Should we be trimming dog whiskers? As pet owners, we should regularly take our dogs to a groomer or groom them ourselves, especially when they are breeds that don’t shed all that much and have a lot of hair.
Grooming helps dogs be more confident in themselves because they will feel at their best. Think of it as showering like a human being, before showering you must’ve felt dirty and unpolished, but afterward you feel fresh and ready to start the day.
Grooming also allows you to check if your dog has any problems in his fur, teeth, ears, and eyes. A regular examination can really help with catching on to illnesses that may be worsening your doggo’s condition.
When we talk about grooming, hmmm let’s see, aha! We always think about bathing them, clipping their nails, and brushing plus cutting any excess fur.
You might’ve even thought of trimming your doggo’s whiskers once, and you did! The poor fella seems to be extra clumsy nowadays though…
Perhaps trimming your dog’s whiskers wasn’t a good idea after all? Well, don’t worry, I’m going to address all your concerns around trimming dog’s whiskers in this article!
Trimming Dog Whiskers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
It’s common to think that whiskers don’t really serve a purpose. Well, they do. Do you know how we humans have GPS to help us navigate our way through the world?
Well, if we humans have GPS, dogs have whiskers. Yeah, you guessed it! Dogs have whiskers to help them navigate the world!
You see, whiskers are extremely sensitive. They can pick up on anything close to them. To small objects, insects, and even the movements in the air! How cool is that? They’re basically ninjas!
So, if you cut their whiskers off, it’s no wonder that they’ll end up being more clumsy and feel like they’re weak. It’s a very intuitive tool for dogs, and taking it away from them is like making them short-sighted, sure you can still see the world, but it’s much more blurry! To add to that, dogs have whiskers because they have poor eyesight. Poor doggo…
We’re often told that wolves are the ancestors of dogs. It just so happens that we humans managed to domesticate a number of them and started breeding them to create the wide variety of dog breeds that we know today.
But, even after centuries of domestication, dogs still have wolf tendencies and instincts. Among them, is the instinct to hunt.
Do you see where this is going? Yes, whiskers are also used as hunting tools! Remember when I said that dogs can notice movements in the air with their whiskers? Well, that’s exactly the value of whiskers when it comes to hunting.
The combination of the whisker’s sensitivity and the information of the movement in the air allows dogs to determine how big or small it is that’s moving. It can alert them for anything possibly dangerous like cars or bikes, and in a hunting context, potential prey or predator.
“But the whiskers on my dog’s face look so messy, I want to tidy him up.”.
You’re not convinced that we shouldn’t be trimming dog whiskers yet?
Well, yeah I understand. Whiskers can certainly look messy on a dog’s face, but think about what you’re taking away from them.
Sure, trimming whiskers is a painless process (NEVER pluck whiskers though, it’s very painful for your dog because there are nerve endings at the base of the whisker), but your dog’s sense of joy and experience will be dramatically reduced, it’s like taking away a bodily sense from them.
How would you feel if someone took away your sense of sight? What an inconvenience it would be!
Trimming Dog Whiskers. The bottom line.
Should we be trimming dog whiskers? No.
It’s very detrimental to your dog’s experience of the world around them and can even get them into dangerous situations due to the clumsiness that may come from having lost their whiskers.
It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of a dog’s physical traits, but as dog owners, it’s our responsibility to put our dog’s well-being first before our own ego.
(Oh! And don’t feel bad if you trimmed your dog’s whiskers prior to reading this, it will grow back eventually, just make sure not to make the same mistake the next time you give Daisy a grooming session.)
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