If you're like many pet owners, you like the idea of grooming your dog at home instead of paying the relatively expensive price tag for a groomer every month or so. This is easy in many cases, especially for those with short-haired breeds such as Labrador retrievers, boxers, and bulldogs.
Certain longhaired breeds, including golden retrievers and Yorkshire terriers, are also fairly easy to groom once you get the hang of it. However, grooming gets tricky with the Nordic breeds such as all types of huskies and American Eskimos, Pomeranians, and any other breeds in the spitz family because these breeds have something called a double coat. This means that there is a short, protective undercoat under the longer layer of fur.
Both layers play an important role in keeping the dog healthy and comfortable. Here's what you need to know about caring for your dog's double coat.
Double-Coated Breeds Shouldn't Be Shaved or Cut Closely
Many dog owners assume that these breeds suffer from the heat, and they aren't wrong. Nordic breeds evolved in cold weather climates and are more sensitive to warm temperatures than their counterparts that evolved in warm temperatures such as Chihuahuas. However, some people have Nordic breeds shaved or cut closely by a groomer in an attempt to make their at-home grooming responsibilities easier.
Double-Coated Breeds Sunburn Easily
It's also widely believed that close cuts and shaving provide the dogs with relief from the heat, but this strategy isn't recommended by experts because it can have the opposite effect. One of the functions of a double coat is to regulate the animal's body heat, and they help keep them cool in warm weather as well as warm in cool weather. Nordic dog breeds typically have pink skin that sunburns very easily, which can be extremely painful and may even be life-threatening in some cases. Cutting your dog's fur too close increases the risk of sunburn.
Double-Coated Breeds Shed Profusely
Even if you do decide to go the professional groomer route to care for your double-coated breed, chances are that you'll need to perform routine grooming procedures yourself to minimize shedding. Spending between three to five minutes per day going over your dog's coat with a tool called a grooming rake will mean less time chasing stray fur with your vacuum cleaner. As a bonus, this will increase the average time between professional groomings by keeping fur smooth and untangled.
For more insight, contact dog care centers.