To Shave or Not to Shave

To Shave or Not to Shave
It’s all ‘bout that coat, ‘bout that coat, no clippers!

Many customers ask us if they should shave their dog in an effort to help them cool down. Our answer depends on your dog’s coat and may surprise you.

Double-Coated vs. Single-Coated
Single-coated refers to dogs that have one layer of fur. Examples include: Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Beagle and the list goes on. Generally speaking, it’s safe to shave a single-coated dog.

Double-coated refers to dogs that have two layers of fur. Examples include, Huskies, German Shepherds, Chow Chow, Border Collie, Pomeranian, Newfoundland and the list goes on.

In a double-coated dog the first layer of fur, the undercoat, consists of fine, fluffy hairs that are short and close to the skin. This is the fur that keeps you busy sweeping and dusting. This is the fur that sheds. Not only is this layer great at plugging your vacuum it’s also excellent at trapping air and insulating your dog.

The second layer consists of tougher guard hairs that don’t shed, rather they protect your pup from bugs and the sun.

For all the Bob Villa lovers out there: Does an insulated house stay cooler than a non-insulated house? Just like fiber insulation in a house keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer so does your pup’s double coat.

Shaving double-coated dogs removes your pup’s natural insulator and can cause a number of problems including sunburn, overheating and irreparable coat damage.

The two layers of fur grow at different rates. Shaving can cause permanent damage to the coat, causing it to be unbalanced and unable to provide adequate insulation and protection. As a result, the coat may grow back in uneven patches, have a ragged or unkept texture or may never grow back at all (shave shock). Meaning Mr. McSnugglemutt will forever feel shame when he walks by the mirror.

The Art of De-Shedding
What can you do to upkeep your pup’s double-coat? DE-SHED instead! Your dog’s soft undercoat needs to be shed out, not shaved down. Double-coated dogs shed a lot. It’s part of the natural and healthy lifecycle of their coat. However, their undercoats need to come out, often and regularly. Undercoats are easily brushed out or removed with high velocity dryers at Fetch.

If you are wondering what type of coat your dog has or the best remedy to maintain their beautiful fur, stop by Fetch and chat with one of our professional groomers.

Remember: Single you can shave but shaving a double might put your dog’s coat in the grave.





Image Sources:
Albert North Vet Clinic