Myth - Bathing is bad for dogs. It should only be done once a year.
Myth - Shave him down, he has dry skin.
Myth - It's too hot for my dog to have hair.
Issue - I can't afford to have haircuts all the time.
Myth - It grows too fast.
Complaint - I can't handle all the shedding, just shave the hair off.
Hair is the skins first physical barrier against toxins and pollutants in the environment.The structure of hair:
Medulla- core (main structure)
Cortex- inner layer (where pigmentation lies)
Cuticle- external layer (consists of scales)
A dog or cats follicles are arranged in groups consisting of primary hairs surrounded by secondary hairs. The density of hair depends on the breed and age of the animal. The softer the hair, the denser it is. The movement of the hair is controlled by the pilipherous muscle. Hair color and length are genetically predetermined. Hair does not last forever nor does it fall out at the same time. Shedding starts at the rear of the animal and moves towards the front.
Epidermis: 1st layer Formed of keratinized cells.Protective physical and chemical barrier.
Dermis: 2nd layer Responsible for flexibility,pigmentation, structure, and sensory perception..
Panniculus: 3rd layer (Also known as, subcutaneous fat)
Regulates body temperature,prevents disaster to body. The skin is the bodys protective barrier. Without it life would be impossible. This protection works on physical, chemical and microbiological levels.
Hair Loss Cycles:
- Anagen Phase: a period of growth for the hair and its follicle, which grows in the dermis. The average period is about 130 days, but can last up to 18 months in the Afghan Hound.
- Catagen Phase: a resting phase. The growth stops and the follicle shrinks.
- Telogen Phase: The follicle shrinks all the way to the orifice of the sebaceous gland. The base of the hair shrinks to a cone shape and the hair falls out. Another hair begins to grow, starting with Anagen and growing in the same follicle as its predecessor.
Hair loss is cyclical and consists of 3 phases. It is exceptionally important to know this cycle in order to understand the importance of proper intervals between grooms , including regular brushing and de-shedding.
Factors that may affect hair growth are:
- Daylight and Temperature changes
- Hormonal Inbalances (endocrine function)
- Stress (releases Cortisol which in turn slows hair growth)
The skin is responsible for exchanges through secretions. The sweat gland and sebaceous gland produce sweat and sebum. Together they form a protective fluid or mantle (PH balance of 6.5 to 7) on the surface of the skin and hair.
The skin has a role in metabolism. This helps with production of vitamin D, pigmentation, and regulation of body temperature.
The skin helps the body perceive changes in temperature, pressure, pain and surface contact.
Skin renews itself on a 21 day cycle. This is the reason we recommend scheduling grooms at least 3 to four weeks apart.