If you have a dog that has a lot of hair and does a lot of shedding, then you might be considering using furminators for de-shedding.
This de-shedding tool is actually a bit controversial in the pet owning community. Some people insist that it ruins a dogs coat, while others claim that it’s harmless.
Are you wondering if you should use a furminator?
We did the research and talked with dog owners in the local community to get their thoughts and experience on using furminators. Here’s what we discovered.
How Does The Furminator Work?
The FURminator deShedding Tool is designed to remove the undercoat and loose hair without cutting or damaging the topcoat. While shedding is a normal process that your dog goes through, and it’s not possible to stop it, the furminator is designed to dramatically reduce the amount of shedding that you’re dealing with in your home.
You should use in the direction of hair growth, typically starting at the base of the neck and brushing to the tail. As you brush, it removes the undercoat and loose hair.
It is non-abrasive to the skin of your dog as it sort of vacuum and shears the loose hair and undercoat.
And here’s more on how this tool works directly from the furminator website:
It is important to use the deShedding Tool methodically over the entire pet, avoiding one area for an extended period of time. The FURminator deShedding Tool is fine to use on the ears and tail.
The ears and tail are typically sensitive areas for most pets, so extra caution will need to be taken when brushing these areas. Since the ears and tail typically mat easily, we advise to check for and remove mats and tangles before using the deShedding Tool.
With regular use, you should see a reduction in the amount of mats and tangles that form in the ears and tail because you are removing the undercoat that gets caught in the topcoat causing mats to form.
So, it’s kind of like those hair thinning shears for people’s hair, but not quite the same. But that should give you a rough idea of how it works.
Will The Furminator Ruin Your Dog’s Coat?
Yes, it may damage your dog’s coat. Some pet owners we talked to experienced this, while others did not.
Cassandra, who has a German Shepherd named Wolfie, says that she thinks part of her dog’s coat is damaged, but she’s not 100% certain on that.
His coat is gorgeous except for the part where his hind legs meet the body. On both sides the coat is shorter and looks cut. I don’t know if the furminator did this or if it’s just the way his fur is growing.
Laura, also the owner of a German Shepherd, has never noticed any damage to her dog from the furminator.
I use the furminator once every 2 weeks about and have not had any trouble so far.
Based on our talks with pet owners, overuse is a contributing factor to the damage. If you use the furminator too often, then you run the risk of damaging your dog’s coat.
Dog owners agree that it’s a great tool when the dog is full grown has both its coats in. But it it not a good idea to use it on a young dog or puppy, because it could break the coat.
You can also damage the dog’s coat if you use the furminator on a wet or damp coat. Ditto for a brittle or dry coat.
Which Breeds Can’t You Use It On?
Not sure if you should use a furminator tool on your dog? Well, keep in mind that this tool should not be used on non-shedding breeds or on pets with particularly sensitive skin.
Please consult a veterinarian if you are unsure if your pet has an undercoat.
Some of the breeds that you should NEVER use a furminator de-shedding tool on include:
- American Water Spaniel
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Coton de Tulear
- Curly-Coated Retriever
- Dandie Dinmont
- Glen of Imaal Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This is not a complete list of breeds that you shouldn’t use a de-shedding tool on, but just some of the most common ones.
When used properly, and sparingly, a furminator is a great way to deal with the hassle of all that shedding that your pup does around the house, your car, and elsewhere. It won’t ruin your dogs coat if you follow the instructions, use it on a shedding breed, and don’t use it frequently.
But when you use it too often, or on a breed that doesn’t shed, then it can damage your dog’s coat.