To Shave or Not?
Shaving a double-coated dog, such as our natural coated American Dirus dogs, is not recommended at all.
While there are some situations where shaving may be necessary for medical or grooming reasons, there are four main reasons against shaving a double-coated dog:
- Disrupting the Natural Coat Function: Double-coated dogs have a unique coat structure consisting of two layers: a soft undercoat and a coarser outer coat. This design serves a crucial purpose in regulating the dog's body temperature and providing protection from the elements. The undercoat acts as an insulating layer, keeping the dog warm in colder temperatures and cool in hotter climates. The outer coat, on the other hand, helps shield the dog from UV rays, insects, and physical injuries.
Shaving a double-coated dog can interfere with the coat's natural function, leading to potential overheating in warmer weather or inadequate protection in colder conditions. Removing the undercoat may disrupt the insulating ability of the coat, causing the dog to become more susceptible to temperature extremes.
- Coat Regrowth and Texture Changes: Double-coated dog breeds' fur is unique and grows differently from that of single-coated breeds. Shaving a double-coated dog can lead to coat regrowth issues and changes in texture. The new coat that grows back may not resemble the original one, leading to irregular patterns and uneven growth.
Over time, shaving may cause the undercoat to become thicker and denser, which could exacerbate the temperature regulation problems. Moreover, the coat might lose its natural waterproofing properties, making the dog more prone to skin issues, matting, and tangling.
- Increased Sunburn and Skin Problems: The double coat of these breeds acts as a natural defense against harmful UV rays. Shaving the dog exposes the skin directly to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn and skin problems. Light-skinned and lighter-colored dogs are especially vulnerable to sunburn, which can lead to pain, irritation, and potential long-term damage.
- Allergens, Parasites, and Irritants: The undercoat helps protect against allergens, parasites, and other external irritants. When shaved, the dog's skin becomes more exposed to these potential threats, leading to a higher likelihood of allergies, skin infections, and itching.
Shaving a double-coated dog can disrupt the natural coat function, lead to coat regrowth and texture changes, and increase the risk of sunburn and skin problems. Instead of resorting to shaving, regular grooming practices like brushing using a slicker brush can help maintain the coat's health and appearance without compromising its natural benefits.