A dog’s coat may be shaved for many reasons, and of course, you may need to know when it will grow back to normal. Dogs will typically have their fur clipped or shaved if they underwent surgery, a medical procedure, or in cases of severe matting. But sometimes, our groomer shaves off more than we would like, or we ask for a close trim to make the longer coats more manageable.
Whatever the reason, we may become stressed after a few months when our canine companions haven’t regrown their coats back to their former glory.
Those who have dogs with double coats may be lambasted with warnings that their dog’s hair will be permanently damaged from being shaved. So what is normal for dog coat regrowth, how can we help our dog’s coats grow, and when should we be worried?
How Long Does It Take Dog Hair To Grow Back After It’s Been Shaved?
Depending on several factors, dog fur shaved to the skin will usually take 3 to 4 months to grow back after being fully shaved. This is usually about the length of a season. So if your dog is shaved at the beginning of spring, their coat should be back to normal by early summer.
However, that is only the simple answer. In reality, the length of time that it takes for hair regrowth is much more complicated. It starts with the type of coat your dog has and the factors that affect healthy hair growth.
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes A Dog’s Hair To Grow Back
To understand how your dog’s hair grows back, it’s good to understand the new hair cycle. Briefly:
- The anagen stage is where the hair is consistently growing. This can last between a month and a hair, and you will generally see hair start to regrow after being shaved within two weeks.
- The catagen stage is when the hair stops growing.
- The telogen phase is where the hair follicle rests.
- And finally, the exogen phase, where the hair is shed.
But let’s look at what affects the length of this cycle.
1. The length of your dog’s coat
Unsurprisingly, how long your dog’s coat will take to grow back depends on how long their coat is. A short-haired dog like an American Pit Bull Terrier or Jack Russell should have their full coat back to normal within six weeks to 2 months.
But a long-haired dog can take much longer to have their coat grow back to its proper length. Afghan hounds can take up to 2 years to regain their full, long flowing coat after it’s been shaved.
A Shih Tzu can take 18 months to 2 years to gain their full adult coat after puppyhood and up to three years to get the long coat popular in the show ring.
2. Your dog’s coat type
A dog with a single coat with short or medium hair should regrow their hair fully within 6 weeks to 3 months, give or take. But it’s far more complicated with dogs with dense double coats. These dogs include:
- German Shepherds and many working or herding breeds, such as Australian and Shetland Sheepdogs
- Northern breeds such as Huskies, Malamutes & Samoyeds
- Many Retriever-related water dogs, such as Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors.
- Chow Chows.
And similar breeds are known for their thick, dense coats (and usually heavy seasonal shedding!). For double-coated dogs like Labradors, their coat typically takes 3 to 4 months to regrow.
If you are wondering how long it takes to groom these dogs, see our article on how long a dog grooming session should take.
The trouble is that their thick undercoat grows faster and tends to take only one season, but the harsh outer coat can take six months to a year. So if a double-coated dog is shaved, its faster-growing undercoat could crowd out their protective guard hairs, causing a damaged or patchy coat that does not grow back evenly.
Some dog breeds are more prone to alopecia or hair loss, are naturally hairless, or may have inherited skin and other disorders that affect dog hair growth, such as Type I zinc deficiency.
The older a dog is, the shorter their hair growth cycle can become and the harder it is to grow a full coat. Puppies will also shed their puppy coats as they become adults.
5. Sex & hormones
Sex hormonal fluctuations can affect growth hormones. This can range from sex hormone alopecia to temporary hair loss in pregnant dogs.
6. Body region
Many dogs have areas on their body with either shorter coats, or no hair at all. Suppose your vet shaves a patch on your dog’s leg where the hair is naturally shorter than on their neck. This patch should grow back much faster than other areas.
A dog’s nervous system affects their hair growth with cytokines, immune responses, and stress hormones. Ongoing stress and anxiety can affect how a dog’s coat regrows.
8. Health & nutrition
Underlying health issues can prevent a dog’s hair from regrowing properly. diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism may all be a problem. You may have a health problem if you notice black scabs on your dog or other lesions. Certain prescription drugs can also have an impact.
Adequate nutrition is also vital. We will discuss what nutrients your dog needs to grow hair back faster below.
9. Environmental factors
The seasons, the length of the day, how often your dog is groomed, the temperature, and injuries or trauma to the skin can all affect how the coat recovers after it is shaved. Friction from lying on hard surfaces can also prevent hair growth.
