It can be hot and sticky during summers, and if you are considering shaving your dogs to protect them from the heat, drop that idea right now. Whether you have super-furry northern breeds like Huskies or Malamutes, or any other double-coated breeds, shaving them in summer is a bad idea. Owning pet dogs is nothing less than a blessing. They are loving, adorable, loyal, and provide emotional support letter in Phoenix as well. The majority of the emotional support animals are dogs, and the reason is pretty clear.
I know, you love your dogs and you don’t want them to face any problems. And this could be the reason, why you want to shave your dogs in summer; to protect them from heat and keep them cool. But, it won’t help your dogs, so avoid doing that. Read along to know the reasons why.
What is it bad to shave double-coated breeds?
Many dog breeds have double coats (two layers) that protect them in artic weather. The outer layer (long hairs) keeps them safe from snow, ice, and shed water. And the undercoat (soft) that is close to their skin, helps in keeping your doggos warm and dry. In winter, this undercoat can make it tough for you to even find your dogs’ skin.
During summer, the dogs tend to shed their undercoat, which will leave only the long (guarding) hairs on their skin. This outer layer is crucial for them as it guards them against sunburn, and also works as an insulator against the heat. Once they shed their undercoat, air flows easily under the outer layer. This keeps their skin cool in summer.
Are you familiar with all the differences between single-coated breeds and double-coated breeds? Here’s the biggest one for you. While the hair of single-coated breeds will keep on growing, this is not the case with double-coated breeds. So, even if you shave single-coated breeds, their hair will grow back again. But shaving a double-coated breed can destroy their coat.
How shaving can impact coat texture?
For double-coated breeds, the undercoat can grow quickly after they’ve been shaved. This undercoat (next to the skin) is soft and fuzzy that keeps them warm. But, the outer layer grows very slowly and can get mixed with the undercoat of your fluffy pals. This new outer layer will not feel like their first (original) coat. It won’t be the same, and will become “sticky”, and will work like velcro. Every time your dogs go out to play, you will have to pick burrs, twigs, grass, seeds, and everything else that will get stuck to their coat.
This merging of soft undercoat with guard hairs will make your dogs hot in summer, as undercoat will not allow the air to get to their skin. There will be no natural cooling process. In fact, this can lead to overheating as the undercoat will absorb the sun’s rays.
And don’t think that there will be no problem in winter. This sticky texture can cause skin irritations such as hot spots, as the undercoat will seem to matt very easily.
Bursting the myth!
Shaving WON’T help your dogs stay cool in summer. Let your dogs shed naturally. They are supposed to shed their undercoat in summer, leaving the outer layer as it is. This outer layer will provide insulation and will keep your dogs cool by allowing cool air to circulate near their skin.
This outer layer is also crucial to protect your dogs from getting sunburn. Especially for dogs that have pale pink skins (like northern breeds). These breeds are more vulnerable to sunburn than the other breeds (just like pale-skinned humans). How can the outer layer save them from this? Well, this outer coat can reflect the sun’s rays, hence protecting your dogs from the sun. the fuzzy coat left after shaving your dogs will prevent the cool air get to the skin. This can expose them to sunburn, overheating, and at worst, skin cancer.
So, what a better way to keep them cool in summer?
You don’t have to shave your dogs to keep them cool. Simply take them to the groomer. Ask the groomer to bathe them. Then using high powered dryers, blow out the undercoat. The groomer might also use a tool like a rake that helps in removing the undercoat. But, make sure you choose a good groomer who has some experience with double-coated breeds and doesn’t encourage to shave your dogs. Also, try to give specific instructions to the groomer, as they can opt for the easier route.
- You can also keep your dog cool in summer with four easy tips:
- Carry water with you while going for walks with your dogs in summer. Offer them water whenever you see your dogs panting heavily.
- Monitor their activities and notice the signs of them getting too hot. If so, give them a rest and offer water.
- Let them get wet at times.
- Use air conditioning and fans when your dogs are indoor.
So, now you know what’s best for your precious pets. Let them shed naturally and don’t put them in danger by shaving their beautiful fur.