Why is shaving a double coated dog bad? Surprising Answer

What problems can double-coated dogs face?

Coat blow is the shedding process of double-coated dogs. The soft, thick undercoat that keeps these dogs so warm in cold months has to change to keep them cool in the summer. It differs slightly from the way other dogs shed.

Single-coated dogs shed their fur in small poufs as they scratch or after a good brushing. When a double-coated dog blows its coat, giant clumps of fur come off for several days. Pup parents with large dogs can fill garbage bags with blown fur. Coat blow takes regular shedding to a whole new level, and it can be very daunting for humans.

Matting is another problem that many double-coated dogs can face, especially if they aren’t properly cared for. It happens when the undercoat tangles so badly that thick mats of fur develop close to the skin. When the condition becomes so bad that proper airflow is restricted, the coat is pelted and can become a danger. Double-coated dogs that do a lot of swimming or are often in the wilderness can also develop a problem with mats.

Can you shave a double-coated dog?

Some pup parents consider shaving their double-coated dog to alleviate problems with coat blow or matting, but that’s rarely a viable solution. There are many ways shaving can cause more problems. Here’s what to know:

  • Double coats provide a layer of protection against the external environment for the dog.
  • Shaving it away removes that protective layer, resulting in insufficient protection from temperature, parasites, sun damage, and wind.
  • Shaving also damages the coat because it doesn’t regrow in the same fashion.
  • To protect the skin, the undercoat grows back quickly but the guard hairs don’t. It takes time for them to reach full growth.
  • The undercoat gets too thick and coarse while it’s waiting for the guard hairs to catch up, and it gathers debris and oils along the way.
  • If you have allergies, shaving your double-coated dog can exacerbate that response, contrary to popular belief. Three out of every 10 people have an allergy to dog dander. Shaving the fur makes it much easier for dander to release into the atmosphere.

    The only good reason for shaving a double-coated dog is if the coat is pelted. Mats can form so close to the skin that the fur cannot be brushed through and airflow to the skin is restricted. Pelted fur leads to yeast infections, hematomas, fecal matting, urine burns, fleas, and irritated skin.

    Keeping Double Coated Breeds Cool In Summer

    A dog’s undercoat is exactly as it sounds, it’s a second coat beneath the outer coat that keeps your dog warm in winter and cool in summer. Breeds that are native to colder areas generally tend to have undercoats and these include the German Shepherd, Pomeranian, Chow, Husky, Malamute and Samoyed.

    Double coated breeds have long and course outer coats that protects the undercoat that is usually fluffy and soft. While dogs shed their outer coat all year round, the undercoat is usually shed seasonally.

    Breeds with an undercoat require a lot of maintenance all year round, but need a full deshed and blow out at each change of the season. You need to brush the undercoat all year round to prevent any matting and during shedding time to remove all of the loose fur. This can be done with a rake or a deshedding tool.

    Shaving a double coated dog is rarely done for the below reasons:

  • The purpose of the undercoat is to keep them cooler in summer and warm in winter. The top coat with the tougher guard hairs protect your dog from the sun’s rays and insect bites.
  • In summer, your dog will shed the soft undercoat, just leaving behind the guard hairs. Without the undercoat, the air cannot circulate beneath the outer hair and cannot keep the skin cool.
  • Single coated breeds have hair that just keeps growing, double coated breeds only grow their fur to a certain length. If you shave a single coated breed, the coat will grow back without any change. Shaving a double-coated breed can really ruin the coat.
  • If you do shave your double coated dog, the new hair will grow back but the undercoat will grow first. The guard hairs are slower to grow. The texture of the new coat coming through tends to be sticky and all manner of grass seeds, twigs and plants will stick to the dog’s coat
  • The texture of the soft undercoat will absorb the sun’s rays, making your dog hotter in summer.
  • Shaving a double coated dog does not reduce shedding
  • The best way to keep your dog cool in summer is to ensure that your dog is groomed regularly and has a de-shed at the beginning of each season to remove all of the dead hair and to ensure that the outer coat can work as it is intended, as an insulator.

    Brushing alone does not get all the undercoat. Brushing in conjunction with regular bathing promotes shedding and then drying with a high velocity drier to push out a lot of the undercoat.

    The best thing to reduce/prevent shedding is to have regular grooming every 4 weeks. Speak to your local Jim’s Dog Wash franchisee, who can put your dog on a regular cycle for grooming to keep your dog’s coat in top condition.

    Call Jim’s Dog Wash on 131546 to speak to one of fully trained operators who can advise you on a schedule that suits you and your dog.

    2 major risks of shaving your double coated dog