Story and images provided by Trinity Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort
As animal lovers, many of us have been there. It seems like the dog is shedding constantly and you are tired of vacuuming your house every day just so it doesn’t look like a giant fur ball exploded all over your floor. So now you are tempted to shave Fido in a last ditch effort to get rid of all of the animal hair.
Put down those clippers and walk away from the sheep shears! Sure, the easiest thing to do would be to shave the dog. However, some dogs, like shepherds, pyrenees, and even pomeranians, have what’s called a double coat, which can be heavily damaged and might not grow back.
All too often in the spring and summer, many double coated dogs are shaved down which can actually make a dog hotter. The top coat of a double coated dog is made up of tougher guard hairs that protect your pet from the sun, and insulates them from heat in summer and cold in the winter. When a dog is shaved, the top coat is heavily damaged, sometimes irreversibly. These hairs are often times a different texture from the undercoat which is soft and downy.
The undercoat is what causes these double coated dogs to be hot and is also what the dogs shed in the spring and fall when they “blow coat.”
When a dog is shaved, its skin is exposed to the hot sun which will in turn make the dog hotter, not to mention the possibility of becoming sunburned. However, there are always exceptions to the rules. We have several clients who have their fur babies shaved with no issues. Just be aware of the possible side effects next time you take Fido to the groomer.
So how do you stop shedding? Well, the answer is you can’t. There is no way to completely stop a dog from shedding. Even dogs that have been shaved will merely shed shorter hairs. The key here is maintenance. A regimen of regular deshed treatments every four to six weeks at most groomers will keep the shedding down to a minimum. At Trinity Grooming Salon, a deshed treatment is an add on service which includes several upgrades to build a deshed process.
Our doggie model this month is Charlie Cost. An all around sweetheart, Charlie is a member of Oklahoma State University’s Pet Posse, a pet therapy group on campus. Charlie visits Trinity’s salon every six to eight weeks in order to maintain a healthy minimally shedding coat. Charlie always gets a Spa Upgrade with a lavender aromatherapy massage and a deshed treatment which leaves his coat silky soft and ready for his work on campus.
More than keeping your pet comfortable and your house cleaning to a minimum, there are some true health benefits of regular grooming for your pet. The skin is the largest organ and one of the biggest protein users of your pet’s body. Regular grooming and proper nutrition are keys to keeping this vital structure strong to perform its numerous functions, including: thermal protection, sensory input, photo protection, and barrier protection against chemical, physical, and bacterial invasion. An important part of treatment for skin allergies and other dermatologic conditions includes skin and coat care.
Trinity Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort has an amazing boarding facility including five Premiere suites and several general boarding options. Call Trinity at 405-533-0001 today to schedule your dog for doggie daycare or to set up your pet’s boarding or grooming appointment