Second Chance: Man Versus Hair

Dear Pet Column, 

My boyfriend has been complaining about my shedding dog. Don’t worry though. Since my dog doesn’t complain about my boyfriend’s snoring or whining, I know which one I will keep if I have to choose. But is there a way reduce the shedding so I can keep both men in my life?  

Sincerely,

Torn Between Two Loves

Woodstock

Hi Torn,

My name is Woodstock. I would love to spread peace and harmony in your life by helping you manage your dog’s shedding. Just follow these easy tips:

1) Tell your boyfriend to just deal with it – it is only hair. Sorry, I couldn’t help it…but as a homeless pet, I am allowed to poke fun at human sensitivities (as they so often are the cause of pet homelessness). But on a more serious note, shedding is a natural part of your pet’s life and the life of a pet owner. It is a small concession to having a huggable, loving and fun pet.

2) Groom your dog regularly – daily if possible.  This keeps the hair on the brush and into the trash rather than on your boyfriend’s favorite T-shirt. And most pets really enjoy grooming, so it is a win-win.

3) Bathe your dog regularly.  This is particularly important during the seasonal shedding periods of the year.  Most pets have a shedding period in the spring and fall. (This cycle may not be consistent with indoor only pets.)

4) Feed an appropriate pet food. A pet’s coat is often a reflection of what they eat. Feed a high-quality food with good digestible protein sources.

5) Experiment with “de-shedding” products. Although I don’t have formal recommendations, I have heard positive reports about several grooming tools and products designed to aid in reducing shedding.

6) If your pet is shedding abnormally larger amounts than usual, consult a veterinarian.Physical and/or emotional problems can cause large, abnormal amounts of shedding. Also, it is not normal for your pets coat to thin with age or develop bald spots. Again, take your pet to the vet if this occurs.

7) Work on deepening the bond between your dog and boyfriend. Go on fun hikes or teach your dog to fetch your boyfriend a beer or slippers. Your human beau will likely soon grow fond of picking hair from his clothing, seeing the hair as a little love note from your dog.

8) If all your efforts do not work, ditch the dude and thank the dog…

I am a syrupy, sweet-natured handsome brown brindle coated low-shedding bull mix that could melt any man’s heart. At only 3 ½ years young, I enjoy active days, goofing around and playing fetch –and candle lit dinners. I haven’t met a person yet whom I didn’t like and who didn’t like me…

Tater

Or if you want to trade your man in for a purring cat, I would recommend Tater, a short-hair, grey tabby, who’s about 2 ½ years young. Tater enjoys going outside with a leash to explore new surroundings. He’s delightful and enjoys human attention so much you will soon wonder why you didn’t trade in your boyfriend sooner.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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Kelly Goodin

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