what a hair-resy!

My un­cle’s five-year-old Pomera­nian un­der­went a lion’s cut two years ago and his fur has not been the same ever since. It’s sparse, thin and doesn’t grow out any more. Even the vets are stumped. What could the groomer have done to cause this, and what can

Pets (Singapore) - - Ask The Expert - EX­PERT: DES­MOND CHAN Low Stress Han­dling Cer­ti­fied Sil­ver SKC/DGA A Class Cer­ti­fied Dog Groomer Cer­ti­fied Fe­line Mas­ter Groomer Prin­ci­pal Pet Groomer of Bub­bly Petz

Dogs with dou­ble coats like Pomera­ni­ans are more sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­aged coats af­ter a shave-down. Here’s how a Pom’s coat func­tions: the outer coat pro­tects the pet from ex­ter­nal el­e­ments such as the sun, harsh weather, in­sects, etc. It is coarser, gives the pet its colour, and does not shed. On the other hand, the in­ner coat reg­u­lates body tem­per­a­ture and sheds off rel­a­tively eas­ier es­pe­cially in warmer weather. It also serves as in­su­la­tion dur­ing cooler weather. It’s usu­ally lighter in colour, shorter, and is cot­tony and soft to the touch.

Be­cause of each coat’s unique func­tion, they grow at dif­fer­ent speeds, with the in­ner coat grow­ing out faster than the outer. When shaved, the in­ner coat grows out faster while the growth of the slower outer coat may be hin­dered by the dense­ness of the in­ner coat, re­sult­ing in a patchy, sparse and dull ap­pear­ace. In some cases, the outer coat may not even grow again.

With Sin­ga­pore’s warm, hu­mid cli­mate, paw-rents com­monly re­quest to have their pets shaved down, and it is down to the groomer’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to high­light the risks of shav­ing dou­ble-coated dogs, which could re­sult in the in­crease sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to sun­burns or dam­aged coats.

Dou­ble-coated dogs ac­tu­ally don’t re­quire a shave-down to keep cool. What’s im­por­tant is get­ting them brushed and groomed on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to min­imise the amount of shed­ded in­ner coat on its body, such that air is able to flow through the outer coat. Reg­u­lar brush­ing and groom­ing also helps the outer coat to grow past the sup­pos­edly dense in­ner coat, en­abling the dog’s coat to look more even (as­sum­ing that the dog’s outer coat still grows).

The dam­age done to the coat due to shav­ing is usu­ally ir­re­versible and mostly aes­thetic, so rest as­sured that it does not af­fect the health of the pet.

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