Double-coated dogs have two layers of hair. Closest to the skin they have a heavy undercoat, and then longer, coarser guard hair on the outside. This double-coat acts as a comfortable insulation for your dog during hot as well as cold weather. Popular double-coated dog breeds include:
- Shetland Sheepdogs
Although most people believe that shaving a double-coated dog will keep it cooler and prevent shedding in the summer, this simply isn’t the case. The thick undercoat hairs shed every spring and early summer, replacing the thick undercoat with fine hairs. Air travels through the long hairs and finer undercoat, keeping your dog cool during hot summer months. When shaved, the undercoat will still shed but your dog will no longer be able to control its natural cooling ability.
The upper guard hairs do not shed. They provide protection against the sun’s rays. When shaved, the dog becomes more susceptible to sunburn, skin irritation and skin cancer. During summer months, your groomer can shave a strip off your dog’s belly. This allows your dog to lay on a cool surface during hot days.
Long hair that is not matted as well as a thick undercoat keep your pet warm during the winter. During the fall, the fine undercoat sheds and is replaced by thick, crimped undercoat hairs. This creates an effective insulation for your dog.
A double coat should never be shaved unless is it matted to the point of no return. Keeping your double-coated dog’s coat brushed and mat free is an extremely important part of allowing good air circulation through the hair. Coats that are not well maintained stifle air circulation and do very little to help cool or warm the body. A severely matted coat is uncomfortable for your dog and can be very painful.
Claws N Paws Day Spa can help you keep your dog’s fur maintained. For more information or to schedule a grooming appointment, please call 714-962-1005.
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