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Dangers of Shaving a Double Coat

Updated: Mar 10

Double-coated dog breeds have two layers of fur. These dogs have a dense and soft or wooly–textured undercoat of short hair. The outer coat is generally long that is soft or harsh-textured. The common dogs that have a double coat include German Shepherd, Pomeranian, Chow Chow, Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain, and Samoyed.


It is tempting to shave your double-coated dogs, particularly in the hot summer season. This is not a good idea as the dual layers protect from the external elements. We often hear that "my dog is so hot, they pant constantly." Although this may be true, as long as your dog has access to water, shade, and a cool service ( such as concrete, tile, etc.) your pet is perfectly okay being a little warm.


What problems can occur if you shave your double-coated dog?


Let’s understand first that all dogs need their coat. These coats serve a purpose based on what the four-legged animal was bred to do. Shaving off a double coat can lead to many problems. Let’s have a look at the reasons why shaving your double-coated dog is not your best idea.


The shaved coat grows back weird


Let’s face it! All double-coated dogs look weird and funny when shaved. If their coat has been shaved, you will notice that his coat grows back differently. The texture of the coat will change when you shave it and may become thicker or thinner than usual. Shaving damages the dog’s coat and its natural hair growth cycle, resulting in hair taking twice as long to come back or not growing back at all. It can grow in patchy, fuzzy, coarse, or stringy.


Shaving can cause sunburn and overheat


When you shave your dog, you actually expose the skin to the sun and heat that it is not prepared for. Their thin skin without its natural coat protection is at risk. If their skin is exposed, this may cause sunburn or overheat them.


Risk of heat stroke and hypothermia


Double-coated dogs can self regulate heat. The coat actually helps to repel extra heat and shaving makes them hotter. If you shave your double-coated dog, you destroy their temperature regulatory system. This leaves them vulnerable to heatstroke or Hypothermia i.e. a potentially dangerous drop in body temperature.


Risk of groomers alopecia


Sometimes when a dog's coat is shaved, it does not grow back in the clipped area.


Shaving off a double coat can damage the hair follicles and may lead to a kind of alopecia. This may lead to bald spots of permanent loss of hair or change in the texture of the coat.


Does not stop shedding


Shaving a double-coated dog does not stop the shedding and shaved dogs still shed tiny hairs. You will find tiny spikes of hair on your floor, couch, or clothes. Shorter hair is even harder to deal with than regular length hair. Rather then shaving the coat to prevent shedding try daily brushing, regular grooming appointment's and skin/coat supplements.


How to avoid it


Double-coated dogs have specific grooming needs. A better alternative to shaving is to remove any excess undercoat by regular brushing. Your dog’s coat will tangle underneath if it is not combed regularly.


Frequent baths are also necessary to keep the skin and coat in optimal condition. However, over-bathing is not recommended for dogs. When bathing them, use a good quality shampoo and conditioner. Grooming will help to remove dead hair and prevent mats or tangles. It will also rescue you from loose hair scattered in your house. Your vacuum will probably thank you too.


Arming yourself with the right grooming tools will help you keep your double-coated dog looking great. When it comes to finding tools that can be used for grooming your dog’s coat, here is a list that can help:


  1. Wide-Toothed Metal Comb

  2. Slicker Brush

  3. Grooming Rake

  4. High-quality Dog Shampoo and Conditioner formulated for shedding.

  5. Kong Zoom Groom Brush

  6. Groomers Stone

Avoid Furminator and their line of shampoos. They can cause dry skin that leads to more shedding. The Furminator brush also can strip the coat often pulling out healthy hair and dead hair at the same time which can also cause more shedding and a change in texture to the coat.


The best way to maintain your dog’s double coat is to take him to the groomer. Any professional groomer will be more than happy to properly expel the undercoat and show you correct brushing techniques. They will blow out your dog’s undercoat with the high powered dryers. A good groomer will have the right tools to do the task efficiently.


We recommend taking your double-coated dog to a professional groomer twice a year, particularly at the start of summer and winter however it heavily depends on your tolerance of the hair at home and how often you are brushing. We see double coated dogs on all kinds of schedules. Your regular grooming will also help you spot potential health issues at an early stage. Make grooming a positive experience for your furry friend, filled with praise and rewards.


As always; if you have any questions feel free to email us at thefurologist417@gmail.com

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