Welcome to our ultimate guide on managing Bernese Mountain Dog shedding! If you’re a proud owner of one of these magnificent dogs, you know all too well the challenges of dealing with their heavy shedding. At PawsAndTheCityNYC, where we specialize in dog grooming, we understand your struggles and are here to help.

In this post, we’ll equip you with proven techniques and insider tips to control shedding and keep your home hair-free effectively. From the right grooming tools to the best dietary practices, we’ll cover everything you need to maintain your Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat and enhance your bonding time. So, let’s get started and make shedding management a breeze for you and your furry friend.

Understanding Bernese Mountain Dog Shedding

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their lush, thick coats which, while beautiful, also mean they are heavy shedders. These dogs typically go through two major shedding seasons each year. In spring, they shed their thick winter undercoats to prepare for warmer weather, and in fall, they shed again to make room for growth of new, thicker fur for the cold season ahead.

cute bernese mountain dog lying on floor in veterinary clinic
Image: Envato Elements

Several factors can influence how much a Bernese Mountain Dog sheds. Seasonal changes are the most obvious; however, diet and overall health also play critical roles. A nutritious diet rich in omega fatty acids is essential for maintaining a healthy coat and minimizing excessive shedding.

Health issues, such as allergies or hormonal imbalances, can also lead to increased shedding. According to Veterinary Practice News, ensuring your dog is healthy and well-fed can significantly reduce shedding, making management much easier for you as an owner. By understanding these aspects of your Bernese Mountain Dog’s shedding, you can better prepare and manage their grooming needs.

Essential Grooming Techniques

Brushing Basics

Regular brushing is crucial for managing shedding in Bernese Mountain Dogs. The ideal brushes for BMDs are slicker brushes, which help remove tangles and loose fur, and undercoat rakes, which are excellent for getting deep into their thick undercoat without harming the skin.

Brushing your Bernese Mountain Dog at least three to four times a week is recommended to significantly reduce the amount of loose hair and distribute natural skin oils that keep their fur healthy and shiny.

Read our guide on the best brush for Bernese mountain dogs; see our top picks below.

Bathing Your Dog

When it comes to bathing, choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is essential for a Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat health. Look for products specifically formulated for dogs with thick, double coats and that contain natural ingredients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, to help reduce shedding.

Bathing your dog once every three months or so is generally sufficient, but increasing the frequency to once a month during peak shedding seasons can help manage the shedding more effectively. Regular baths not only keep your dog’s coat clean but also help loosen and remove the undercoat that’s ready to shed.

See our guide on the best shampoo and conditioner for Bernese mountain dogs; here are our top picks.

Nutritional Strategies to Reduce Shedding

A balanced diet plays a pivotal role in the health of a Bernese Mountain Dog’s coat and can significantly impact the amount of shedding. Ensuring your dog receives the right mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is crucial. High-quality dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient provides the necessary protein your dog needs for a healthy, resilient coat.

Supplements can also be a great addition to your dog’s diet to enhance coat health further and reduce shedding. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, are particularly beneficial. They help to nourish the skin and coat, promoting stronger, healthier fur and reducing brittleness that leads to excess shedding.

Vitamins such as vitamin E and Biotin also support skin health and fur strength. Regularly including these supplements, in consultation with your vet, can make a noticeable difference in your Bernese Mountain Dog’s shedding and overall coat condition.

Bernese mountain dogs
Image: Envato Elements

Creating a Routine for Shed Management

Establishing a consistent grooming routine is essential for managing your Bernese Mountain Dog’s shedding efficiently. Here’s a sample weekly grooming schedule that you can adapt based on your dog’s specific needs and shedding level:

Sample Weekly Grooming Schedule:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Brushing with a slicker brush for about 10-15 minutes to remove tangles and loose fur.
  • Saturday: A thorough brushing session using an undercoat rake to remove dead undercoat, particularly during shedding season. This session might take a bit longer, around 20-30 minutes.
  • Monthly Bath: Depending on the season and your dog’s shedding, schedule a bath with a suitable shampoo and conditioner to help loosen and remove the undercoat.

Tips for Incorporating Grooming into Your Daily Routine

  • Make it a bonding time: Use grooming sessions as a bonding opportunity with your Bernese Mountain Dog. It can be a relaxing time for both you and your pet, filled with gentle strokes and maybe some treats.
  • Stay consistent: Try to groom at the same time each day or on specific days of the week. Consistency helps your dog know what to expect and makes the routine smoother.
  • Keep grooming tools accessible: Store your grooming tools in an easily accessible place to remind you of the grooming tasks. Having everything at hand also makes it less of a chore to get started.
  • Reward your dog: Always end each grooming session with a reward, such as a favorite treat or extra playtime. This positive reinforcement helps your dog associate grooming with enjoyable outcomes.

By sticking to a grooming schedule and incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can effectively manage your Bernese Mountain Dog’s shedding and keep their coat healthy and beautiful.