I know, I know. Your dogs hair is falling out all over the place, what could possibly be so amazing about it?!
Well, I’m here to convince you of your dogs unique abilities that are only possible because of their hair.
As we continue to share our homes with more and more animals, we must realise that each animal (or pet) has their own uniqueness. They may have great noses, they may climb nearly vertical surface, maybe, they can fly. But, If you’re not willing to embrace your chosen pets abilities then I have to say that pet is not for you.
“I myself (at current) have a dog, 2 parrots, a Guinea Pig and a tropical fish tank. Each have their own needs and I respect that of them. My parrots rule the sky in my house, the Guinea Pig rules the fridge (they have the most veracious appetites!), my dog is in charge of walks and my fish keep us all as close to serene as possible. I, on the other hand, have the incredibly joyous task of caring for them all in whichever way is required of their species.”Lydia, Organix Dog Spa
Our dogs are no different. They too deserve to be respected for what they are. Whether or not that is convenient for you.
YOUR DOG’S AMAZING COAT
All dogs hold the ability to thermoregulate their bodies thanks to the presence of three different types of hair.
- Primary Hair
- Primary Lateral Hair
- Secondary Hair
Let’s work backwards for a moment.
This hair is soft, fluffy and thin. It is responsible for providing warmth to your dog. This hair is shed seasonally (usually) to provide your dog with the exact amount of warmth that they require.
PRIMARY LATERAL HAIR
This hair is thicker than Secondary Hair and grows in a slightly different direction. It’s job is to distribute the Secondary Coat evenly around your dog.
This is your dogs waterproof coating. It is thicker and longer than the previous two hair types. It’s job is to protect the dogs body for the environment. If you’ve ever wondered why it takes so long to wet your dogs coat when washing them, it is because their Primary hairs are working properly via waterproofing. This is also possible thanks to a bit of sebum production – thanks skin 😜
Although, all dogs have these three hairs on their body, some breeds and individuals contain different amounts of each. For example, Shih Tzu’s have more Secondary Hairs than that of a Maltese Terrier thus giving them the appearance of having a thinner coat. A German Shepherd has a lot of Secondary Hair which is why their seasonal sheds are substantial in comparison to say a Pointer.
The most common reason I am given when owners request their dog be shaved is that:
1. They are hot/It’s getting hot
2. They don’t want to deal with the amount of hair their dog has. (Brushing, washing, dirty etc.)
For reason number one.
Yes, they probably are hot. When it’s 30°c I’m hot too. Shaving your dog will technically be making them hotter. They will temporarily feel cooler however, after a few days their skin will return to its normal temperature and they will have no protection from the sun. A far better way to keep them cool is to keep their coat maintained and allow it to do its job. And provide water and shade, of course.
…when my parrots shed their feathers, the most minute breeze sends what seems like thousands of tiny dust particles floating through the house. So, yes, cleaning daily to two times a day is a must. I’d call that love.”Lydia, Organix Dog Spa
For reason number two.
You have this amazing creature that’s health and well-being depend on what you feel like doing with them at any given day or time. That, to me, is a huge responsibility. One that I don’t take lightly. Respect your dog and learn what they require to be happy. If that means daily brushing, then brush them. If that means they need the more expensive dog food, then feed them the best.
While there are some perfectly valid reasons for selecting a very short haircut, now that you are aware of the function of your dogs coat, would you still insist on shaving them short?