How often should you groom your dog? The answer really depends on your type of dog. Your ideal grooming schedule will depend on things like:
- Breed & coat type
- The purpose of grooming (show?)
- Time of the year/season
- How frequently you brush at home -this often will diminish required trips to the groomer
Outside of these categories, the general consensus for the average dog is about once a month. Having your dog groomed regularly and by the same groomer can be great because your groomer may notice health concerns long before you do! It can be another person keeping an eye out for your furbaby!
Types of coats:
Short Hair, Single Coated Breeds
Most short hair dogs will need only occasional baths with minimal grooming. On average, the lack of a second coat indicates these dogs were bred to endure mostly warmer climates, and it also means they will probably shed less often.
Short Hair, Double Coated Breeds
Typically, these guys will shed seasonally, and still don’t require too much in the grooming department. To get rid of that dead undercoat, you’ll want to groom them at least four times a year.
Double Coated Long Hair Breeds
These fellows were probably bred or descended from those who lived in seasonal or colder climates. You’ve got iconic breeds (just to name a few), able to tolerate extremes in either water or on land, like the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Labrador Retriever (bred to tolerate cold water), or even many of the amazingly intelligent herding or protective livestock breeds out there. In general, the ‘how often should I groom’ question was developed for these guys.
Called ‘blowing their coat’, most of these guys will shed seasonally, but will also shed, well, all of the time. Longer hair on these guys can become matted, and often the best way to keep up with the immense shedding is regular, daily/semi-daily brushing.
In some breeds, the undercoat is so thick it won’t properly shed, potentially causing severe matting issues and may need to be shaved. You already know shaving a double-coated breed is not usually recommended and can prevent the two layers from growing in sync again.
Problems Due to Shaving Coat
If it is a warm/hot time of the year and you are not careful, your dog will become more susceptible to harmful radiation from the sun (sunburns), as well as overheating to the point of severe heat injuries. For this reason, it is vital you keep up with these breeds, visiting the groomer at a Minimum of every three months.
- Two coats may never grow in sync again, for the life of the dog
- Dog’s coat may lose that beautiful ‘sheen’ quality, sometimes permanently
- Coats can no longer trap cool air; more susceptible to heat injuries -If the proper length difference between the two doesn’t correct itself, this can also last.
- Coat no longer offers protection from insects (fleas will still exist if your dog has short hair)
- More susceptible to sunburns
- Coat loses water resistance quality, a potentially fatal danger in extremely cold climates
These particular pups have a single coat that grows continuously and will need to be trimmed on a regular basis. Very short cuts can sometimes last from two to three months, but every 4-6 weeks is recommended to prevent matting.
Today, there are 4 recognized hairless breeds out there. The Chinese Crested is probably the most popular, ironically still growing hair on portions of his body (the PowderPuff version is not hairless).
Bathing (with warm water) once a week is recommended since the Chinese Crested is more prone to skin issues than many other breeds. Sunburns can be a problem, but be aware he may lick any product put on his skin.
We hope this answered some of your general questions or concerns about grooming your pet!