Each year, veterinarians, pet groomers and pet lovers have debates about the pros and cons of shaving a thick coated or long-haired dog during the warm summer months.
We know that we cool ourselves by sweating and as more skin is exposed, the sweat evaporates more efficiently, cooling our bodies.
Dogs, however, don’t sweat like we do. Their main cooling comes from panting. As the moisture evaporates off of the tongue of the panting dog, the blood is cooled and this cooled blood is circulated to keep the pet comfortable. My dog Hannah and I both wear dripping wet bandannas when we are out in the heat; it helps in cooling us both!
A well groomed, clean hair coat will actually insulate the dog from the heat and help to keep them cooler.
Another concern about shaving any dog is the potential for sunburn in lightly pigmented breeds.
However, many of the protective functions of a full coat can be lost if the coat is not keep clean and free from debris such as grass awns, etc that can cause mats and significant skin problems.
In some cases due to age or lack of mobility, your veterinarian may recommend shaving certain areas (like the perianal region) in long haired breeds to facilitate keeping the area clean.
Questions about shaving your dog should be directed to your veterinarian. They are best equipped with the knowledge of how shaving may affect your particular pet.
It’s hot outside and our pets count on us to protect them!