How to Control Your Dog’s Shedding!

Labradors, like most breeds, inevitably shed their coats once or twice a year, during the major season changes. If they are shedding excessively and continuously, however, it is likely due to one of two reasons: poor nutrition or stress. BUT I have many, many insider secrets I’ve learned over the past 30 years from other breeders and show handlers that I’d love to share with you. You WON’T hear these tips anywhere else…so please read…and share…and put down that vacuum cleaner!!!

Murphy- Endless Mt. Labradors

Preventing Excessive Shedding

The first thing you need is the right tools. Now, many of you have a dog shedding brush in a drawer somewhere–but I swear to you, a horse shedding scraper is better…so good that you better step outside to use it–the hair is gonna FLY!!!! I just discovered this new double one and LOVE IT!

I actually like this tool better than the Furminator, believe it or not!!!

Here’s a dog show handler secret–when its show time and you NEED that point toward your dog’s championship–or you have to get that last major towards their title, you’ve been waiting months, paid the show fees, booked the hotel or campground–you CAN’T afford them to lose coat right before that…so my dog show handler told me about this little beauty of a product…SHED NO MORE.

What you put into your dog’s body in th form of dog food is just as important. I have to tell you…most people I counsel every day are so stubborn about what food they feed. They’ll even feed one that has had several recent recalls AND been in the news for it–I just don’t get it–or why they’d risk their dog’s health. But I also know that most dog foods are adding soy, chickpeas, beans, and other phytoestrogens in the form of legumes and beans as a cheap “protein” source–but what consumers don’t know is that legumes are NOT species-appropriate for canines, and phytoestrogens found in these ingredients mess with your dogs hormones and cause all kinds of skin and coat issues. Consider doing yourself and your dog a favor and be willing to be open-minded about feeding a food that is from a privately owned company that has NEVER had a recall and only puts species-appropriate ingredients in their food…and if you are looking for a kibble…

I would never be without my Life’s Abundance Dog Food.  Even better yet is to supplement your dog’s kibble based diet with a species-appropriate raw diet–or consider switching to all raw. Raw food (paleo for dogs–many of you I’m sure are familiar with the concept of humans eating paleo–what nature intended for us to eat) is a diet that your dog is naturally made to eat–its ancestral diet. Raw meat with natural herbs (bio-available sources of nutrients) is the most natural, basic diet of your dog’s wild ancestors.  Click here to learn more about feeding raw diet.  You can order premixed raw frozen patties from BARF World to make for even easier feeding. (no mixing, etc–the wonderful smelling patties are pre-made for you!) Since I changed to an ALL raw diet, I also don’t have any shedding. Now that BARF (stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”) is now discounted if you buy by the case (save $30), plus has a gold member program, you can save another $25 on each order, it really has become an affordable diet. You only need to feed about half of what is on the bag if your dog is not a highly active dog. That also cuts down the cost.

For optimal nutrition, and to fill in any gaps for our dogs, we also supplement with NuVet Canine Plus. This adds to immune system boosting and supports overall growth and development in our youngsters and adds important nutrients to your dog’s diet that are needed throughout their life, but are not commonly found in a large enough amount in most kibble. If you won’t be open-minded about your dog food, PLEASE consider this very important supplement–its WAY better than “dinovite” and 1/2 the price. I’ve recommended and used NuVet for over 20 years.

The other helpful supplement is adding Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to your dog’s meals.  Not only does it help keep the skin and coat shiny and moisturized, even the pickiest pooch will love the taste! Our dog’s body’s do not product Omega-3’s naturally so they MUST GET IT IN THEIR DIET. Without it, your pet’s health will suffer and you will have horrible coat and skin condition for life.

If nutrition is not the cause, then stress likely is.  Evaluate any recent changes in your life or home to see what could be adding stress to your dog’s surroundings.  Dry flaking will usually go hand in hand with stress shedding. Temporary flaking is normal, and we see it a lot in the show ring which is why handlers carry those white spray bottles of water with them to get rid of the flakes and to cool the dog during the outdoor showing months.



In some cases, dry skin and even hair loss is a result of environmental or seasonal allergies, and not just nutrition (or could be both).  We have actually formed our own holistic blends for pets along with a holistic veterinarian who is also an aromatherapist.  They’ve been featured in MODERN DOG magazine, and BARF has also picked up this product line as well. They are made up of all natural therapeutic grade essential oils and other healing ingredients for various ailments in canines.  One of these, the Canine “Allergy Blend”, has been shown to be highly effective in soothing and relieving itchy dry skin associated with an allergy the may cause shedding as well (and even hot spots). It encourages new hair growth too!!! For more information on Endless Mt. Oil blends, click here!

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  1. Hi. You have beautiful labs and I will likely be in contact with you when we look for a beautiful addition to our family. Right now we have an 11 month old Lab that has become an indispensable part of our lives. We take him everywhere we can with us!
    However, our poor guy does have a few issues and I was hoping that with your experience you could point me in the right direction to help relieve some of his issues. When he was a puppy we fed him Blue but it made his stool inconsistent, some would be soft etc. Since then we have transitioned to Costco’s Grain Free food. It has balanced his stool firmness but he has continued his long term issue with build up in his anal glands. We have to routinely take him to have his anal glands expressed.
    From your experience, is there anything I could add to his diet to help with the build up in his glands? Would Flint River Ranch food help with this? If Flint River Ranch food would reduce his shedding and the buildup in his glands that would be great, two birds with one stone! Our vet has mentioned that we may want to add fiber in his diet by including pumpkin filling in his food but I wanted another opinion.
    Thank you for your time!


      I prefer the BARF diet dog food company, myself, and have used it and like it. No kibble will give the results the raw diet will.
      Barf comes prepackaged, too. Formulated by the vet that wrote the book (literally!) on raw diet, Dr. Ian Tillinghast (?) from Australia. The company has been around about 30 years.

    2. I feed my guy Costco’s grain free, Salmon & Sweet Potato diet. My boy has had zero problems with his anal glands and very consistant stools….

  2. What about Lab elbows? My vet suggests Salmon. What do you think?

    1. I suppose the salmon oil is worth a shot… but I’ve always had labs with the calloused elbows. It’s just from laying down on a hard surface. It’s pretty hard to prevent unless they are always on carpet, and even then…

  3. We feed flint river duck/oatmeal for meals and rewards. We use essential oils for allergy from endless my.. I feel the food has made a tremendous difference in the amount of shedding and dander. We are in east TN with a much milder climate than her Pennsylvania beginning and I will continue this regime for I am convinced that it has made the difference!!

  4. Donna, my 9 year old EML, is shedding horribly..I am at my wits end. I was told my someone to shave him…what is your thought on that? He has not been under any stress, and we feed him a raw diet, that is high quality. Every time I send him to be groomed, it is worse when he comes home. We need help! I read your post, do yo thing a bath will help?? My husband brushes him, every other day..doesn’t seem to help….Karen Mastroianni..

    1. Hello, I read your recommandations for the baths but my question is to we shampoo every time or just warm water will do ? Thanks Patricia

  5. Thank you for this valuable information! Helps a lot.

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