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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!

Comments

Comments

Debbie

Just read what the article is about! It says, don't SHAVE your animal! It's of to trim, just think twice about shaving! Educate yourself, and make the informative decision based on the facts!

CC

Yes. I can't even read it.

Marie of Nebraska

I'm a huge cat lover also. I use a squeegee to remove all kinds of hair from furniture, carpets, n bedding. (Your bedding).

Anonymous

WHY

mary

WHY

melodyf46

My Himalayan is 18 and I've had him shaved beginning at the vets' office when he was just a year old. I just had him shaved and must say, it will be the last time even though we live in an area where the temp reaches 100+ in the summer daily. Perhaps his tummy but not the rest of him. I've noticed that he cuddles more in the night so obviously he's cold. Additionally, I think it's hard on them when they are older to go to a groomer so I'm going to start bathing him at home and shaving his tummy myself. We also have a Peke whom we have shaved. I can't imagine not doing this. He gets so ratty looking and his coat is so thick that even brushing him doesn't work. On the other hand, we would never shave our Akita, Golden or Lab. I definitely agree that they need their coats as insulation from both heat and cold. BTW, dogs, to my knowledge. don't sweat. That's why they pant.

emily.bronte

best part of this post is need their coats as insulation from both heat and cold. BTW, dogs, to my knowledge
thanks
Regards
Emily.Bronte

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Bridgette

Dogs do not sweat

Jessica, RVT

Dogs *do* sweat, but not through their body. They sweat from the bottoms of their paws and via panting.

Robyn

Some also sweat from glands behind the ear. The reason that some long haired breeds(ie border collie) can get mats so easily behind the ear.

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