Hair? Hair! Here, there, everywhere!
Dogs shed. It is one of the downsides to an otherwise widely beloved pet. I have never known a dog owner who particularly enjoyed combing tons of dog hair out of their furniture, carpets, or cars.
Is there a way to make it easier to deal with? Does wearing doggy clothes prevent shedding? And can it stop your house from becoming invaded by fine shaggy strands?
First…Why Do Dogs Shed?
Much like humans, dogs shed their hair when it becomes damaged or when the follicles renew themselves. External changes such as winter and summer may also cause excess shedding.
Not all dogs will shed the same amount. Long-haired dogs will lose more hair than shorter breeds, and some just naturally shed more, e.g., Labradors, St. Bernards, Huskies, etc. However, all dogs will naturally lose their hair from time to time.
Some dogs even have two coats, a tough outer coat and a soft, downy undercoat. This is why sometimes you will find more than one texture of pet hair, even when you only have one dog. These dogs can sometimes shed more hair than those that just have a top coat.
The overall health of your dog can also have an influence on how much hair they shed. Stress and nutritional deficiencies can speed up hair loss, and excess shedding can even be a sign of some diseases or chronic health issues.
If your dog has suddenly and randomly started losing hair, this may be due to a hormonal issue, such as thyroid problems, fungal and bacterial infections of the skin, parasites, or even sunburn. 
Is There a Way To Stop Shedding Altogether?
No. Shedding is a natural function for dogs to maintain a healthy coat and protect themselves
So while the amount of shedding will fluctuate, there is no way to stop it completely. All we can do is find ways to control and manage how much hair we have to deal with.
So, Do Doggy Clothes Help?
Dog clothes will not prevent your dog from shedding, but they will help you manage the hair for a number of reasons.
For starters, doggy clothing will help your dog maintain a more constant temperature year-round.
They will also stop a dog’s fur from snagging and being tugged out by your pets rubbing against furniture. Friction from lying on carpets, jumping up on car seats, or brushing against soft objects such as sofas…will all lead to loose dog hair being tugged from your dog’s coat and sticking to these objects.
A good jacket or coat will automatically prevent this from happening and reduce hair-attracting static.
Another big advantage is that as the hair naturally falls out, it is more likely to get trapped in the doggy clothes instead of falling on your floors. The more encompassing the coat, such as a dog onesie, the more trapped hair you will get.
What is the Most Effective Piece of Doggy Clothing?
Any piece of dog clothing is good, especially pieces that envelop both the back and chest of the dog. However, the most effective would be the dog onesie.
The dog onesie is a garment that covers most of your dog's body, including the front and back paws, with room around the head and rear. They are normally slip-on, but some can contain zips.
They are usually cuffed at the sleeves, preventing loose hair from escaping, and are most often made with stretchy, breathable materials such as spandex. Allowing your dog to move freely still and making them an easy and comfortable fit.
But don’t stress. If your dog is not a fan of the dog onesie, then a simple front clipping or pullover coat will still help trap the majority of loose fur.
Using a Dog Onesie Correctly
Most owners agree that dogs shouldn’t wear clothing for more than 8 hours a day, which is still a significant amount of time if they're not spending all their time inside or if you are only concerned about bedding.
Almost all dog onesies can be slipped on overhead or strapped around your pup. When you're done, you can just slip it off and shake it out outside or over a bin or container. You can even use a vacuum to pick up any loose flyers left inside the clothes.
Buying the right size is also important. Too tight, and your dog may be uncomfortable, but too loose, and the hair will just fall right out anyway. A high quality outfit with a proper lining is always a better choice, as this will trap the hair better.
Proper doggy clothing should never restrict a dog's ability to move around, breathe, or do their business freely. Any garment that chafes your dog’s skin, or causes friction bald spots to form, should not be worn again.
Dog onesies, and other dog clothing, also have the added benefits of keeping your dog safe from cold weather and sunburn, as well as covering stitches and wounds. It can also provide soothing calm by swaddling an anxious dog.
