The decision is made! You’re getting a dog! And a double-coated one at that. You don’t know what it is, but something about these furry friends has attracted you. But for future pet owners, beware: these breeds come with unique maintenance needs. From grooming routines to shedding schedules and health conditions, there are certain aspects of owning a double-coated dog that may make you think twice.
Double-coated dogs: shaggy, luxurious, and beautiful. But how difficult is it to maintain these dogs? Which one will suit your specific wants and needs?
1. Alaskan Malamute: Cold-Weather Warriors
Known for their strength and endurance, these dogs have double coats made for even the harshest of winters. Their shaggy coat is made up of two layers: a very dense undercoat that serves as insulation against the cold and a protective outer layer of guard hairs. While the undercoat keeps them warm, the protective hairs are there to “guard” them from ice and snow.
To groom a Malamutethe way that they deserve to be groomed means that you need to understand their coat. Of the utmost importance is regular brushing. This will prevent matting and tangling and is doubly important during shedding season. To maintain the coat’s health and appearance, use slicker brushes and undercoat rakes. This will allow you to be thorough but also gentle during your grooming sessions.
2. Shetland Sheepdog: Layered Elegance
The Sheltieis a dog with a striking mane that needs meticulous maintenance. They have stunning, long, flowing hair that, as you can imagine, tends to knot and get matted quite easily. Therefore, very regular grooming is called for. You should also invest in high-quality grooming equipment. Using the best brushes and combing tools will leave your Sheltie looking their best.
During the grooming process, you need to focus on tackling those tangles and preventing their coat from matting. This will keep your pet's coat looking smooth and sleek. Always pay special attention to the Sheltie’s feathering on the legs and mane around the neck; a unique feature of the breed, but one that could cause problems if not taken care of.
3. Siberian Husky: A Shedding Season Fiasco
They are useful allies in a snowstorm, but owners of these dogs need to be fully prepared for the fur storm they will encounter during the shedding season. It’s commonly referred to as “blowing coat,” and if you’re not informed on the patterns and timing of this period, you could get yourself into quite a hairy situation. Huskies are akin to wolves, and this is a very popular breed, but boy, do they require a lot of work.
If you wish to add a Husky to your life, you need to be ready for some serious grooming sessions. Shedding season typically comes around twice a year, and during these times, very regular grooming is needed. You will also need to use specialized grooming tools, such as undercoat rakes and deshedding brushes. These tools will help you to remove all the loose fur and minimize the shedding. But consistency is key. Only by having a regular grooming schedule will you be able to keep your husky’s coat looking and being healthy.
4. Samoyed: Bathtime is Fluff Bliss
With its iconic fluffy white coat, this breed looks like a cotton ball flying around the yard, albeit a very large cotton ball. Hailing from Siberia, these majestic creatures are one of the most beautiful dog breeds around. But their stunning white coats need specific bathing techniques, or they will stop looking like a cotton ball and start looking rather like a street dog straight from “Lady and the Tramp.”
Always opt for dog-friendly shampoos; ones that are designed for double-coated breeds are best. When you bathe this fluff ball, make sure to rinse their coats thoroughly and then towel dry, or use a low-heat blow dryer to maintain the fluff. Your bathing routine requires a delicate balance between underbathing and overbathing. Too many baths may lead to dryness, and too few may lead to a stinky dog with skin issues.
5. Golden Retriever: Luscious Locks
Perhaps the friendliest dog on the list, they come with a disposition that makes them almost everyone’s favorite double-coated breed. But these golden locks come with some serious high maintenance. Golden Retriever owners need to be fully prepared for some vigilant grooming to avoid skin conditions to which these dogs are so susceptible. You need to regularly inspect your pet’s skin and coat to identify early signs of these problems.
Some of the most common issues that your Golden boy or girl may face include hot spots and fungal infections. To prevent these issues from escalating, dog owners need to be on top of things. Prompt treatments, cleanliness, and making sure that there is proper ventilation are key to avoiding serious issues. Along with this, these dogs need to be fed a very balanced diet, one that is focused on maintaining the health of their expensive double coat.
6. Chow Chow: “Chowing” Down on Healthy Treats
The Chow Chow reminds us of the king of the jungle with their lion-like manes. They’re aloof and can be considered rather distant, but they are a double-coated delight. These coats, though, require a very nutritious diet to promote their health from the inside out.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which can most often be found in fish oil supplements, are a necessary addition to your Chow’s diet. These fatty acids enhance the health of the coat but will also help to reduce shedding. It is advised that owners consult a veterinarian, one that specializes in double-coated dogs, to develop an eating plan that caters to the breed’s specific dietary needs.
Double-Grooming Dogs Need Maintenance
“Beauty is pain” - true for humans and double-coated dogs. As a pet owner, it’s important that you educate yourself on the specific maintenance needs of your chosen breed so as to keep them looking just as beautiful as the day you welcomed them into your home.