Important things you should know regarding dog hair

When the seasons are changing, and especially during the summer’s hot weather, every dog owner starts to think about their fluffy friend’s coat. “Does my dog needs a new hair cut?” It is the most common question.

It’s important to understand that the dog’s coat is meant to protect him. But do they need to have the whole bag of hair on them all the time? There are certain breeds that have more hair than others, but do the short-hair dogs doesn’t get as hot as the long-hair ones?

A dog’s coat is composed of two layers: the topcoat of stiff guard hairs that help to repel water and shield them from dirt, and an undercoat of soft down hairs, to serve as insulation. Dogs with both undercoat and topcoat are said to have a double layer coat. 

Dog hair function – thermoregulation, protection from cuts or scratches.

Is dog grooming necessary for all breeds?

There is a misleading concept that if you have a long-hair dog you MUST cut your dog’s hairs so it doesn’t get hot during the summer, or not to cut his hair during the winter as he will be freezing. In that case what about short-hair dogs?

It all depends on your dog if he’s hot or not. The coat helps with the thermoregulation not during the winter, but also in the summer. Of course he shouldn’t stay in the sun all the time because he can easily get sunburn or sunstroke. It’s better if your dog has a cooler place where to relax and cool off if he’s outdoors. And don’t forget about water.

Mainly dogs cool off through their belly, so few dog owners decide to trim just the belly because it doesn’t get as much sun as the rest of the body. They also cool off via their nose, mouth, and paw pads. If the dog is healthy and his coat is free of the excess hair then he is able to provide adequate thermoregulation for himself on a daily basis.

It’s your responsibility to decide what’s best for your precious doggo, because who else will know him better than you, right? 

You can also take your dog to a professional dog groomer or do it yourself at home.

Photo by Kamille Sampaio from Pexels

Dog grooming

The most common dog breeds that spend their time at the groomer are usually the little ones like Yorkshire terrier, Shih Tzu, Spitz. As for the large breeds, they are often brought to the groomers just to wash them thoroughly and pull out the undercoat that has accumulated over the winter. The most common breeds are samoyed, Leonbergers, and Russian terrier.

If you are thinking about other breeds like French bulldogs, beagles and Labradors then they can also attend groomers if you want. They shed a lot of hair quite often and they also have an undercoat. At the grooming salon they brush them with a special comb, wash, and drain them using a compressor. That way they get rid of the dead skin and excess hair from the dog’s coat.

Of course you can do that at home by yourself just get a proper comb

For your dog’s hair use a shampoo that is suitable for him.

Photo by nishizuka from Pexels

Even for the long-hair dog it’s not an obligation that you have to shave him every other week or so. It’s sometimes enough just to trim around the paws and butt. The best option for dogs who are not participating in dog shows is to cut their hair short, so you don’t have to brush their hair every day. Although you have to be careful with cutting hair, for example, for spitz if you cut too much of his hair it might create some skin problems (for ex. Alopecia).

Home grooming

You can try your hand at dog grooming and maybe make your dog a relaxing day at home.

  1. You just need a proper brush for your dog and a little patience. It depends on how long is your dog’s hair;
  2. Try to brush the fur as thoroughly as you can. Brushing should be done once a week;
  3. If you have a long-hair dog pay attention to his paws, eyes, ears and butt. These are the spots that always needs a trimming. If they are fine, then leave them as they are;
  4. Give him a treat, because he’s a good boy or girl;
  5. Then look at his nails. They need to be at a normal length, not overgrown. If they are too long, then a trim/grind them.  If the nails are not grinding down naturally then you should clip them once a month. (More info you can see on our previous post HERE).
  6. Give him a bath. Wash him from head to toes, but be careful with the ears. Don’t let the water get in there. The frequency depends based on the breed, some groomers suggest washing a dog once a month, but for the dog, it is better if you wash him less often, because when you wash dog’s coat together with the dirt you’re also washing away the protective layer; (More info you can see in our previous post HERE).
  7. After the bath you should dry him using, for example, a towel. Also with a wet towel you can clean his ears a little bit, but don’t go too deep, just the outside part.
  8. Now that everything is done the next steps are optional but you could use some oils or conditioners for his coat. And for his paws you can try waxes or creams;
  9. Now that everything is done we can clean his teeth. If he is not used to it then you can check our previous post HERE.
Photo by Benjamin Lehman from Pexels

Nutrition for fur and skin

“Because the skin and coat account for a large percentage of your dog’s body, they affect their need for nutrients. The most common nutrients that seem to benefit the quality of skin and coat are protein level and fatty acids. In fact, skin and hair use the most dietary protein as a result of their constant renewal. So when there is an inadequate or poor-quality protein in food, the coat and skin are among the first areas of the body affected.

The fat in dog food provides important fatty acids that are valuable components of all cell membranes, including those of skin. Fatty acids are also found in skin oils where they contribute to the luster of the normal healthy coat.

When choosing a dog food to support skin and coat health, veterinary nutritionists recommend selecting food that provides high-quality, highly digestible protein, an optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and zinc.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s skin and coat, be sure to talk with your veterinarian.

As always if any questions let us know and stay safe,

Talk to you soon.