A lot of dog owners believe shaving their dog helps them cool off well in summer, but the truth is that this action could lead to irreplaceable damage to a dog’s coat, making the dog more uncomfortable.
Double-coated dogs should never be shaved
You can shave dogs with short hairs without causing any problem, but sometimes there’s still risk associated with the procedure.
Long-haired breeds should never be shaved because you’ll be causing a lot of damage to their intricately balanced coat. Breeds like German shepherds, golden retriever, and Siberian huskies should never be shaved. More so, any dog that sheds huge clumps of fur seasonally is in this category.
Reasons why shaving your dog is not always the best solution
When you shave your dog, it exposes them to a lot of dangers. But a lot of people wrongly believe that shaving a dog’s coat helps to keep them cool during hot days. It doesn’t work that way because a dog’s coat is a natural insulator on its own, so removing the furs will only expose your dog’s skin to sunlight, and this can cause overheating and discomfort.
The major reasons why you shouldn’t shave your dog include:
The coarse guard coat and the softer undercoat of a dog’s coat grow at different rates, and when you shave these two layers together, it can cause permanent damage to the coat. Besides, it loses its balance to provide enough protection and insulation.
In the end, the coat may have uneven patches when it grows back. And the texture will look ragged in a way that will be hard to groom properly.
To make matters worse, your dog’s topcoat may not grow back again, and that’s so unfair for your pooch.
Irregular and excessive shedding
All animals that have fur including dogs shed naturally, and that’s because air grows and dies following a life cycle.
Dogs shed their hairs either seasonally or all-year-round, but most dogs will shed during fall or spring, or during periods when the temperature fluctuates.
When you shave your dog, it’s not going to make your dog shed less hair. The rate of shedding still remains the same and it’s not influenced by how long the hair is.
Shaving is only going to get rid of the shorter pieces of hair on your dog, and your shed hairs will still be the same lying around your home.
The fur coat protects against the dangerous UV light rays. When you shave your dog, the skin gets exposed to these UV radiations, causing sunburn. This can be painful, and in severe cases can increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
When you shave your dog’ coat too short, it can cause painful bumps as the ingrown hair develops. Besides, it can worsen skin problems like sensitivity or dryness.
Many dog owners think their allergies are triggered by their dog’s hair, so they decide to shave their dog’s hair.
But the truth is that you’re not even allergic to your dog’s hair; what you’re allergic to is something called “dander,” – a collection of dead cells in the undercoat of your dog.
So, shaving is not the solution, it will even make your allergies worse as you’ll be exposed to more dander.
Note that the double coat of your dog saves you from sneezing all the time. So it’s wrong to shave your dog due to allergies.
Some dogs are reluctant groomers or aren’t used to the noise of the shaving clippers, and this can cause the chattering blades to spook their coat. Besides, if the dog moves unexpectedly or twitches, the clipper can cause severe cuts. The hotness of clippers can also cause painful burns when it comes in contact with a dog’s skin.
Harder fur maintenance
Apart from permanently damaging your dog’s fur coat, shaving will cause your dog’s hair not to be as thick and luscious as before. It will be knottier and the chance of matting becomes high.
The result is that you’ll spend more time trying to groom your long-haired dogs if their coat is damaged.
Don’t think you’ll easily manage the thinner hair after shaving; you’ll be shocked to find out that it’s not easy to manage your dog’s fur coat after your action.
Increased risk of cancer
When long-haired dogs are ripped off other coats, the chances of developing cancer become high. However, note that any dog whether shaved or not can develop cancer if they are not well taken care of.
A good way to reduce the chances of your dog developing diseases like cancer is to help them maintain a healthy life.
Safer Shaving Alternatives
There are safer measures you can take to keep your pet cool and comfortable instead of shaving their fur coat. It saves you the risk and problems associated with shaving.
Here are safer alternatives you can adopt:
You can trim the longer parts of your dog’s coat to reduce bulk. It’s a simple procedure but ensure you do not remove too much length. When you trim your dog, it makes them more comfortable and improves their appearance.
Grooming is also a good measure to keep your dog cool. You can remove much of the loose fur by brushing thoroughly. This helps to minimize shedding.
Also, you can shampoo your dog’s hair on a regular basis to minimize dander and keep the coat looking radiant always.
Your dog shouldn’t be left thirsty. Always ensure they get plenty of fresh, clean water to drink. This way, they stay well-hydrated to regulate their own temperature more efficiently.
Let him get wet
You can buy a kiddie pool for your dog to cool off in your backyard. Also, you can take them to natural environments like a river, pond, creek, or lake where they can play and dig in a muddy riverbank to have a nice cool off.
Instead of shaving your dog to help them stay cool, you can provide shades on the hottest days. You can keep them indoors in a cool area to protect them from the harmful effect of UV radiation.
However, some doors prefer to stay outdoors, and in such cases, you can provide good shades for them to cool off.
You can adjust the time you walk or exercise your dog to help them stay cool. Avoid walking your dog when the weather is very hot.
You can exercise them early in the morning or late in the evening when they can enjoy the cool temperature.
Always have it in mind that shaving your dog’s hair, especially the double-coated dog’s hair is not always the best solution, especially during the summer period. It can change the texture of the hair, making it become coarse, and things like twigs and burrs will stick to them.
More so, looking at the risks and dangers described above, you should understand that shaving your dog is only a short-sighted act of kindness. You can simply look into the safer alternatives described above to provide the best care for your furry friend.
You should only shave after consulting your veterinarian and that’s required for a health condition. Besides, only a professional groomer should take up this task. A good groomer will have the expertise to know the best service that suits your dog’s needs.