Image Source: Emilee Janitz
My dog is a Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute mix. As you can imagine, he sheds — a lot. In fact, there are days when you could look around the interior of my home and wonder if it had recently snowed inside. Things get especially "snowy" about twice a year when my dog blows his coat, or excessively sheds between seasons. That is, they did until I discovered the FURminator Deshedding Tool ($34).
The thing about my do is that his breed mixture has set him up with two layers of hair. A short, fluffy undercoat covered with a longer, silkier top coat. While most brushes can put a substantial dent in the top coat, pulling off the loose strands of that top layer, reaching the undercoat is near impossible for most pet grooming tools. After searching the internet for dog-grooming products made specifically for long-haired dogs with undercoats, I came across the FURminator. It's pretty inexpensive, and had rave reviews, so I decided to give it a try, ordering the largest model (my dog is 100lbs) designed for the longest hair on Amazon. (There are other models for different kinds of fur available!)
Image Source: amazon.com
The instructions on the packaging said to use the deshedding tool by running it over the dog's coat in long strokes. Following the instructions, I ran the brush down my dog's back. My jaw just about dropped to the floor. A gigantic pile of hair literally fell off of my dog. I ran the brush again, watching an equally huge hunk effortlessly fall to the ground. That initial deshedding session was awe-inducing — I couldn't believe how much hair came off of my dog and how easily the FURminator pulled it off. It was like magic.
Since that first deshedding, I use the tool more often. The instructions say to FURminate no more than once a week. I try to remember to brush my dog with it at least that often but truthfully, it's usually more like once a month. That's OK though, because the tool does such an effective job even if I miss a week (or two) it's not the end of the world — my house is still way cleaner than it was pre-FURminator days. I should also clarify that the FURminator doesn't need long to work its magic. Usually a 10-minute brushing session is all I need to get the majority of my dog's undercoat wicked away.
Using the FURminator to groom my dog for the last few years has not only been great for my home's appearance (no more gigantic fake snow piles) but also for my dog's health. Deshedding him properly means that he is less prone to hair matts and, when a matt does begin to form, I'm able to use the FURminator to work it out. Win-win!
While $30 for a dog brush may seem a little excessive to some, I can personally attest that it is 100 percent worth every penny if you have a pet prone to shedding. In my experience, it has allowed me to significantly cut back on the time I spend grooming my dog as well as the time I spend vacuuming and also feel good knowing that I'm properly taking care of my pet and his luscious coat.