Dogs with double coats have a natural ability to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A lot of people think they need to have their dogs for the summer for them to keep cool. There are actually several different ways to keep dogs cool in the summer that has nothing to do with their coats.
Here are some myths and truths about dogs fur:
Double-coated dogs are dogs that have a heavy undercoat. The lighter, softer coat that sheds naturally does not need to be shaved.Unless the dog has passed the point of no return in the matting department, the best type of grooming for these dogs is a vigorous undercoat raking with a special tool that helps remove the undercoat. This raking, followed by a bath, and a blow dry, will help separate the hair so the groomer can get to the rest of the undercoat. Once the undercoat has been thinned out, the dog does feel cooler. The guard hairs on the top, which do not shed out, provide protection against the sun’s rays and actually insulate the dog from the heat. However, one might consider shaving a strip on their belly, so that they can lay on cool surfaces, and get maximum coolness. If mats are your main concern, then it’s best to simply keep up with them so they don’t get bad to the point of having to shave your dog. You may wish to try a product like Mud & Mat Remover made by PurestPets.
Another myth is that cutting a dogs hair off will cause the dog not to shed. This is not necessarily true. Dogs with undercoats shed. After a cut, it may shed shorter hair, but it will still shed.
The most harmful myth, as far as the dog is concerned is ”Don’t worry, it’ll grow back.” Well, sometimes it will. However, the older the dog is, the less likely the guard hairs will re-grow. While the undercoat will re-grow, the upper hairs sometimes do not. This gives the dog a patchy, scruffy, frizzy appearance.
Also, a shaved dog is more susceptible to sunburn – skin damaged by UV rays. These are rays that the dog would not otherwise be exposed to. This, unfortunately, can be painful and take a long time to heal. The dog may have scaling and dandruff for quite some time, even after the hair has re-grown.
Dogs without under coats require a regular up-keep of shaving, trimming and haircuts in general. So your long haired dog probably wouldn’t benefit from a summer shave.
What is your opinion about shaving your dog for the summer?