Whether your pooch has had a trim at the vets or been to the groomers, often owners are left wondering how long will it take for my dog’s hair to grow back.
Dog breeds with a single coat take about 3 months to regrow hair, whereas dog breeds with a double coat can take as long as 6 months. Double-coated breeds will most likely not regrow hair to the standard it was before being shaved.
Although the terminology will be used interchangeably hair and fur are different when it comes to dogs. Hair does not produce as much dander, and does not shed as fully, but regrows faster. There are a few differences between dog hair and dog fur that influence the coat texture, how fast it grows, and the amount of shedding that the dog will do each year.
Testing How Long It Takes For Dog Hair To Grow Back
In order to fully understand how dog hair grows we decided to do our own testing. Two scenarios occurred to let this testing happen, firstly my beloved golden retriever went to the groomers, secondly, he had a small skin irritation which resulted in a patch of fur being shaved. The results of our study are detailed below along with an analysis.
The two charts above show the different courses of growth from being groomed and from a single area being shaved. It appears from this testing that the rate of growth is more dramatic when looking at the spot graph. Although the after grooming graph still shows an upward trajectory it seems to have a longer period of none to very little growth.
The Differences Between Hair and Fur
It is a common misconception that dogs with hair are hypoallergenic because the makeup of the dog’s hair is different from dogs that sport coats of fur. Both hair and fur are made of keratin, so there is no biological reason for fewer allergic reactions from owning a haired dog versus a furred dog based on the makeup of the hair or fur strands.
The difference between hair and fur is in the way that it grows. Both hair and fur have a growing cycle that repeats for the lifetime of the dog.
- First, new hair grows. Then the hair stops growing and gets attached firmly to the root. This cycle is longer and more vigorous as the dog prepares for the cold winter weather, so the dog gains a thicker, warmer coat.
- Next, it has a period of resting where it stays attached, looking beautiful and providing protection for the dog’s skin.
- Finally, it falls out and the hair follicle prepares to begin the cycle again, growing new hair. This final phase is longer during warm weather because the dog does not need as much fur or hair for cold weather protection. This is why the dog sheds profusely during the spring and has thinner hair during the summer.
How Dog Fur Grows Differently
The real difference between a coat of fur and a coat of hair is determined by the length that it attains, and how often it is shed. There are a few things that fur-coated dog owners deal with differently than hair-coated dog owners.
- Dog fur is usually more short and dense than dog hair. This is because of the shorter growth cycles, allowing the dog to bulk up its coat in the winter, and then shed it back down in the summer for comfort.
- Dog fur sheds more readily and more profusely. Again, this is because of the shorter growing cycles.
- On most breeds that grow dog fur, the length of the fur is predetermined by the DNA to grow to a certain length and no more. So while dog owners may deal with more fur all over the furniture and clothing, they do not need to visit the groomer.
- Double-coated dogs have fur. This coat is made of an underlying insulating layer that protects the skin, and an outer coat that is made of guard hairs. These guard hairs help to keep the undercoat clean and dry.
- Because double-coated dogs often do not regrow fur to the same quality and luster as the original coat, dog owners are usually warned to never shave these coats off. A full shave of a double coat can cause lasting damage to the quality and density of the coat.
How Dog Hair Grows Differently
Dog breeds that sport dog hair are the breeds that are typically also renowned for their luxurious coats. These are dogs that get cute cuts at the groomer and enjoy applause and admiration at dog shows for their long, shining manes.
- Dog hair is usually longer or has the potential to grow much longer than dog fur. Even curly dog hair, such as a poodle’s hair can continue to grow if it is not trimmed.
- Because dog hair does not shed as much and tends to stay attached to the follicle for a long time, there is much less shedding around the house. These dogs are better for people who want a dog but want to avoid much of the mess.
- Dog hair tends to have a more silky or soft texture. Some dog hairs such as those on the Coton de Tulear are as fine as tiny cotton fluff strands and require daily brushing.
- Dog hair needs continual, attentive brushing to remain nice. Dogs with hair that do not receive regular brushing will become matted and unattractive. The hair also tends to become very dirty and tangled with weeds and grass seeds.
- Dog hair grows in a single coat and can be shaved completely off. This hair will usually regrow to the previous length within six months. Dog owners who want to maintain a certain dog coat style will need to take the dog to the groomer every four to six weeks.
