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!




Plain yogurt was suggested for my sheltie's hot spots. It's slow but working nicely and she loves the yogurt. If it continues to work, I will continue to give it to her.


You could just shave her belly down to the skin. thats what i do for my long coats. that way, they get to keep their god-made natural thermal layer of fur, but yet they can also lay on any hard surface and feel the coolness on bare skin. I also feel that shaved belly to gauge their temperature throughout the day. when hot to the touch, i send them in basement to lay on cool ground floor, after 20 mins they are good as new!! at the groomer just as for a under-belly shave and genital clean-up. thats all they really need.


Dogs don't sweat, it's a well-known fact. They cannot sweat. That's why they pant. Seriously, look it up.


Dogs don't sweat like humans but they do sweat through the pads on their feet.


Dogs do NOT sweat.


Dogs' primary method of cooling down is by panting, but they DO have sweat glands and DO sweat.


Then You need to find more knowledgable and experienced groomers, cause Their dead wrong. Shaving fur bearing dogs not only removes natural protection, it irritates and destroys their follicles. Their coat can change texture, or not grow back at all, even if they've been shaved for years with no issue. I try to talk my clients out of shaving their pets.

Just get them washed more frequently, and keep them brushed. That will allow them to keep cool properly.


My cat Tiger is part yak it seems. All 3 cats go in and out as the chose. He cannot clean his 6" long-haired fur with a 2" tongue. I call it a shave-down, but they use a #3 clipper so maybe its not what you mean by shaving. He is far happier when he can clean himself fully. I have to say I disagree for cats with long hair.


Of course the groomers would say that, it's their job!


dogs do NOT sweat! They do not have the same body cooling system that we humans have! Do you pant? we are different biologically and it is important you talk to a vet rather than project your own human ness onto your dog.