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Shave and a Haircut: Should You Shave Your Dog This Summer?

shave your dogWhen it’s feelin’ hot-hot-hot and your shaggy dog is looking especially unhappy, it’s understandable why you may reach for the grooming tools. Many of us consider fur to be the equivalent of wearing a down parka in the middle of July; however, fur actually works a little differently than we may think.

Whether you’re feeling the urge to shave your dog because of all the shedding or because you think it will keep him or her cool, Pet Medical Center and Spa wants you to consider the following hairy business first.

Grooming is Great!

Before we get into the reasons you might want to reconsider shaving, let’s first acknowledge how awesome regular grooming can be.

There are many benefits to keeping your pet well groomed, including:

  • Your pet will feel better.
  • Grooming promotes healthy skin and coat.
  • Keeping your pet’s toenails trimmed is essential to balance, movement, and health.
  • Your groomer will look for evidence of skin or other health problems.
  • Ears require regular cleanings that most pet owners ignore.
  • Grooming helps catch parasites that have gone unnoticed.
  • Many pets need additional care, such as anal gland expression and tear-stain removal.
  • It will reduce the likelihood of matting or tangles – particularly in long haired pets.

Did we also mention that it feels great? What a wonderful way to care for your four-legged friend!

Now, onto the shave or not to shave debate…

Reasons You Should NOT Shave Your Dog

Contrary to popular belief, shaving your dog does not help him or her stay cooler or healthier. In fact, it may actually have the opposite effect.

Fur provides insulation. For our fuzziest of friends, that thick coat may seem like a burden, but it’s actually a barrier to heat, cold, moisture, and many other external discomforts. Not only do the hairs provide insulation, but they also create a barrier between the surface and the skin which allows for air circulation to keep your pet cool.

Fur protects your pet from sunburn. Most animals have thin skin, including your dog. Without a layer of fur, he or she is more susceptible to heatstroke and sunburns.

Shaving can cause skin and coat damage. Dogs with a “double-coat” have a layer of softer hairs closer to the skin. When you shave your dog, this can result in damage to the coat, which can take a long time to resolve (and look and feel unsightly).

Keep Your Pet Cool

A good summer bath and grooming session is just what the doctor…er…veterinarian ordered! Along with keeping your pet clean and tidy, the following are important to keep your pet cool this summer:

  • Hydration – Keep the water flowing!
  • Playtime in the water – Spray your dog with a hose or mist the coat with a spray bottle for added coolness.
  • Beat the heat – When it’s the hottest time of day, seek the shade or simply enjoy some rest and relaxation indoors.

To answer any of your grooming questions or to schedule a spa treatment for your pet, please give us a call!