3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
If you’ve had a dog before, you’ve probably heard the term ‘double coat’ at least once. However, there are actually many dog parents that are still unsure of what this term means, even if they have a dog with a double coat. So, its important to learn about this special coat type before you accidentally harm your dog’s hair or fur.
What is a Double Coat?
As the name implies, a double coat is a coat that has two layers. You probably won’t notice these layers simply by looking at a dog, but they are built to protect them from all different types of weather.
Double-coated dogs have an undercoat of short, dense hairs to protect them. Then, they have an outer layer of longer hairs that are in place to guard the undercoat. These two layers work together to effectively protect your dog from extreme weather, both hot and cold.
How to Groom a Double Coat
Double coats often need lots of brushing, especially if your dog sheds a lot. The thicker your dog’s undercoat is, the fluffier they will appear. However, the more fur they have, the more often you’ll have to brush them. For some breeds, brushing as much as every day is even recommended.
However, while their coats need a lot of maintenance, there is one this you should NEVER do: shave them. There is a common misconception that shaving a dog’s coat will keep them cool in the summer, but that’s not true for all breeds.
For dogs with double coats, shaving into their undercoat could permanently damage their fur. If you cut into their undercoat, it likely won’t grow back the same, which means it won’t have the same protection that it used to.
Therefore, instead of shaving your double-coated dog, just make sure you bathe them regularly. Bathing and brushing them are the easiest ways to keep your dog’s coat nice and soft. Some breeds can have the tip of their outer coat trimmed, but make sure no one every cuts into your dog’s undercoat.
Common Breeds with Double Coats
There are actually a lot of well-known breeds that have double coats, but many humans don’t even realize it. Here are just a few examples:
- Alaskan Malamute
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Siberian Husky
There are also many dogs that are considered a double coated breed, but due to poor breeding, their undercoats are now extremely thin, so it might not look any different from their top coat. I recently learned that Shih Tzus are often said to have double coats, but my coat looks the same at all lengths. So, this article is more referring to the dogs with noticeable double coats that should never be shaved.
So, whenever you get your dog groomed, make sure you stay mindful of what their coat needs. If you are able to avoid shaving your dog’s coat, that is probably the safest option for your dog.
Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!