- Dogs with hair are very often touted as being hypoallergenic. This is not true. These dogs produce just as many dander allergens as their fur-shedding counterparts. The hair does not fall out as much, bringing dander with it all over the house, so some allergenic dog owners suffer fewer allergy symptoms.
Regrowing a Double Coat of Fur
Dogs with a double coat of fur include Huskies, German Shepherds, Akitas, Samoyeds, Golden Retrievers, and Australian Shepherds, just to name a few. These fur coats are made of two layers. The undercoat is soft and very fluffy. This coat is made to keep the dog warm in extreme climates native to their breed. The overcoat is made of guard hairs that protect the integrity of the undercoat.
Double coated dogs will usually love the water and will create a more challenging care routine for owners. Despite this, you should still let your dog in the water as it’s something they love so much and it super to see them happily playing. Double coated breeds don’t have to worry about the cold as much as other breeds, but there are still some things to be aware of. Check out our article on “How Long Can A Dog Swim In Cold Water” for more information on this subject.
These dog breeds are meant to live and thrive in very cold climates. Many dog owners live in climates that are not optimal for the dog’s health and comfort, but they want a particular double-coated breed of dog. In the summer, they decide to shave the dog’s fur off so that the dog will be more comfortable in the warmer climate. This is a very controversial practice, even among vets.
- The dog’s coat may not grow back as healthy and thick as it should. Many double-coated dogs have suboptimal coats when they regrow after a full shave.
- Many dog experts claim that a dog’s double coat insulates it from excess heat. Dog owners should provide plenty of water for the dog to drink and cool off during the hot summer months.
- A double-coat of fur should regrow in time for the winter cold season if the hair is shaved at the beginning of summer. However, be aware that the coat may not be as robust and protective as it was before. It also may look more shaggy and unkempt than a coat that is left to shed and regrow naturally.
Regrowing a Single Coat of Hair
Shaving single-coated dogs are popular and quite safe for the dog. Whether part of a style or a summer shave, single-coated dogs handle shaving better than double-coated dogs.
- Single-coated dogs such as the Silky Terrier, Airedale Terrier, Shih Tsu, Coton de Tulear, Lhasa Apso, and Maltese are known for the silky hair that needs frequent grooming to maintain luster and smoothness.
- A single coat will begin to regrow within two to four months, but may not reach fullness until six months. Because the hair continues to grow, a full regrowth on one breed will look different than another breed.
- Dogs that receive style grooming such as Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, and Coton de Tulears will need to have a grooming refresh every four to six weeks, even though the hair may not have become excessively long in that amount of time.
How To Make Dog Hair Grow Back
Nothing can guarantee rapid hair growth in dogs, however, if you’re just looking for a little bit more speed then there are some things you can do. Much of the advice out there comes down to ensuring your pooch’s skin is kept healthy, after all, where does the hair grow from.
- The use of Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils are known to help skin stay healthy and they also have many benefits in keeping hair looking glossy. There are supplements that you can get but many dog foods also have Omega oils added to them for this very reason.
- Regular grooming is very important and it may sound counterintuitive. Brushings your dog’s hair will keep it from matting up and encourage growth in one direction.
- Bathing your dog and ensuring their skins and hair are kept clean is also important. Dogs love to get muddy and you may find yourself hard at work during those winter months.
- The weather is not something you can control, however, according to research hair grows slightly faster in the warmer weather, so you may already be one up or one down.
- Your dog’s diet can greatly affect their skin health, which as mentioned previously is very important to the growth prospects of your dog’s hair.
Because much of your dog’s coat maintenance will challenge you after they have been for a walk. you must develop a good routine of cleaning them, especially in the wintertime when the condition is so much harsher. Check out our guide to cleaning your dog after a walk for some great tips and tricks on keeping up with coat maintenance all through the year. “How To Clean Your Dog After A Walk”
Dog owners may choose to shave or groom their dogs for various reasons. The length of time that it takes for the coat to regrow depends on the breed of the dog, and the style of coat that it has.
Single-coated dogs can be shaved and the hair will regrow in just a few months. Double-coated dogs should not be shaved, because it can ruin the texture of the fur. However, double-coated dogs should regrow their coat to some extent within six months.
Coat maintenance can be one of the toughest aspects of owning a dog and knowing what to do and recognizing certain conditions is key. Here are a couple of extra articles that might come in handy at some point in the future. “How To Get Sap Out Of Dog Fur” and “Why Is My Dogs Coat Turning A Rust Color”
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