Most dog owners are unlikely to cut their dog’s whiskers on purpose. In the main dog whiskers disappear when cut accidentally, pulled out, plucked, or singed and burned. And when it does, you might wonder whether the dog whiskers will grow back.
The bottom line is that it’s not uncommon for dogs to lose at least one whisker at some point in their lifetime. For this reason, many pet owners find themselves in an anxious state when their dog loses a whisker, concerned whether it will grow back and worried if the change might be permanent.
Do dogs’ whiskers grow back if cut? A dog’s whiskers will grow back if cut, burned, singed, broken, pulled out or plucked unless the root is damaged. How long the whiskers will take to grow back will depend on the breed, health status and age of the dog.
There’s a little more to it though. But you can relax if your dog loses a whisker or two. Read on to find out about the effects of cutting dog whiskers, and to expect with your dog’s whiskers growing back.
How long does it take for dog whiskers to grow back?
In the majority of cases, your dog’s whiskers will grow to their original length in around 4 months’ time. This isn’t a cast-iron guarantee though, as it will vary depending on the breed of your dog, how healthy they are, and even how old they are.
Does the rate of growth depend on how the whiskers came out though? Let’s take a closer look.
Do dog whiskers grow back if cut off?
At times, some dogs will inevitably find themselves living in a home with well-meaning but oblivious owners. Sadly, it is not all that rare for dogs to have their whiskers almost removed, affecting their senses and negatively impacting their day-to-day lives.
The effects of cutting dog whiskers
Therefore, it should go without saying that you must never attempt to cut or trim your dog’s whiskers. Although whiskers may sometimes appear scruffy, sticking out at odd angles and varying in length, they are way too important to alter or remove.
If you live with a partner who is determined to trim them, explain how important they are to your dog and discourage them from doing so – your dog will thank you later.
In a different scenario, dogs may also occasionally lose their whiskers through no fault of their pet parents, accidentally breaking them whilst in the midst of rough play with other pets in the household.
Thankfully, there is no real need to worry if your dog does lose a whisker or two.
In fact, dogs will regularly shed them, usually one at a time, throughout the year. However, if you accidentally cut one off yourself, or have done this in the past, do not immediately panic.
They will eventually grow back given enough time.
Handy Hint: If you want to know about how it might affect your dog having no whiskers, click here.
Do dog whiskers grow back if pulled out and plucked?
if you have young children who spend a lot of time with your dog, the chances are they have probably pulled out one of your dog’s whiskers before, maybe even without you noticing.
In general, this is not too much of an issue, and in most cases, the absent whiskers will grow back after some time has passed. That being said, if you suspect this is the case, make sure that you sit your child down and explain that they need to be gentle with the family dog.
If your toddler or young baby has a habit of pulling at your pup’s whiskers, only allow them near your dog’s face when you are supervising them.
In general, you should never leave a baby or very young child alone around a dog anyway, regardless of your dog’s temperament.
Furthermore, in rare instances, a dog’s whiskers may never grow back if yanked out from the root – this can happen if the root is damaged. Although this is unlikely to happen as a result of your child pulling at them, it is still best to minimize the chance that this might happen.
In the worst-case scenario, dogs will sometimes lose whiskers from fighting with other dogs or receiving facial injuries.
Thankfully, it is very rare for a dog to irrevocably lose all its whiskers, and even if this happens, it will find a way to adapt over a period of time.
Do dogs’ whiskers grow back burned or singed?
Just like they do if cut, dog’s whiskers will grow if burnt. Dogs regularly singe their whiskers due to their innate curiosity, so it’s quite a common occurrence.
What are dog’s whiskers and how do they work?
Unlike other hairs, dog whiskers immediately stand out. For one, they are much thicker and coarser than regular hairs and have deeper roots. Secondly, they do not cover the whole body, only being localized around the eyes, above the upper lip, and underneath the chin.
Interestingly, the pattern of these hairs can also vary depending on the breed, with some dogs having much shorter or longer whiskers than others.
Unlike humans who are born mostly hairless, puppies are born with their whiskers and do not need to reach adolescence for them to appear.
Amazingly, it is theorized that a dog’s whiskers are almost as sensitive as their human counterparts’ sense of touch. The reason for this comes down to their follicles (the area in which the hairs grow) which contain a multitude of nerves and blood vessels. Without their whiskers, dogs would essentially lose one of their vital senses, therefore, being unable to navigate the world around them as efficiently as before.
What do dogs use their whiskers for?
As mentioned above, whiskers are a vitally important tool that dogs use to navigate. However, how does this actually work? Simply put, your dog’s whiskers are a special form of sensory equipment, an important tool they use to help guide them through the many activities they partake in throughout the day.
In a way, whiskers have much in common with insect antennae, providing canines with an additional way to sense what is going on around them, in turn, aiding their vision.
This is why it can affect dog’s negatively when their whiskers get cut and take a long time to grow back – please don’t do it.
For example, you have probably noticed your dog’s amazing ability to navigate areas in the home even when it is pitch black. Although many owners would be forgiven for thinking their pooches possess some sort of incredible vision that helps them to see in the dark, it is, in fact, their whiskers that contribute to this extraordinary skill.
Through sensing minute differences in the air around them, dogs are able to detect where walls, furniture, and other dangers are located, which gives them the ability to easily maneuver their way around said objects.
Lastly, dogs can often struggle to detect things around them due to the placement of their eyes. Additionally, without their whiskers (and their sense of smell), most dogs cannot see objects that are on the ground directly in front of them.
For example, when a bowl of food is placed down, hungry canines will use the hairs under their chin to sense exactly where the food is located, therefore avoiding scattering the contents of the bowl all over the area in the process.
Does it hurt for a dog to lose a whisker?
Amongst the dog community, many believe that dogs will experience pain from having their whiskers cut or removed. However, in actuality, this is mostly a myth.
Whiskers are not like regular hairs on your dog’s coat and therefore lack a nerve supply. This means that your pooch will not feel pain when they are broken, cut, or singed off.
However, they will more than likely feel significant pain if the hairs are pulled out by the root or twisted roughly.
The reason for this comes down to the plethora of nerves located at the base of the hair, those of which are directly responsible for giving whiskers their incredible sensitivity.
Should you let dog groomers cut your dog’s whiskers?
Unfortunately, despite their delicate profession, many dog groomers still mistakenly remove dog whiskers if they appear to be untidy or are of different lengths. Likewise, some dog groomers are occasionally encouraged to completely shave certain breeds of dog whiskers off.
Typically, the canines involved in this practice are prized for their unique looks and are enrolled in dog shows where the absence of whiskers is deemed desirable.
When searching for a dog groomer, always ensure that they are professional and knowledgeable in their trade.
Additionally, ask for recommendations from your friends and family and check reviews online. Once you have made a decision, clarify that your dog’s whiskers must be left alone before booking a session.
Our furry companions come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, from the smallest breeds to the largest. However, despite many differences, all breeds have several defining features in common, whiskers.
Similar to many other animals, dogs have a plethora of long and thick hairs on their face called whiskers.
Although these long hairs may seem useless, they are, in fact, extremely important and play a major role in how dogs’ traverse and explore the environment.
That’s why it’s important to not cut them.
Your dog’s whiskers will grow back, but why confuse them in the meantime before tey do?