Just like cats, dogs also have whiskers. Whiskers grow from single hair follicles too, but they’re quite different from the rest of the animal’s fur. Whiskers tend to be stiffer, longer, and thicker, plus they also serve a very different purpose than normal hair.
To answer your question, YES, dog whiskers do grow back. Still, you shouldn’t cut or trim dog whiskers unnecessarily, and we’ll tell you why below. In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at understanding dog whiskers and whether or not they grow back.
Why do dogs have whiskers?
Firstly, let’s talk about why dogs have whiskers, for starters. Unlike fur, the purpose of whiskers isn’t to keep the dog warm or looking good. Instead, whiskers have a more functional purpose, essentially acting as the dog’s navigational tool.
Whiskers help dogs to figure out the size of the space it’s in. They also allow it to sense wind, sound vibrations, and also any objects its face and head might come into contact with.
Of course, whiskers also help protect the dog’s face from dust and other debris as well.
As you can see, the dog must keep its whiskers as they help it move around with ease every day.
Can I cut or trim my dog’s whiskers?
No, you should not trim your dog’s whiskers unnecessarily. As mentioned above, trimming a dog’s whiskers will make it difficult for the animal to find its way around spaces. The dog might get a little confused, as it struggles to figure it’s way around the room as it usually does.
Still, there are situations where trimming a dog’s whiskers is necessary. An excellent example of this is if the dog requires surgery or other medical procedures near its face. If that’s the case, then trimming a dog’s whiskers is unavoidable.
Also, don’t panic if the dog sheds its whiskers. That’s normal, and it’s no reason to worry.
After all, dog whiskers grow back, even if they sometimes do so at different or uneven rates. The exact growth rates differ according to breeds. Some grow back faster than others, and even then they don’t always grow back at the same rate.
Does it hurt to cut a dog’s whiskers?
Absolutely not! There are no pain receptors in dog whiskers. So even if you have to cut them for medical procedures, you can rest assured that they will feel no pain at all.
However, as mentioned earlier, they might feel a little confused afterward. That’s because they’re trying to figure out the space that they’re in, which is a little bit more challenging without full-grown whiskers to help them.
However, that’s no excuse ever to pull or twist their whiskers. Remember: there are no pain receptors or nerves in the whisker itself, but there are plenty in the follicle from which it grows! So, please keep that in mind if ever you have to cut or trim your dog’s whiskers.
How to trim a dog’s fur without cutting its whiskers
Quite often, dog parents accidentally cut their pup’s whiskers while trimming their fur. That’s why you need to take some extra precautions to ensure that doesn’t happen to you. Here are a few things you can do:
Go extra slow
When you’re trimming around the dog’s head and face, it’s crucial to go extra slow. There’s no reason to rush when trimming your dog’s fur overall, but the head region is especially sensitive. You don’t want to hurt the dog’s eyes, ears, or accidentally trim its whiskers either.
Check your equipment
Whatever you’re using to trim your dog’s fur, make sure that it’s in the best condition possible. Many advise using shears instead of clippers since it’s slower and much easier to control throughout the entire process.
Keep your dog calm
Whenever you’re trimming any part of your dog, it’s essential to keep them calm. You might want to have a second person like a friend or family member to hold the dog while you focus on trimming its fur.