When we care for our furry best friends, we must understand what works best with their particular breed. Each breed was cultivated for specific reasons and will require different styles of care to keep them happy and healthy. One important consideration is whether your dog is single or double-coated.
Many might not be aware of this, but all dogs can be either single or double-coated. Knowing the difference between the two can help you know how to make a dog's life as comfortable as possible, especially in double-coat dogs, as they require much more upkeep.
What is A Double-Coat? What's It For?
A double coat is a type of dog fur that consists of two layers: an undercoat composed of short wooly hair and a top layer of longer hairs. The undercoat serves thermoregulatory purposes. It acts as insulation for the dog, keeping temperatures cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. The topcoat serves as a protective shield against dirt and moisture.
A double-coat is found primarily on dogs who were bred to work in often challenging conditions. These dogs work as load carriers and aids to shepherds, braving the elements as formidable companions.
Which Breeds Have a Double-Coat?
Identifying a double-coat dog is not at all difficult. Double-coat dogs boast fur that's dense and fluffy. Due to their history as work dogs, they are often large breeds, though smaller dogs can also have a double-coat. Listed below are some of the most common and well-known double-coated breeds:
Several Breeds of Terrier
Golden and Labrador Retrievers
Double-Coat vs. Single-Coat
If you're deciding to get a puppy or dog based upon coat type, it will really depend on what you're looking for in a dog breed. In dogs with double-coats, they are resilient and more dependable in surviving different climates than single-coat dogs. Though they can live in cities, they are most at home in the outdoors. If you have a farm, live in the country, or possess a large backyard, then you'll be more than able to accommodate a double-coat dog. Can double-coat dogs (such as the German Shepherd) live in extreme climates? Read our article here.
One must note that seasonal shedding, sometimes in large amounts, is inherent to this coat type. They will require weekly to daily brushing and more grooming as opposed to single-coat dogs.
In single-coat dogs, grooming is more straightforward as they shed very little and are easier to clean. Ticks and fleas are also easier to spot as they are more visible and have fewer areas to hide. They are perfect for people who are looking for a more low-maintenance breed.
That being said, they are also more delicate with their shorter coat. Keeping the temperatures constant is a must to avoid dehydration or hypothermia. They are also not ideal if you're looking for an outdoors companion or helping hand with hard labor.
Unlike the minor shedding single-coat dogs, a double-coated dog will undergo something called a "coat blow" twice a year. It is when the dog transitions from its winter coat to summer coat -- releasing large clumps of fur as it regrows a new outer layer. This means the dog has a natural way of adjusting to the changes in temperatures.
Most groomers recommend brushing a double-coat dog a few times a week. Brush them daily if they are undergoing coat blow and be prepared during this. In some severe cases, owners can fill up entire trash bags with shredded fur. The severity in which coat blow can occur depends largely on the breed and gender of the dog, but it should be manageable so long as you brush them daily.
There are several reasons why, according to most groomers, you should never shave double-coat dogs. Though there are some disputing claims, the main concerns are that:
It could irritate their skin. Note that their skin is not accustomed to being exposed.
It could ruin their natural shedding schedules, making it unpredictable to manage.
It could damage their metabolism as they grow more prone to being chilly as cold air assaults their sensitive skin.
It could leave them vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV light from the sun.
With all that said, though, there are some exceptions to these rules. The only instances where shaving your dog's double-coat is acceptable are:
When your dog regularly swims
When the coat is getting too matted with dirt
When the dog is too old or sickly to withstand grooming
When fleas and tick infestations become difficult to manage
For your own dog's health and safety, be sure to ask your veterinarian or groomer first whether shaving the double-coat is a good option or not in your case.
Bathing your dog regularly, especially once a week during the summer months, prevents their double-coat from matting. Dogs with a double coat are also more prone to fleas and ticks than single-coat dogs. Regular bathing with an anti-flea shampoo and brushing afterward when dry can prevent those pests from taking hold.
To keep a double-coat looking and feeling it's best, consider feeding your dog a "Raw diet". Read more on that here. Why Should You Consider a Raw Food Diet for Dogs?
Best Brush for Double-Coat Dogs on Amazon
If you have a double-coat dog, you'll need to know what products work best in maintaining their coats. Here is a list of the top 5 double-coat brushes as rated by users on Amazon:
Best Shampoo for Double-Coat Dogs on Amazon
Finding the right shampoo for dogs with double-coats can be quite the task. Many options exist, all claiming to do different things with varying degrees of success. To help you make the right choice, here are the top 5 double-coat shampoos as rates by users in Amazon:
With traits like hardiness, loyalty, and strength that a double-coat dog possesses, it is more than enough to make it a worthy companion to both you and your family. We hope you found this article useful. If so, feel free to share with others who may also find this helpful!
Welcome to the Pack!
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