How to Properly Care for Double Coats for Dogs and Cats

How to Properly Care for Double Coats for Dogs and Cats

How to Properly Care for Double Coats

If you have a pet with a double coat, you know how beautiful and fluffy they can be. But with that extra layer of fur comes extra care and maintenance. In this article, we will discuss the importance of properly caring for double coats and provide tips and tricks to keep your pet's coat healthy and shiny.

What is a Double Coat?

A double coat is a type of fur that consists of two layers: a soft, dense undercoat and a longer, coarser topcoat. This type of coat is common in many dog and cat breeds, including Golden Retrievers, Huskies, and Maine Coons.

The undercoat is responsible for keeping your pet warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while the topcoat provides protection from the elements. This double layer of fur also helps to repel water and prevent matting.


Cat with double coat

One of the biggest challenges of owning a pet with a double coat is shedding. These coats shed heavily twice a year, known as "blowing their coat." During this time, your pet will shed their undercoat to make way for a new one. This process can last for several weeks and can leave your home covered in fur.

However, even outside of shedding season, double-coated pets will still shed regularly. This is because the undercoat is constantly growing and needs to be removed to make way for new fur.

Proper Care for Double Coats

To keep your pet's double coat healthy and shiny, it's essential to provide proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet's coat in top condition.

Regular Brushing

The key to managing shedding in double-coated pets is regular brushing. This helps to remove loose fur and prevent matting. For dogs, a slicker brush or undercoat rake is recommended, while cats may prefer a soft-bristled brush.

It's best to brush your pet at least once a week, but during shedding season, you may need to brush them daily. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth and be gentle, as double coats can be sensitive.


Dog with double coat

Bathing your pet with a double coat can be a bit tricky. It's essential to use a shampoo specifically designed for double-coated breeds, as regular shampoos can strip the natural oils from their fur.

It's also important to thoroughly dry your pet's coat after bathing. Leaving any moisture in the undercoat can lead to matting and skin irritation.


While it may seem counterintuitive, trimming your pet's double coat can actually help with shedding and matting. Trimming the fur around their paws, ears, and tail can prevent debris from getting caught and causing matting.

However, it's important to note that you should never shave a double-coated pet. Their undercoat is essential for regulating their body temperature, and shaving can lead to overheating or sunburn.


A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy coat. Be sure to feed your pet a high-quality food that is rich in protein and essential fatty acids. These nutrients help to promote a healthy coat and reduce shedding.


Pet grooming tools

In addition to a healthy diet, supplements can also help improve the health of your pet's coat. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are known to promote a shiny, healthy coat. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best supplements for your pet.

Professional Grooming

If you find that you are struggling to keep up with your pet's grooming needs, consider taking them to a professional groomer. They have the tools and expertise to properly care for double coats and can help keep your pet's coat in top condition.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to caring for double coats, there are a few common mistakes that pet owners make. Here are some things to avoid to keep your pet's coat healthy and shiny.

Using the Wrong Tools

Using the wrong grooming tools can do more harm than good. Avoid using brushes with metal bristles, as they can damage the undercoat and cause discomfort for your pet. Stick to soft-bristled brushes or undercoat rakes.

Skipping Grooming Sessions

Regular grooming is essential for managing shedding and preventing matting. Skipping grooming sessions can lead to a buildup of loose fur and make it more challenging to maintain your pet's coat.


While it's important to keep your pet clean, overbathing can strip their coat of essential oils and lead to dry, itchy skin. Stick to bathing once every 4-6 weeks, or as recommended by your veterinarian.


As mentioned earlier, shaving a double-coated pet is a big no-no. It can lead to a host of issues, including overheating, sunburn, and skin irritation.


Pet grooming

Properly caring for double coats is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your pet's coat. Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming, along with a healthy diet and supplements, can help keep your pet's coat shiny and healthy. Avoid common mistakes, such as using the wrong tools and overbathing, to ensure your pet's coat stays in top condition. With proper care, your pet's double coat will continue to be a source of pride and beauty.

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