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To Shave or not to Shave: that’s the question …

March 21st, 2021

harry dog, shave or not

With hotter weather around the corner, pet owners question themselves if they should give their friend a spring / summer cut to keep them cool. This is not a simple answer, as it depends on the breed, if your dog really needs a trim, if he’s active, outside dog, etc. If not done correctly  and professionally, a cut may end up disrupting your dog’s natural cooling system.

Dogs have mechanisms such as sweating, panting,  and shedding to keep themselves cool. But, they’re still at more risk of overheating than we are. Feeling overheated can quickly turn to heat stroke, which is more common  and serious for dogs than we think. During hotter months, it’s important to keep your pup as cool  and comfortable as possible.

Since a dog’s coat acts as insulation, it works great during the winter, but can backfire during the summer by trapping heat close to their bodies. For dogs with naturally heavy coats, a closer spring/summer cut by a trained professional can allow excess heat to escape from their bodies, helping give them a little relief. Spring/summer cuts can also help to reduce shedding in double-coated dogs that are prone to it.

To make it short, don’t shave your dog completely.  Removing all your dog fur can put their health  and comfort at risk. Dogs have multiple layers of fur to protect them against the elements, such as the sun. Body hair shields your dog’s body from harmful UV rays.  Without the protection of their coat during the spring  and summer, dogs are more susceptible to overheating, sunburns,  and skin cancer.

Spring/summer cuts for double-coated dogs, like huskies  and retrievers, should never cut down to the undercoat. While every dog is unique, some breeds naturally have more hair than others. It’s a common misconception that certain breeds don’t shed at all, but it’s true that some have longer growing cycles than others.

So-called “hypoallergenic” dogs—like poodles  and doodles—have finer, longer hair that prevents their undercoat from falling easily from their bodies. Other breeds, like Saint Bernards  and Bernese Mountain Dogs, were bred for harsh winter weather, so their thick, heavy coats are no accident. With more hair on their bodies, these breeds naturally retain heat. Along with any other breed that requires regular grooming (like Yorkies), they would likely benefit from a closer cut as the weather warms up.

Definitely, the following breeds can benefit from a fresh spring/summer style: Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Newfoundl ands, St. Bernards,  and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Any dog that needs a regular trim for maintenance, like a Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, or an Afghan Hound, is on the list for a summer cut as well. Of course, in their cases, they need fresh trims pretty frequently— and spring/summer is no exception.

Don’t hesitate to contact Hollywood Houndz to give your pet a star treatment! But, during hotter months make sure your furry friend has plenty of fresh, cool water throughout the day, bring water with you on walks, avoid extended, strenuous exercise in the heat,  and allow your dog to seek out shade or go for a swim when they need it.