VERIFY: Should You Shave Double-Coated Dogs?

Verify: Double-Coated Dogs Part 2

You've see it all over social media -- a picture appearing to show a Siberian Husky who has been shaved everywhere but his head.

It has ignited a social media firestorm about so-called double-coated dogs and whether it's harmful to shave them.

So, WFMY News 2's Verify team dug for answers.

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VERIFY INQUIRY:

What's a double-coated dog?

Is it harmful to shave a double-coated dog?

RELATED: Bizarre Photo Of Shaved Husky Going Viral

VERIFY SOURCES:

To verify these questions, we went to three credible sources -- the popular online pet blog PetGuide.com and the American Kennel Club (AKC). We also got insight from a veterinarian radiation oncologist, Catrina Soto, who talked to our Austin sister station KVUE.

VERIFY PROCESS:

The AKC explains Huskies require occasional grooming because they are, in fact, double-coated dogs. They have two coats -- a dense cashmere-like undercoat and a longer, coarser top coat. The undercoat protects dogs from extreme temperatures -- both hot and cold -- and the top coat helps repel moisture and dirt.

In addition to Huskies, more than two dozen other breeds have double coats -- including the Akita, Chow Chow, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Shih-Tzu. Pet Guide says you can usually tell just by looking at a dog whether it has a double coat, if it is thick and fluffy or wiry on top.

Most groomers agree the biggest mistake a dog parent makes when grooming their double-coated pooch is shaving the coat. The dog owner can mistakenly believe the dog's double coat makes him hot in summer, so shaving it will keep him cool. But, a dog's double coat is a natural cooling system. Both layers work together to protect from the heat and sun damage. 

Veterinarian radiation oncologist, Dr. Catrina Soto says, "It can start to flake a little bit and gets more skin irritation and hot spots. I don't think it's a good idea (to shave double coats), and I've seen it for medical reasons only."

VERIFY CONCLUSION:

Our sources can verify there's a reason for the controversy surrounding the Husky picture. It can be harmful to shave double-coated dogs, unless a veterinarian thinks there is a medical reason to do it.


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