Our prime forte being a groomer now for three years in Cambodia, and with a previous six years’ experience, we’ve seen a lot of dogs and cats come into our salon with various coat conditions.

Due to weather conditions here being so hot, owners often get confused with how they should maintain their pet’s coat.

Dogs have two kinds of coats: single and double.

Most often it is thought that when your dog has a double coat, you should shave your pet due to the fur. However, if you are a committed pet parent then it is advisable to keep the fur on.

Shaving removes the guard coat, allowing the undercoat to grow uninhibited, which leads to more shedding.  A proper diet and a professional de-shedding treatment is what we recommend, and will make a world of difference when it comes to shedding.

Shaving your dog’s double coat down may also cause folicullitis, where hair follicles become infected and hair growth can be damaged.

Once the follicles become infected, the infection can bore deeply into the dermis, forming large pustules that rupture, discharge pus, and crust over. Something called “Alopecia X” may occur, causing the dry coat in affected dogs to become dry and brittle, eventually breaking and falling out.

Treatment is often oral antibiotics prescribed by the vet. It is of most importance to use the right shampoos, antibacterial ointments or sprays. The hair may still not grow back evenly, even with treatment. 

We experience different dogs coming to us with different coat conditions. Some owners love their pets yet do not have the time to spend five minutes each day to groom their pet, which would help in the long run with extensive de-shedding.

There are also dogs that come in with severe matting, which is at a point of no return and as a groomer it becomes a though job to rid this undercoat and try to salvage the top protective coat.

Long-haired, double coated dogs do not need to be shaved down in hot weather, unless beyond the point of no return. The best grooming for these dogs is vigorous undercoat raking, which is done with a special tool, then a professional de-shed treatment and good blow dry to separate the hair so that the groomer can get the rest of that undercoat out.

Once this undercoat is removed the dog feels cooler. The guard hairs on the top that do not shed work as a protective shed from the rays of the sun and actually insulate the dog from heat.

Keeping all this in mind, remember to groom your double coated, long-haired dog to avoid unnecessary problems and make it easier to groom, keeping your pet happy and healthy.

By Donabelle Zuzart

Pet Grooming – Salon & Spa / Pet Sitting & Homestay/ Daycare / Pet Store & Supplies /Pet Relocation Export Assistance / Pet Food Day & Wet Phnom Penh: 4 Street 604, Phnom Penh & Trapeang Treing Village, Selka Villa Road, Siem Reap. Tel. 089 491 039.