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Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Shave Your Pet

Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 12:00pm
Golden retriever wearing red collar

It’s hot out there! And if your Golden Retriever or long-haired kitty seems to suffer when the mercury rises, you might feel some temptation to break out your grooming tools and give your pets a full shave-down. We get where you’re coming from.

But wait! Put down those clippers! According to experts, you’ll be doing your pet a disservice. Here’s why:

  1. While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.

“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”

Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns.

  1. Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.

To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage.

  1. There are better ways to manage your pets’ coats to keep them cool: trimming and brushing.

“It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months.

Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, visit our Hot-Weather Tips. Stay cool out there!

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dale

i shave mine every 6 weeks. she sleeps better and on her bed. when I do not shave her she sweats and sleeps on the travertine floor and at 10 I notice her slowness after just one day so shave it is. I also leave hair to cover skin so when in sun she is protected. I manage her exposure carefully. I can tell you she is noticably happier shaved and have had 3 groomers say best thing to do as long as not shaved to skin!

melissa

groomers are not vets.

rescues cats an...

Nor are vets groomers -- and they are not all knowing. I have several vets available to my rescues because I learned that each one seems to do better with different issues. I got 3 different diagnosis and treatments offered for the same pet. Luckily, one vet correctly diagnosed the problem, provided the least expensive treatment, and the problem resolved quickly. However, he miss diagnosed another pet's illness on the next visit. So I have a variety of 'experts' to choose from and my rescues benefit and my wallet is relieved. The difficult part for me is to decide which vet to choose. Gratefully, many of my rescues have been 'saved' by this attitude, since many were dumped/thrown away because of the existing ailment.

bob

" I have several vets available to my rescues because I learned that each one seems to do better with different issues."

Several vets. You don't take your rescues to a groomer for a vet diagnosis.

Teri

Well I hava a Himalayan and she is 14 years old, she has arthritis, and problems grooming herself....my VET told me he thought it might be better if she were trimmed and cleaned regularly...amazingly she is doing MUCH better soooooo long story short it should be up to the pet owners since it seems vets have varying opinions on grooming...just saying!

Sue Michael

Teri, I have two Himmy's and there never outside so I try to keep them groomed yr. around. The hair all over everything is unbearable if I don't , and no amount of brushing makes a difference. My only problem is finding a groomer who can do it. The last one I took them to couldn't finish them up because they were flopping around so much she was afraid they'd hurt theirself. It still cost $110. Their feet weren't done and I know thats important as I can see it when they walk. Never should of got them when they were offered to me.

cindy

Hi Sue - my sister and I have been grooming for over 20 years...we love and understand cats and many people have come to us when other groomers couldn't do their cats. We've also done many cats which other groomers have had to sedate because they deemed them aggressive. If you'd like to try us, we're in St. Bruno 450-441-4539. Our price is between $46 and $50/cat.
Cindy :)

Shelby

I had a Honeybear perisan for 20 years and there was one groomer that got rid of her carpet every spring. Really, along in April it started to come lose like a carpet and no amount of brushing did any good before that. She always said Abby was so easy to work with and Abby was so much happier after she go her winter coat off. She stayed inside most of the time and within a couple of weeks she had a nice coat coming back. It takes a special groomer to groom a cat, someone that really loves working with them.

DEB / "SNOOPY"

I 'm a CAT OWNER/ (BUT Had DOGS.. TOO) And I HAD A BIG BREED, MAINE
COON CAT THAT I ANNUALLY GOT "TRIMMED" ( LIKE Someone Else SAID "NOT LIKE A POODLE - RINGS SHAVE ").
WHISPER (14 Lb. Boy, Maine Coon ) OF Course HE DIDN'T Mean to,BUT...WHISPER DID Ruin my carpet,THE 1st YR. I HAD HIM.. TOO. (WE CAN NEVER REALLY PREDICT WHEN /WHERE A CAT OR DOG WILL "CHOOSE US" OR THE HOME STYLE WE'LL HAVE WHEN THEY DO.) YEARS AGO I HAD A (Dog) BeChon...their fur is SORT Of A "LOOSE POODLE." I DIDN'T .. GET JAKE ANNUALLY (SUMMER WEATHER) TRIMMED AND WALKED JAKE AT NIGHT ..IN (Sun was setting /Gone) The KANSAS CITY Night Air. I THINK IT IS VERY "CARE"-LESS /THOUGHTLESS FOR The Pet's WELLBEING, TO.. "CIRCUS - RING SHAVE" ANY ANIMAL...NOT JUST POODLES (Which Began in EUROPE, For ROYALTY ) BY THE WAY..ALL MY CATS Have Been & ARE INDOOR CATS..AWAY FROM "HARSH, UNSHADED" SUN( Except the 2 Boy, Ferrel Cats I FEED IN MY Or "THEIR" BACK YARD With 3 doghouses / CATsized ENTRIES )

Anonymous

Stop capitalizing everything.

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