Shaving your Dog’s Coat

Shaving your dog's coatSome people are under the impression that as soon as the temperatures heat up, they should shave their dog’s coat.  That’s a common misconception however, we understand there are some times when shaving a dog’s coat is necessary or unavoidable. There is a time and place for everything, however shaving your dog’s coat does come with risks and there are reasons why should not do so.   

There are times when shaving your dog’s coat is NOT appropriate.

You should not shave your dog’s coat to keep him cool.

As mentioned in our introduction, the mind-set is often that dogs should be shaved when it’s hot out in order to keep them cool.  You should definitely not subscribe to that train of thought. In fact, a dog’s fur actually helps to keep cool.  His fur insulates him in the winter and in the summer.  In the winter, his fur holds on to air and keeps his body warm and in the summer it acts similarly by insulating him from the sun. Simply, the fur holds onto the hot or cool air and warms or cools the dog’s body as needed.  You should also know that a dog has his own unique system of cooling off and it’s not by sweating like the human counterparts.  Dogs release heat from their bodies and cool off by panting.  They also are able to release a small amount of heat through their paws.  Simply put, a dog will still get hot if you shave his coat.

You should NOT shave your dog’s coat as a means of regularly grooming him.

Many people can’t stand a shedding dog.  We get it, however it kind of comes with the territory, no? Regular grooming sessions should not always involve shaving your dog’s coat.  If shedding bothers you that much, we’re here to let you know that there are very manageable solutions to this.  Regular appointments with your groomer can help eliminate the volume of hair you have to deal with on a daily basis.  You can have the grooming brush trim your dog regularly, brush him out really well and many groomers now offer grooming treatments.  If you have your dog groomed regularly, you will also avoid HAVING to get his matted hair shaved off. 

Shaving your dog’s coat is risky.

Humans have hair on their heads and bodies for a reason and so do dogs.  One very important reason that dogs should not be shaved it that the fur actually protects the dog’s skin.  Shaving full exposes the dog’s skin.  This exposure puts the dog at risk of developing a sun burn and even skin cancer.  Even with fur, a dog is susceptible to the harmful effects of the sun just like humans. Another reason you shouldn’t shave a dog’s fur is that his hair may not grow back the same! Shaving dogs, especially those with double coats, may result in regrowth of uneven, spotty areas that may never return to its prior glory.

Avoid shaving your dog’s coat this summer and all year for that matter.  Let your dog’s fur do what mother nature intended it to do, which is protect your dog’s skin and keep him cool in the summer and warm all year round.  There are many other ways to keep your dog cool this summer.

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