Is it necessary to clip dogs with long hair?

People sometimes believe that cutting and grooming their pets in winter can be detrimental to their pet’s health when in fact it is especially important to cut long haired dog’s coat regularly. Without proper grooming it will become matted which can lead to discomfort for the dog and a lot of time for the owner. This is more important in winter because dry hair mean the hair mats more easily. Clean, dry, matt free hair is your dog’s best protection against the elements.

 

Which breeds need clipping?

Generally, all breeds of dogs fall into two categories based on their coats: breeds with ‘‘fur’’ and breeds with ‘‘hair’’. If your dog is a ‘’hair’’ breed, regular grooming and clipping is essential. If the hair is not clipped and managed it will continue to grow longer and longer causing issues like hair-in-eyes and poo matted hair which can be seriously unhygienic, especially if your best mate is an inside pooch. As a positive hair breeds are generally less prone to shedding and many are hypoallergenic.

Some of the most common “hair” breeds in Australia are:

  • Yorkshire Terriers and Australian Silky Terriers
  • Maltese’s
  • Shitzus
  • Poodles and Poodle crosses

 

How to clip

Generally, dogs do not require a clip under the age of six months. It is important to use the best clippers for your dog which suit their coat best. Ask your VET for assistance when deciding which type of clippers are suitable. Always ensure the clippers are clean and sharp to reduce the risk of pulling their hair. Its best to start clipping lightly down their back and once your pet is used to the sensation you can move onto other areas. Take it slowly to keep your dog calm and relaxed. This will ensure an easier task in the future if your pet learns not to be afraid every time its due for clipping. Offering treats during clipping and using a gentle and calm tone of voice can be a successful training method too. Be sure to keep checking that your clippers are not getting hot as heat will cause damage and blunting to the blades.

 

Shaving - should it be done?

Dogs have evolved over time to have hair for a reason. Dog’s coats consist of several different layers of fur to protect them from the elements both in the cold of winter and then also the heat of summer. Body hair shields their skin and regulates the temperature of their skin. Without the protection of their coat, your dog is prone to overheating and skin cancer during summer. In short it is best not to shave your dog, rather groom and maintain their coat as best as possible.