4 Reasons Not To Shave A Dog

Shannon Moore, NCMG Espree Animal Products Director of Grooming Education Southlake, TX

Many pet owners think that shaving a dog down would help them stay cooler in the summer, but that is quite the contrary. The coat serves as a protector for the dog as it is the dog’s shade from the elements.

Typically, undercoat is thinner during warmer months which allows air to get all the way down to the skin to help with overheating.  In order for air to make it all the way down to the skin, it is important to keep your dog brushed out, so mats will not interfere with proper air circulation.  The coat must separate and divide all the way down to the skin.  In addition, the dog’s hair serves as a thermal regulator to slow down the process of heat absorption.  If the dog’s coat is shaved down, you are taking away their shade to help the regulate their body temperature. In addition to exposure to heat, there are many other dangers to shaving your dog in the summertime:

  1. Risk of sunburn.
  2. Expose the skin to insect bites.
  3. The coat could grow back thicker making it more difficult to regulate body temperature.
  4. The coat could grow back unevenly, and bald spots could occur with repeat shave downs.

 

What can pet owners do to help protect their dog during the summer months?

  1. Keep your pet brushed out so the coat can separate and divide all the way to the skin.
  2. Rather than shave your dog down, have your stylist shorten the furnishings for ease of maintenance.
  3. Choose products containing a touch of sunscreen.