Pet Grooming – Everything You Didn’t Know About Your Dog’s Coat
Believe it or not, not many dog owners really know much about this topic. This is one of the reasons why some dog owners are not able to groom their dog efficiently and effectively as they could.
In this article we give you some information on dog coats that will help you with certain dog grooming activities such as brushing or drying.
To start with, a dog’s hair is actually made out of the same elements of human hair (and other mammals for the matter). It’s composition includes proteins, largely keratin and dead skin cells.
The only difference between dog hair and human hair is that each dog follicle grows several different hairs on it while humans only grow one set of hair for each follicle. This occurs because the dog’s hair actually helps them regulate their body temperature.
Double Coats & Single Coats
Dogs have 2 main types of coats, the double coat and the single coat.
Dogs with double coats have a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat’s job is to protect the dog’s skin. It contains stiff guard hairs that are usually water repellent.
The undercoat on the other hand serves as the dog’s insulation keeping them warm during cold or harsh weather. The undercoat is usually shorter than the top coat and can be described as a soft, fleecy or downy type of fur. Dogs with double coats tend to shed their undercoat heavily twice a year.
To find out if your dog has a double coat simply touch your dog’s coat and see if you can feel 2 different sets of textures on their fur.
Some examples of dogs with double coats are the Akita, the Alaskan Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Shiba Inu, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Pomeranian, Border Collies, Corgi, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever just to name a few.
Unlike dogs with double coats that have a top and undercoat, dogs with single coats only have the topcoat. Dogs that are classified as single coated shed much less compared to dogs with double coats.
To check if your dog has a single coat simply touch your dog and see if he only has an even set of fur without any soft undercoat throughout his body.
Some examples of dogs with single coat are the Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Poodle, Chihuahua, Afghan Hound and Papillon to name a few.
If you are still unsure of your dogs coat type, try Googling it. By knowing what type of dog coat you dog has, you will be able to ensure you use the right dog grooming tools for your dog. See our section on dog grooming tools.