Does Your Dog Have Hair or Fur?
In order to answer this question, I have to "kill" a few "Sacred Cows". Here we go; remember, I'm just the messenger! I don't make this stuff up.
What folks call hair or fur is the same thing. People make a big deal out of this argument because they want to believe that dogs with hair are hypoallergenic and don't shed. These are two very popular misconceptions.
Some dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others, but that depends on the individual dog as much as the breed. And of course, there is you and your susceptibility. Oh yeah, and whether they are housed indoors or outdoors, how much light they get, where they live on this planet, and so forth.
The allergens come from the dander, urine, and saliva of the dog. All skin is dying and regenerating, so they all have dander. They all urinate, and they all lick themselves. So much for hypoallergenic dogs.
Hair and fur are mare made up of keratin. This is the same chemical that creates skin and nails. From a chemical standpoint, they are identical. Visually, we all have some notion of what we want to call hair (tends to grow long and thin and maybe curly) and fur (short, dense and thick). So, texture and length is generally the defining factor. None-the-less, they are the same. How about shedding?
They all shed their hair or fur. That's how it works!
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From this point on, I will refer to hair and fur as described above. That will help keep this post on point.
The presence of hair or fur is one of the distinguishing characteristics of mammals. A good bit of this information applies to you as well as your dog. And monkeys for that matter. I'll write this next little bit in terms of humans because it will give you something you can relate.
The length and texture of hair and fur is determined by the growth cycle. There are four parts to this cycle.
- Anagen. This is the new growth part. If the anagen part of the cycle is long, thus producing long growth, we generally consider that growth to be hair. A shorter cycle produces shorter growth and we consider that fur. The anagen cycle for the hair on your head can last for many years. That's why it needs to be cut to get the style you want. The hair on your arms and legs generally has a cycle of less than two months, so it doesn't gets so long.
- Catagen. This is the cycle where hair stops growing. The outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair.
- Telogen. This is the resting cycle. The hair on your head will tend to stay in this cycle for three months or so, while the hair on your legs and arms stay in this cycle for a long time. The hair on your arms doesn't start falling out in mass just because it stopped growing.
- Exogen. In this cycle, the hair falls out (or sheds) and the hair follicle cycles back to the anagen stage to grow a new hair.
Another nifty fact is that hair growth occurs underneath the skin, so cutting the hair has no effect on the growth cycle.
Now, back to dogs. This complete cycle is happening all the time and the hair or fur in any given area is can be in any of cycles at any given time. The appearance of the hair or fur is dependent on the number of follicles in a particular state. For instance, if most of the follicles are in the exogen, cycle there would be shedding.
Dogs with long hair still have dander and still shed. The dander and hair tend to result in matting and tangling. They need to be brushed and bathed often to keep the allergens, as well as their hair, manageable. Missteps here can result in higher grooming bills, and even worse, a lot of discomfort to your pet at the groomer. BVH Premium Dog Shampoo and Conditioner can relieve these issues when used appropriately. It might take you a bit of experimentation to know when the time is right for a bath, but you will know pretty quick. Keep in mind, it's not going to untangle or remove dander from a matted mess that has been neglected.
Dogs with fur tend to change their cycles during the seasons, thus they tend to shed more in the summer. However, that isn't the end of the story. Much of what we know and what we think we know about dogs, hair, fur, shedding and allergies came to us through family tradition and family lore. Many people don't take into account that what the great-grandparents experienced is completely different today. Unfortunately , many pet owners don't take those differences into account.
- Dogs were pets, watch dogs and sporting dogs. They weren't considered or treated like family members entitled to the comforts of their humans.
- Dogs mostly lived outside. When they were inside, they didn't waltz into a climate controlled house that confused their natural cycles. There was no air-conditioning to cool them in the summer. Houses weren't kept at a toasty 73 degrees in the winter.
- Dogs were subjected to lots of natural sun light and the appropriate amount of darkness for the season.
- Dog weren't constantly around you in the house, on your bed or on your furniture spreading their allergens in a confined space.
- Your great-grandparents likely had wooden floors and very little carpet to trap dander and hair.
- Your great-grandparents didn't tend to move all over the country which causes people to pick up new allergies. They pretty much lived near where they were born and allergens where they lived didn't generally affect them too much.
Those are just a few of the reasons we have to approach pet care differently than in the past.
So the answer to your question is, BVH Premium Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is the perfect shampoo for YOUR dog or puppy, over the age of 12 weeks. If you have allergy problems, bathe your dog once a week.
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