It’s sweltering hot, and you look at your dog’s long coat - a thought may come to mind.
You quickly shave your pup down only to find that you shouldn’t quit your day job and become a dog groomer… Will your dog’s hair grow back? I’m sure you’ll be thrilled by the answer!
Dog hair grows back after shaving, whether it’s a complete shave down or just an IV shave on the leg. Dog fur can take between two and three months to grow back. Single-coated dogs grow back quickly, but double-coated dogs will have their fur damaged from shaving.
In this article, I will tackle the subject of your dog’s fluffy self - and how it will grow back!
Much like us humans, dogs can regrow fur - but keep in mind that some breeds will never have their coats grow back the same way (more on this later). Dogs regrow hair in a similar fashion to us with our hair, though it may take some patience on your end, depending on their coat.
Only in very specific medical conditions will the hair not grow back. One such condition is known as alopecia. This condition can be congenital (the dog was born with it or predisposed to develop it based on family history) or environmental (severe allergy to something or exposure to a harmful chemical). Alopecia destroys or damages the hair shaft and follicle, in many cases causing permanent fur loss.
Unless your dog has an autoimmune disorder or alopecia that stifles growth, your pup will regrow their coat!
On average, it can take anywhere from eight weeks to twelve weeks for your dog’s hair to grow back.
Generally, the growth cycle in totality is about 130 days, which includes growth and shedding. But, of course, it isn’t possible to provide an exact estimate as hair regrowth depends on various factors.
Hair (and fur) on dogs grow in four distinct cycles:
Understanding the above cycle can give insight into why dogs take a while to regrow their luxurious fluff. The cycles can be sped up or slowed down based on your dog’s genetic makeup, diet, and habits.
Various home remedies and dietary adjustments can help promote hair growth in your four-legged best friend. Essentially, the goal is to provide enough nutrients to help promote a faster growth process or encourage more hair follicles to follow the growth process.
The first is to ensure that your dog’s diet contains good nutrients such as vitamins A, E, C, and zinc. For an extra boost, add beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 because these help fight skin irritation and inflammation. If the skin is angry, the hair won’t grow!
Next, you want to kill any sort of bacteria that could be stifling growth. Bathing your furry friend in an oatmeal shampoo once a week can do just that. Not only is oatmeal soothing for the skin, but it also removes bacteria and dirt very effectively.
Other frequent advice includes spraying lemon juice on your pup (as long as they don’t have any open cuts, sores, or irritated skin), spraying a mixture of vinegar and water on a wet pup, or soothing skin with aloe vera. What these suggestions are supposed to do is kill even more bacteria that could be harming hair growth.
The above options even work for people, so you can share the treatment with your dog!
The biggest shaving no-no is going at your double-coated dog with a razor! Any breed that features two layers of fur should not be shaved, excluding emergency circumstances (such as surgery).
To backtrack on our explanation a bit, dogs come in two coat varieties: single coat and double coat.
Single-coated dogs only have one layer of fur. This fur (or hair in some breeds) is only one layer, generally thin, and doesn’t have an undercoat.
Single-coated dogs tend to get cold in the wintertime because they don’t have an insulating layer of fur underneath their primary fur. Single-coated dogs such as poodles and bichons have hair that grows indefinitely, while breeds such as the whippet keep their single coat short. Single coated dogs shed year-round.
Long-haired single-coated dogs are the breeds that you can shave or clip without issue. Their fur will grow back the exact same way it was before!
Double-coated dogs have two distinct layers of fur. The top layer, which is the one we see, looks a lot like a single coat. It’s a bit thinner, it’s silky, it can be long or somewhat shorter. The second layer, however, is very different.
This layer is known as the undercoat, and it tends to be shorter than the topcoat, sitting tightly underneath, and has a wooly and dense texture. This undercoat is intended to protect the pup from the elements, keeping them insulated in the cold. Double coated dogs “blow their coat” once a year, shedding the underlayer.
You cannot shave double-coated dogs as you will effectively render their natural defense mechanism from the elements useless. As well, their fur will be damaged and will not grow back the same way.
Contrary to popular belief, shaving a double-coated dog in the summer will actually cause them to overheat because they no longer have a defense against the temperature and sun’s rays.
Examples of popular double-coated dogs (that should absolutely not be shaved) include Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Australian shepherds, border collies, chow chows, German shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Pomeranians, Corgis, and many more double-coated breeds.