Shaving Your Dog for the Summer? Pros and Cons

ElleVet Fluffy Dog

Summer is coming up and it’s an ideal time to explore the outdoors with your family and pets! Pets can get exercise that they are not usually exposed to in colder climates, such as swimming and hiking. There is nothing worse than unnecessary interruptions in summer fun, so it is important to make sure your pet is healthy and happy all summer long. One way you can do this early on is by considering a trim for your dog. A summer cut is not for every dog, but it is definitely good to consider. 

When is a Summer Trim a Good Idea?

Some pet owners will notice that their dog is much happier after a trim when it starts to warm up outside. While dogs do sweat through their paw pads, they do not sweat all over their body like humans do. Cutting down your dog’s fur can help aid in keeping them cool throughout the summer, especially when their fur is really thick. For double-coated dogs, the insulating layer of their fur both helps and hurts the cooling process, so it is important to maintain this layer correctly (not shaving all the way down to the skin). You can cut your dog’s fur on your own with a cool pair of clippers, but it is never a bad idea to see a professional groomer to ensure the safety of your dog. 

(Paw)use!

While it may seem obvious that your dog would enjoy a summer trim–especially those with long, fluffy hair–it is important to consider if this is actually what’s best. Dogs have their own techniques for cooling down and shaving their coats can be more detrimental than beneficial in some cases. Some dog breeds, especially those with long hair, have a double coat, meaning that they are able to both cool down and keep warm when necessary. During the warmer months, dogs will shed in order to keep cool, but sometimes the help of a professional groomer can make this process easier. Removing too much of the coat can actually be harmful to your dog and cause permanent damage to their coat! Further, single-coated dogs only have this one layer of protection from the sun. Besides their coats, dogs also cool down through panting and blood vessel expansion, both of which happen automatically similarly to the way humans sweat. Dogs also have sweat glands, but only on their paw pads. A trim can be helpful, but make sure it is done safely.

Benefits: 

  • Keeps your dog cool
  • Helps prevent matting 
  • Can help prevent Hot Spots and Overheating
  • Shorter hair helps owners to spot ticks and other bugs

Risks:

  • Sunburn
  • Skin cancer
  • Interfere with natural coat growth for double-coated dogs

Best Practices:

  • Do research specific to your dog breed
  • Enlist the help of a professional groomer and make sure they understand the task at hand 
  • Don’t Overthink! If you get your dog groomed regularly, continue with regular grooming as necessary
  • Shave when matting is present
  • NEVER shave down to the skin (unless medically necessary)
  • ALWAYS keep your dog’s coat clean 

Other Options to Keep Cool:

  • Brush your dog regularly to help them shed the extra coat
  • Keep them inside on extremely hot days 
  • Provide shade when outside
  • Always bring water with you when leaving the house
  • Never leave your dog alone in your car
  • Take them swimming

The ElleVet Team
844-673-7287
[email protected]

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