/02/2012

My neighbor has a dog that sheds and she LOVES this furminator tool. She says it is wonderful and really works. I have two dogs that don't really shed so I am very lucky to not have to deal with all the mess.

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