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If you had just made the life-changing decision to adopt a dog, you may find the grooming process rather difficult but rewarding nonetheless.
As seasons change, first-time pet owners may be shocked to find a sea of coats blanketing their houses, almost as if they were thicker than snow! Furthermore, grooming your dogs during these times is absolutely crucial as they would become increasingly prone to illnesses if their coating is not blown out.
It is our responsibility to understand and make informed decisions based on what we know about our dog’s coat and how to give them a pleasant grooming experience.
On the other hand, you may be a prospective dog owner asking this question: Should I get a dog that regularly sheds their coat?
The answer depends on several factors: Am I (or any of my family members) allergic to dog fur? Do I have the time and energy (or money) to groom them? When they shed, would I be willing to clean it all up?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are on the right track to becoming an amazing pet owner!
Breeds That Need Coat Blow
Our beloved dogs come in various shapes and sizes with charming skin and hair which protects them against hot and cold climates. Similarly, dogs have a wide variety of coats with double coated ones requiring the most grooming and coat blow.
Double-coated dogs have an undercoat shorter than their outer coat, making them appear much thicker and fluffier. Although many single-coated dogs can have long fur as well, double-coated dogs have both long and short coats. Their long outer layer is also known as guard hairs that insulate them from humidity and the cold, as well as repelling moisture and dirt. Their inner layer is a dense undercoat of short, curly and soft which gives them warmth for the chilly winter months.
Double coated breeds include Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Shiba Inu, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, and Pomeranians.
Dogs that have less undercoat such as Bichon Frise and Shih Tzus would naturally shed less, but old coats would still have to be groomed. Breeds with hairs that have longer life cycles would shed less whereas those with shorter life cycles such as Labradors and Huskies shed much more often. Here’s a comprehensive list of double-coated dogs.
When Does a Dog Blow Its Coat?
Dogs that require coat blow usually shed similar to the times when trees shed their leaves. As winter approaches, your dog would grow more fur to keep them warm while shedding their short summer coat. Later in spring, their long and thick winter coat would be blown to prepare them for summer. Some dogs lose their hair all at once while others shed gradually from March through to June at small portions at a time.
The times at which they shed may vary depending on the extent to which they are exposed to the outdoor weather. Dogs that like to venture outdoors would naturally need to acclimate to their surroundings. Therefore, the times at which they shed would change according to the seasons.
On the other hand, dogs that prefer to stay inside and do not experience fluctuating temperatures would shed at a constant rate. This may be attributed to artificial lighting and indoor heating during the cold seasons, and air conditioning during the summer.
Grooming a Double Coated Dog
When you own a double coat dog, you’re going to be in it for the long haul. Because of this, it is important to make the grooming process a scheduled routine for you and your dog.
The following are three simple steps on how you could give your dog a proper blowout:
Before you begin to brush, it is crucial to remove any tangles to make brushing a smooth and easy process. Use a pin brush or rake to gently remove any tangles you can spot, or cut them out with scissors if needed. You could also include a detangler spray, which untangles any knots encountered when sprayed onto your rake.
#2. Rake and Comb Their Coat
Begin brushing your dog with a pin brush or rake and make sure you reach the roots of their skin. Use short and gentle strokes and make sure not to brush too hard to avoid unnecessary hair pulling. Digging too deep may scrape their skin so we must remain gentle when brushing. We must also be mindful of choosing grooming brushes. It’s best to pick the ones that are made to prevent any harm to our beloved dogs’ skin.
#3. Bathe Your Dog
Using shampoos and conditioners specifically made for shedding makes the hair removal process more comfortable by untangling knots. Bathing naturally washes away loose hair with water. Always rinse thoroughly afterward as exposure to humidity would cause them to develop smelly odours or skin irritations.
Double coated dogs usually need to be blown out every once a week or even twice during shedding seasons. Brushing should also be a regular activity done every other day. If you are short on time, or if they are blowing their coat faster than you could keep up with, consider going to a grooming professional to let them handle the mess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dogs itch when they blow their coat?
Many pet owners have reported that blowing their dog’s coat leads to dry and irritable skin. Although the process may be uncomfortable at first, it is mainly due to their clumped up hair preventing air from circulating through their skin. If so, their scratching behavior serves as their attempt to remove loose hair, but removes live ones as well. This results in even more skin irritations and redness which exacerbates the situation. Therefore, the appropriate solution would be to keep your dog calm and collected by blowing their coat.
What is the best way to clean up after double coat dogs shed?
It is important to remove a dog’s coating before they attach themselves to carpets or other fabrics. Lint rollers are particularly effective as their sticky surfaces easily pick up particles without damaging your furniture. A handheld vacuum is incredibly helpful during the shedding period when they lose the most hair. Pet hair removal brooms is also an amazing option for non-carpeted floors. This is attributed to their rubber bristles which contain electrostatic properties that magnetizes pet hair, making floors much easier to clean than regular brooms. Having an air purifier would also be beneficial in removing hair particles so they don’t waft around and cause you to sneeze every 5 minutes. This also makes your home environment-friendly to guests who may be allergic to dog fur.
Is it OK to shave a double-coated dog?
It is definitely not recommended to shave double coated dogs as their layered coats keep them happy and healthy. Shaving is a common mistake made during the summer which not only permanently damages their dog’s coat but also increases the risk of UV exposure, heat strokes, sunburns and skin cancer. Many assume that shaving is the same as giving them a blowout, but this is untrue as it exposes their dog’s skin to insects which may put them at high risk of developing infectious diseases such as Myiasis. Shaving is also counterintuitive as it does not reduce the amount of fur that they shed and defeats the purpose of their natural shedding process.