When the heat and humidity settles in, New Englanders certainly don’t wear fur coats. But when your fur coat comes off should your dog’s as well?
Veterinarians have varying opinions but it seems that the general consensus is to skip the shave on shorter haired dogs. Their bodies don’t have much difficulty regulating their temperature and a shave puts them at additional risk of getting a sunburn. However, some dogs are the perfect candidates for a summer clipping.
Dogs bread to have thicker coats (Akita, Malamute, Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Shiba Inus and others) might appreciate a little help cooling off when the weather gets hot as their fur is often dense or they may have a double coat (a thick, fluffy coat underneath their longer coarser coat) that is meant for cool climates.
Dogs that live outdoors or spend a lot of time wet or damp will also benefit from a haircut. There is a good chance that outdoor dog’s fur will become matted or develop skin conditions that easily become home to bacteria and maggots. Pups who develop hot spots frequently will also benefit, but it’s recommended that if your dog has this issue, a visit or call to the vet to confirm a trim is a good plan is necessary.
WebMD offers us the following tips if you do decide to shave your dog.
Think about hiring a pro. Most of us have little experience grooming our dogs, and many pets can be skittish, raising the potential for painful accidents. It’s a lot cheaper to take your pet to a groomer, Sonnenfield tells WebMD, than “to have to pay for a laceration repair.”
Keep clippers cool. All it takes is a few minutes of use for clipper blades to get hot enough to burn your dog. “Take frequent breaks to let those clippers cool down,” says Mark J. Stickney, DVM, “and use the lubricant that often comes with them” to help clippers stay cool.
Leave an inch of hair. Leave at least one inch of hair when shaving your pet. This gives your pet enough coat to protect from sunburn and chilly summer nights.
No close shaves. Resist the temptation to shave your dog close to the skin.
Not only do you raise the risk of painful sunburn, but a close shave can leave guard hair imbedded under the skin. “New hair won’t grow until these ends fall out, causing irregular growth andoften skin problems,” says Linda Easton, an international certified master groomer.
As always, before you make your grooming appointment, we recommend you speak to your own veterinarian as no one, besides you, knows your dog better.