Should You Shave Your Dog This Summer?

Dog and Human Physiology are different.  So shaving your dog to help them keep cool may do more harm than good.

As the temperatures begin to rise during summer time people often get worried about their furry friend.  They worry that the dog’s coat may cause overheat or discomfort when the temperatures rise.  That is because we sometimes think of dogs as humans.  Humans are able to regulate their body temperature very well.  We adapt to rising or falling temperatures through our skin’s pores.  Just ask a firefighter what it is like to wear their heavy protective gear during the summer. 

On the other hand, dogs cool themselves in several different ways.  First, they sweat through their pads in their feet and through their tounges.  They also have two parts to their cooling system.  The first is panting and the other is vasodilation.  It is amazing how their little bodies work.  The more the dog pants the faster the hotter air is dispersed because the moister from the panting evaporates.  Through vasodilation, the dog is cooled.  Again this is unlike a human’s cooling system.

So let me give you some reasons why you may not want to shave your dog during the summer.

First, for many breeds, the dog’s coat is often a ‘double coat’.  This coat is made up of stiff, long hairs and fluffy, short dense hair.  This coat has the remarkable ability to keep a dog’s temperature consistent even if the weather is cold or hot. But when you shave this coat, it can become extremely difficult for the hairs to grow back as they should.  And it can take those hairs a lot longer to grow back.  This sometimes results in a very patchy coat.  

Another reason for not shaving your dog’s coat is for sun protection. A dog’s coat is a wonderful sunscreen.  It is better than SPF 50!.  But when the coat is shaved the dog is now exposed with it’s unprotected skin to the sun.  Over time, this exposure has the potential to develop into skin cancer.  It may be better to be safe than sorry and leave the dog’s coat unshaved.  

The good news is that your Vet should be able to counsel you if the dog breed you have would benefit from being shave in the summer or not. It might not be wise to specifically rely on a dog groomer’s opinion alone.  So unless you see your dog in distress from the high heats in the summertime, it might be better to just continue your normal grooming process and not just shave your dog down to the skin.  You can see an example of when shaving a dog is beneficial in another article about a dog being rescued.

I hope this information was helpful to you.  If you could, please Comment, Like or Share below.

Attribution:One Green Planet

Author: Bo Connlley

I've been very fortunate to have been raised with dogs and love and care for dogs, even to this day. That's why I love to share funny and inspirational stories about 'Man's Best Friend'.

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