What Does Blowing Coat Mean in Dogs?

“Blowing coat” refers to when a dog sheds excessively when the seasons change. Dogs with double coats, such as Siberian Huskies, experience this.

May 7, 2024By Sara Payne
what does blowing coat mean in dogs

The seasons have changed, and you are walking around your house, noticing large tufts of hair lying around. You look at your dog. He has fur coming off in large chunks. Although this may look odd, there’s no reason to worry.

Dogs with double coats shed their coats in a process called “blowing coat” to prepare for warmer weather. This can lead to excessive shedding that requires more brushing sessions.

Read on to learn more about why certain dogs blow their coats and how you can manage it.

“Blowing Coat” Means Intense Shedding

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Several dog breeds such as Huskies, Chows, and Newfoundland have a double coat. A double coat is made up of two layers. The top layer is made of guard hairs that are long and coarse. These hairs keep dirt and water off of your dog. The undercoat is made of soft, short, and dense fur. This layer acts as insulation to keep your dog warm in freezing weather.

Every spring and fall, your double-coated dog will begin an excessive shed called blowing their coats. Instead of losing a few hairs at a time, these dogs shed their entire undercoat. Depending on how thick the undercoat is, this process could last from two weeks to over a month.

Some breeds blow their coats more frequently than others. Genetics also plays a role in how often and how much a dog blows their coat.

How Do You Manage All the Fur?

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Blowing coat isn’t a delicate business. You will notice tons of clumps of fur around your house, and it may feel like you are drowning in hair. Yet, there are ways you can help to manage your dog’s shedding.

During blowing, groom your dog with a rake comb daily. This will help to loosen copious amounts of hair. You can also use a high-velocity dog dryer to blow the loose hair off your dog before you begin brushing. Many people take their dogs to professional groomers to manage the excess hair.

Around your home, make sure to sweep and vacuum daily. You’ll want to clean your vacuum and air filters frequently during blowing, as they will become clogged with fur.

Can You Shave Your Dog to Prevent Blowing?

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Although shaving your dog seems like the easiest solution to managing all that excess hair, there are several factors to consider. A double coat grows differently than our hair. When you shave a double-coated dog, their undercoat may start to overgrow their outer coat. The hot shears may also burn their skin.

Even if it seems like your dog would be cooler and more comfortable with their fur shaved, it doesn’t help them cool down. Their undercoat helps to keep your dog cool naturally, and the process of blowing their coats is nature’s way of handling excess undercoat. Shaving can actually damage the topcoat and make blowing the coat more unpredictable.

Shaved dogs are more at risk of developing skin cancer, dry skin, and external parasites, as well. Instead, it is better to let nature take its course. Blowing their coats is a short-lived inconvenience.

Which Breeds Blow Their Coats?

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Many popular dog breeds have double coats. Breeds with double coats typically had jobs that required them to be exposed to harsh cold weather or water. The extra layer of coat gave them more protection against the elements. Here are some examples of dog breeds that have double coats:

You can tell a dog has a double coat by looking at their fur as you brush it. A dog with a double coat will have two types of hair, soft and harsh. The undercoat will be shorter and grow faster. The topcoat will be longer and grow slower.

Many mixed-breed dogs also have double coats. Double coats can be long, medium, or short in length. So, mixed-breed dogs may also blow out their coats regularly.

How Do You Properly Groom a Double-Coated Dog?

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The best way to groom a double-coated dog is to brush their fur regularly during most seasons and daily during blowing. Once a month or so, they also benefit from a trip to the groomer. Properly grooming your double-coated dog will improve the health of their coat, prevent matting, and increase airflow. This will help your dog to manage their temperature, which in turn affects their metabolism.

Double coats are self-cleaning, so these dogs don’t need many baths. Once or twice a year is a good goal, although they’ll need more frequent baths if they compete in dog shows.

Keeping your dog’s fur groomed and clean will help to keep them from developing hotspots, matting, and parasites. It may seem tedious, but it’s all part of being a responsible dog owner.

Blowing Coat Is Normal

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The term “blowing coat” means that your dog sheds the underlayer of its fur during the transition between seasons. This typically occurs in spring and fall. Dogs with double coats blow out their fur to keep it healthy and to allow for better airflow. This natural process is important for the overall health of your dog.

To manage the shedding, you can brush your dog daily and take them to a professional groomer. Meanwhile, for the rest of the year, your dog’s fur is self-cleaning, and you’ll only need to brush it out once or twice a week.

Although your dog blowing its coat may be frustrating, it's a short-lived process, and soon your dog’s coat will be looking healthier, and they’ll be well-prepared for the season ahead.

Sara Payne
By Sara Payne

Sara is a mother of two and a high school English teacher who rediscovered her love of writing during the pandemic. She has 5 rescue cats: Neville and Luna, who are white cats with black and grey spots, and Ginny, Blue, and Fairy, who are calicos. Besides taking care of humans and fur babies, Sara enjoys gardening, crafting, and spending time in nature.