Not every dog may like wearing clothes right away. However, most can normally be trained to get used to them with repeated exposure. Creating a positive experience with clothes, such as with praise or treats, can also help calm the jitters.
It's a good idea to give your dog a bit of a fluff or brush after removing clothes. This will help redistribute and get rid of any trapped oils and loose fur before they go flying around your house.
Are Dog Clothes Hard to Maintain?
Some people hold off from trying doggy clothes because they worry that the garments will become smelly or dirty or create a lot of extra work for owners.
Like human clothes, doggy clothes can become tainted if worn too long or too often. However, dogs do not sweat like humans, and clothes can still last a long time if cleaned and maintained properly.
At the end of each wearing session, you can shake out your doggy clothes, getting rid of excess dog hair. A vacuum can also be used to remove any excess fur. Afterward, most clothes can either be hand washed or thrown in the wash.
If the garment is excessively smelly or still smells after washing, then you can soak it in a mix of baking soda and water for a few hours before washing it again.
Important! It is better to use a scent and dye-free soap when washing dog clothes. Even after a good rinse, these chemicals can irritate your dog’s skin and sense. Also, it's recommended to wash your animal’s bedding and clothing separately from your own.
Getting the Right Doggy Clothes for You
As mentioned, Dog onesies are the best to minimize shedding. However, they may not always be the most practical for you.
What type of material you choose will be largely based on where you live. Thicker materials and clothes with hoods, etc., may be better for cooler climates, while vests and clothes made from light materials may be better for warmer clothes.
Long-haired dogs may also do better in lighter clothes that aren’t too form-fitting; this will lower the risk of their hair getting knotted or matted.
Clothes should be easy to take on and off. Be careful of dog accessory brands with many zippers, bows, or other loose objects. These can often be easily chewed off by curious pups and can result in them choking on or swallowing these items.
Be wary of items like buttons, laces or excess pockets. They could also become caught on things and either trap your dog or destroy the clothing item. This is why quality is important - it can become a matter of safety. 
The rest is just a matter of style!
Reducing the Shed
So, while we have established that doggy clothes are a mostly effective means of combating dog hair, at the end of the day, they can only do so much against a dog with a real hair problem.
Preventing dogs from shedding is impossible, but there are a number of methods to reduce the amount of hair your dog loses and keep your home tidy.
Good nutrition - Poor nutrition and deficiencies can deplete coat and skin health. This will cause more hair to fall out than normal. Giving your dog a diet rich in proteins and fats will help them lose way less hair than they would otherwise.
Brush Often - A coat may catch loose hairs, but hair can still become entangled and not fall out into the clothes. Brushing your dog regularly will remove loose hair and improve overall coat quality. Less loose hair means less shed hair.
Keep Anti-flea Medication up to date - Fleas, mites, and other parasites can cause itching, which leads to scratching, which leads to hair loss. Bumps, ridges, and rashes can also cause bald spots and hair loss.
Bathe Your Dog in the Summer - Summer is the worst for shedding. Keeping your dog cool and free of pests and removing dirty, loose hair can all be done in the tub. A gentle pet-friendly shampoo should also clean without drying out the skin.
The sad truth for all dog lovers is that shedding is a part of life. However, there are still some things you can do about your dog’s shedding.
You can reduce overall hair loss by ensuring your dog stays healthy, clean, and cool.
A dog onesie is the best form of doggy clothes for shed prevention, as they are the most encompassing and are generally made from lightweight material. But any doggy clothes are better than none at preventing loose hair from landing on carpets and furniture.
Remember, while we want to make things convenient for ourselves, at the end of the day, your dog’s comfort and safety should be the biggest concern. Try to get a dog used to clothes, but don't force them if they're anxious and upset. And always choose a good quality, widely reviewed item that you can rely on for your needs.
There is a wide range of doggy clothes and styles at Sparkpaws, including dog onesies and even matching sets for you and your dog. Just because reducing shedding is your goal doesn't mean that your dog can't look adorable and stylish while doing so.
Feel free to check out our catalog here!