Is It OK to Shave My Dog?

Is It OK to Shave My Dog?

Author WDF Staff


How many times have you heard the idea that shaving a dog would help with the heat? We do to combat the heat - we take all layers off ourselves and enjoy some cool time under the AC. However, shaving a dog is not the best idea. A dog’s coat has many purposes, and here are some of the reasons shaving a dog is not the best idea.

Shaving a single-coated dog

If you are a dog owner, you probably already know that dogs have different types of coats. Many breeds have single coats, which means there is only one layer of their coat protecting their skin. Some of the breeds that have single coats are;

These breeds need regular grooming, and they will undoubtedly benefit from occasional hair trimming, but shaving them shouldn’t be an option. You can trim their coat, but you have to leave at least one inch of it for protection. The coat will protect your dog from bugs, sun, and skin cancer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you find a groomer that has no problem with shaving your dog’s coat, you should probably look for another groomer.

Shaving a double-coated dog

Double-coated dogs have thick undercoats. These undercoats keep them well insulated during cold winter days, and that is why double-coated dogs thrive in colder climates. They also have longer, protective outer coats that give them their distinct hair.

During the shedding season in fall and autumn, dogs blow out their entire undercoats. It is a complete mess, and it looks like their hair is all over your home. You can’t do much about it; it is a natural process all double-coated dogs have to go through twice a year. However, you can brush the dog’s coat with special de-shedding brushes. These brushes will help your dog get rid of their thick undercoats.

dog swimming in pool

Many dog owners think that shaving the double-coated dog will ease their “suffering” during hot months of the year. However, the dog’s double coat is not only for keeping them warm; it will also help the dog cool down during intense heat.

The double coat will trap tiny pockets of air between the two hair types and keep the heat under control. It helps the dog regulate their body temperature and cool down during hot days. Helping the dog cool down is not the only thing their double coat does for them; it also protects them from sunburn and insect bites.

Shaving a double-coated dog is a terrible idea. You will remove their protective layer and effectively leave them more exposed and susceptible to heatstroke. Another thing that can happen is follicle damage. The dog’s hair can start growing improperly, and they can develop skin issues. Some of the double-coated breeds you should never shave are;

puppy in a puddle

How to help your dog during warm weather?

Dogs regulate their body temperature entirely differently from us. Their main way of cooling down is panting, so shaving their coat will not make that big of a difference. In fact, you will probably cause them more harm than help. If you want to help your dog during the hottest part of the year, you can do that by doing one of these things;

  • Make sure your dog’s coat is regularly groomed and brushed. This will allow better airflow, and it will also prevent their coat from matting.
  • Bathe your dog more often. One of the best ways to cool off your dog is by giving them a cool bath that can drop their core temperature slightly. Keep an eye on your dog, and you will surely notice how they enjoy it.
  • Make sure your dog has access to enough water, shade, and air-conditioned room.
  • Trim your dog’s paws. Dog’s sweat glands are located on their pads, so make sure there isn’t any excess hair preventing the water from evaporating.
  • Trim your dog’s belly and make sure there isn’t too much long hair blocking the air movement.

In conclusion

Shaving a dog is never a good idea. Their coats help keep them warm, but they also help keep them cool during summer. If you ever wondered, “Should I shave my dog?” you should know that is not going to help your dog. Instead, it will leave them vulnerable to things that their coat protected them from. There are other ways to help your dog cool down, and shaving is not one of them.

World Dog Finder team

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