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How many coats can one have? Well, in the case of some dogs, two! There’s a wide variety of double-coated breeds out there, including the Great Pyrenees and the Newfoundland on the larger end and the Miniature Schnauzer and Pomeranian on the smaller side. These fluffy pups require regular brushing and some special equipment, so we’ve rounded up the best brushes for double-coated dogs for you to choose from.
A double-coated dog’s fur consists of two separate layers: an undercoat that is shorter, much denser, and wavier in texture than the overcoat, which is made up of longer hairs, sometimes called “guard” hairs.
Each coat grows independently of the other, with the undercoat growing faster than the longer topcoat. This undercoat sheds (or “blows out,” as many like to say) twice a year. The longer topcoat of guard hairs helps to repel water and dirt, while the undercoat acts as a sort of insulator, keeping the dog warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather.
Double-coated dogs shed a lot, so having a regular at-home brushing routine will go a long way toward making your life easier—and your dog’s life more comfortable. Not only does regular brushing help keep your dog looking stylish, it’s also a bonding opportunity and will help ensure your house stays a bit less hairy.
Here are some must-have brushes to keep on hand for double-coated dogs.
Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker and Dematting Brush
For your furry friend, this is a must. Slicker brushes pull loose hair from that thick undercoat and work especially well on areas where fur is super dense, such as on a dog’s hind quarters. The rows of close-set pins also remove any detritus that may have worked its way into the undercoat.
With the amount of hair you’ll be removing, this brush’s self-cleaning mechanism really comes in handy—you push a button and the ball of compacted fur is dislodged so you can easily get back to work. Another helpful feature is the grippy handle, which keeps you comfortable through even the longest brushing session.
GoPets Professional Double-Sided Pin and Bristle Brush
This is a great everyday option for double-coated dogs because it does double duty. The pin side smooths and detangles longer guard hairs, and the bristle side works as a smoother, redistributing the hair’s natural oils, which help the outer coat shine.
This brush is also a great option because the pin side has rounded ends, so you don’ t accidentally scratch or poke your pooch as you’re getting down to business. Be sure the brush you choose is the right size for your dog—if you have a smaller double-coated dog, you’ll want a smaller-sized brush.Buy on Amazon
FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool
The FURminator is pretty much the be-all-end-all of deshedding tools, especially for double-coated dogs. It has tiny razor teeth set within its outer comb that slice through and collect loose hairs from the undercoat. You will no doubt have a lot of these during prime shedding seasons, so it’s also great that the FURminator has an eject button to pop out collected hairs.
It’s important to read the instructions to make sure you’re using it properly (only on the undercoat, never the top coat). Using this once or twice a week as maintenance, especially in spring and fall, will help you keep ahead of hair explosions. It also comes in different “formulas” based on the size of your dog and the type of his coat. Plus, it’s fun to use!
Maxpower Planet Double-Sided Shedding and Dematting Undercoat Rake Comb
Another tool for that thick jungle of undergrowth, a double-sided rake comb is great for removing mats that may form deep in the undercoat. This double-sided rake tackles thicker or matted areas with the nine-toothed side, while the other side—with 17 more closely spaced teeth—works to comb and thin out spots where the undercoat might not be as dense.Buy on Amazon
Shiny Pet Dog Comb Grooming Tool with Stainless Steel Teeth
Depending on the length and texture of your dog’s double coat, a wide-toothed comb can be very helpful in removing tangles before they turn into the dreaded mats. This comb works great in areas where a rake might not be appropriate—closer to the tips of the hair or within the overcoat.
If you have issues with frequent tangles and mats, you can also get a detangling spray specifically formulated for dogs (be careful not to use a product made for people) to make brushing your double-coated dog easier.Buy on Amazon
Why You Shouldn’t Shave a Double-Coated Dog’s Fur
Last but not least, some words of advice: a double coat is a delicate system, and shaving it is pretty much guaranteed to throw it off. The same undercoat that acts as an insulator against cold temperatures also works as an insulator against heat—it will keep your dog cooler and his skin protected from the sun. In short, as frustrating as it might be to comb, that fur is providing your pup with some much-needed temperature regulation.
Worse, because the two coats grow at different rates, there’s a system of growth that can easily be thrown out of whack, leaving your dog looking patchy, making shedding unpredictable, and in some cases, causing hair to never grow back at all.
Regular brushing of a double-coated dog may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it—and some good tools can make the job a lot easier. A little concentrated attention a few times a week will ensure that all the coats on your dog are shiny, healthy, and encasing a happy pooch.
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