As you know, the welfare of our dogs is essential to TPW. That is why we would like this blog to serve as a point of information and consultation for the care of your pets and your peace of mind.
This will be the first of several posts in which we want to introduce the characteristics and types of dog coats, as well as the weaknesses and essential care of each breed.
The main function of dog hair is to safeguard the skin, the main sense of touch. In addition to metabolic and sensory functions, hair protects and regulates the body’s temperature, avoiding exposure of the skin and preventing damage from the cold, heat, infections, dermatitis, UV rays, and mechanical and chemical aggression (scratches, scrapes, tears, direct contact with toxic products, etc.).
There are many types of coat. In simplified form, they are formed of two types of hair combined in the same follicle:
– Primary or Coverage Hair: This is the thickest and longest. It acts as a parasol and an umbrella covering the skin and protecting from direct rays of the sun and repelling water. It has an associated sebaceous gland whose sebum nourishes and protects the skin against dryness. It also has an erector muscle that helps to regulate temperature and as a method of communication with other dogs.
– Secondary or undercoat: There are 5 sub-types of secondary hair that, next to the primary hair, will define the multiple types of dog coat that exist. Its function is to protect against cold and heat. It grows or falls depending on temperature and light, adapting to cold or warm seasons through the physiological process of moulting.
There must be a perfect relationship between primary hair and undercoat. Shaving dogs is one of the most aggressive actions in this balance, unprotecting the dog’s skin. It changes the growth process of the primary hair causing it to grow irregularly and slowly, without strength or shine. It will affect the contractile capacity of the hair muscle and its sebaceous gland. As a result, the coat will appear opaque and ugly, leaving a coat of poorer quality, more fragile and less able to regulate the body temperature of the dog. It will suffer harsher and more extreme moulting, causing us to have to collect more hair from around the house.
So, we recommend you to brush your dog regularly, especially in the moulting season, to maintain the hygiene and shine of its hair.