In a study on shaved Labradors, hair took 14.6 weeks to grow back in spring, 14.5 in summer, 13.6 in the fall, and 15.4 in the winter. So the hair may grow back slowest in winter and fastest in the fall, just time to grow their winter coat.
How can I help my dog’s hair grow?
- Use a gentle, hypoallergenic canine shampoo. Aloe is a good ingredient because it contains vitamins A, C, and E, which nourish hair follicles. It also has proteolytic enzymes that repair dead skin cells. Oatmeal shampoos are also a gentle way to nourish and strengthen the hair. The PawSafe aloe and oatmeal shampoo is a good option.
- Groom your dog daily to evenly spread natural oils over the individual hair and keep them moisturized.
- Deal with any anxiety or nervous issues your dog has and remove stressors from their anxiety.
- Use hydrotherapy and exercise to keep blood pumping to the skin, where it can carry nutrients to the hair follicles. Also, keep your dog warm and use massage to encourage circulation.
- Do not bathe your dog too often to avoid stripping their coat of natural oils.
- Check your dog for underlying health problems such as hypothyroidism.
- Use our nutrition guide below for the best nutrients your dog needs for a shiny coat.
Dog food and essential nutrient to help your dog’s hair grow faster and healthier
- Feed your dog quality fish or krill oil supplements high in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Be careful of rancid fish oil, however. Also, remember that the omega-3s in plants, ALA, are not as bioavailable for dogs. In other words, it is much harder for your dog to use omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources such as flaxseed oil than from fish sources like salmon.
- Make sure your dog gets enough zinc. Large breed puppies and Artic breeds are prone to zinc deficiencies and may need zinc methionine supplements.
- Inositol is naturally found in cantaloupe, brown rice, and wheat bran is great for skin and coat health, as well as diabetic dogs struggling to regain their coat.
- 12500 IU/kg to 100 000 IU/Kg of vitamin A. Be aware that excess vitamin A can cause toxicosis over time.
- 300 to 500 IU of vitamin E daily.
- B vitamins, especially biotin, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, and niacinamide or vitamin B3.
- Choline, naturally sourced from salmon, egg yolk, cod, tilapia, & chicken breasts.
- A high-protein diet for dogs without liver or kidney complications is roughly 25 – 35% quality protein.
Help! My Dog’s Hair Won’t Grow Back After Clipping!
Sometimes the coat just doesn’t seem to grow back after a dog has been clipped, even 9 to 12 months after the shave. This is called post-clipping alopecia. This is most common in arctic breeds such as Huskies, Malamutes, or Samoyeds, and it’s one of the reasons that sled-dog enthusiasts especially abhor any kind of shaving.
In these cases, normal treatments won’t help. Your vet first needs to check your dog for an underlying disease such as Cushing’s, hypothyroidism, or sex-hormone alopecia.
If there is no health problem stopping the coat from regrowing, then melatonin and levothyroxine are the best treatment for a coat that won’t grow back after clipping.
Your vet will prescribe as needed, but Dr. Patty Khuly claims to have had the best results with melatonin given 1 to 3 times daily. Small dogs should 3 mg per dose. Medium dogs should be 4 to 5, and large dogs should get 6 mg.
How Fast Does Dog Hair Grow?
Dog hair grows from 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch every month. This averages about 4.2 months for a dog to complete their hair growth cycle. However, dog breeds can have different growth rates, and several factors, such as the season, hormones, health, genetics, and age, affect how fast a dog’s coat grows.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take a dog’s hair to grow back after mange?
Unless your dog develops scar tissue and skin damage from mange or other skin parasites, they should regrow their coat within four months after treating the infection. Dogs with short, single coats may take as little as six weeks to have a passable coat. Keep in mind that dogs with double coats may never regrow their coat correctly, and dogs with long hair may even take a year or two.
How long does it take a dog’s hair to grow back after a hotspot?
New hair will start to show on your dog’s hotspot about two weeks after the sore is dry. If your dog has a short coat, you can expect the hotspot to be after 6 weeks to two months. Dogs with longer and denser coats can take four months to a year before fur over the hot spot is the same length as the rest of the coat.
Most shaved dogs will have their hair grow back fully between 6 weeks and four months. However, it does depend on many factors, such as the length of your dog’s coat and the type of coat. Double-coated dogs may have their coat irreparably damaged by shaving or close clipping.
Other factors such as health, stress, and the seasons can affect how long a shaved dog takes to get their coat back. Luckily, using the right dog shampoo and paying attention to proper nutrition can encourage faster regrowth.
Tamsin De La HarpeAuthor
Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.
Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.
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