To shave or not to shave… dogs with a double coat
First of all, what is a double coated dog? Double coated, refers to the animals that, like Huskies, have two layers of fur. The first layer, or undercoat, are the fine, fluffy hairs that are short and closest to the skin. This is the fur that sheds, the light and soft fur. This layer is made to trap air and insulate the dog, so it essentially keeps them warm.
The second layer is the topcoat that is made up of the tougher guard hairs. These hairs don’t shed and protects your pet from the sun’s harmful rays and bug bites. The second layer actually does the opposite than the first layer and insulates them from the heat. Wondering what exactly this means? Let’s put straight up, do not shave your double coated dog.
You may think you’re helping your animal stay cool, particularly in summer, but evolution has provided them with exactly what they need to survive. You will be stripping them of their natural ability to heat and cool themselves. Essentially, you could be doing more harm than good.
A better way of putting this, dogs do not cool themselves through their skin like we do. They do now even sweat, only the pads of their paws do sweat. A dog’s main mode of cooling comes from panting.
Why would people shave their double coated dogs? A lot people shave their dogs, with the idea that the animal will stop shedding. They need to remember that dogs with undercoats shed, this is just a fact. Even after a shave, while the hair may be shorter, your dog will still shed.
You will always here dog owners tell you that the hair will grow back, there are times that it just simply won’t. The older the dog is, the less likely it is that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This will leave you fur baby with the undercoat, giving them a patchy, scruffy look.
This is something that can alter the dog’s coat for the rest of their life. Not only does it look bad, but you can end up having to shave the hair continuously from then on and once again, you strip them of their natural ability to protect themselves.
So, as a final thought, when you shave a double coated dog, you will impair their ability to properly heat/cool themselves and protect their skin. Why would you want that for a dog you love? The only reason a person might need to shave their double coated dog is if the hair is so matted, shaving will be the only option in a case like that..