Should You Shave Your Dog in the Summer?

Should You Shave Your Dog in the Summer?

It is that time of year again where the temperatures start rising and the questions pertaining to shaving dogs start being asked.  I have heard many different theories and opinions about the benefits and risks of shaving a thick-coated dog in the summer.  Each differing opinion will cite reasons and facts that favor their decision, but should you shave your dog in the summer or not?

Just like all of the others that weigh in on this topic, I too have an opinion; my answer is no, you shouldn’t shave your dog in the warmer months.  Here are some of the reasons that bring me to this conclusion:

  • Our dogs don’t sweat like we do.  Instead, their cooling process is handled by panting and even some sweating on the paws, having a thick coat will not slow down a dog’s cooling process.
  • Some types of fur and hair can be beneficial in hot weather, working to insulate dogs from the heat.
  • Dogs with double-coated fur receive protection against biting flies and mosquitoes.
  • Dogs with little or no pigmentation in their skin, like the Husky, can get sunburned very easily when shaved.
  • Most long haired dogs look ridiculous when shaved.

So if there are so many reasons not to shave your dog during the summer, why do we all see so many shaved dogs?  Do you have another perspective on this issue, do you have better reasons why you should shave your dog?

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  • K9 Coach
    Posted at 08:50h, 30 April

    Thank you for sharing your viewpoint on this and I agree with you whole heartedly!

    Living in San Diego I deal with this question a lot. Understanding that a dog’s cooling system is entirely different than a human’s is not common knowledge it seems. Getting this information out will help with people’s unwarranted guilt and some pretty ridiculous looking dog hair cuts!

  • Chris
    Posted at 19:10h, 28 May

    As a professional groomer I agree, that most breeds should not be shaved down. They have hair (fur is hair, it’s all the same) for a reason. It protects against sun and heat just like it protects from cold. But for the coat to work efficiently it most be maintained and groomed regularly. In other words it must be kept free of mats and dead hairs.
    Coats that are shaved down tend not to grown back in correctly, typically softening or loss of the outer guard hairs leaving nothing but fluff and under coat.
    We see so many shaved down dogs in the summer for a few reasons.
    1- People think it makes the dog cooler (myth).
    2- People think that it stops shedding. Another myth, the hairs still sheds out, it’s just shorter.
    3- People don’t want to take the time to keep their pet properly groomed and the dog becomes a matted mess that the kindest thing to do is to shave them down.
    4- And the worst is groomers who care more about making a buck then the well fare of the pets they groom. Though many groomers don’t even know that shaving down a dog has some very bad repercussions. But most just see dollar signs because in the majority of cases it cost more to shave a dog down the to give it a good brushing. And they won’t say a thing to the client about the pitfalls of shaving a dog.