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What To Know Before You Shave Your Dog

A white poodle is groomed by a groomer while standing on a table

Amber LaRock Author of What To Know Before You Shave Your Dog

Shaving your dog is not as simple as it may seem. With such a variety of fur that our canine companions have to offer, there can be a science to each one when it comes to offering them a haircut. In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of shaving your dog, and help you understand if it’s the best choice for your pup or not!

Why Would You Want To Shave Your Dog?

There are a few reasons as to why you may be thinking about shaving your furry friend. Though we understand the common desires behind shaving your dog, you may be surprised to learn that shaving your dog is not always the best solution. So what are the main reasons dog owners shave their pups?

Though some dog owners may have other reasons in mind, these are the most common factors behind dog shaving. Now, let’s dive into why this may not be the best way to solve the above dilemmas.

Things To Know Before You Shave Your Dog

Before we dive into the main question of if you should shave your dog or not, let’s discuss the main purpose of fur and how it offers our furry friend’s protection. Some interesting fur facts you should know before shaving your dog include:

A Dog’s Coat Protects Them From Weather

In the summer months, we usually want to strip ourselves of our winter clothes and stick to lighter options to keep cool. Though we tend to think our dogs would prefer the same, that’s actually not true. A fluffy coat may look unbearably hot in the summer, but it actually may be working overtime to keep your dog cool. 

Most dogs that are shaved in the summer are actually those with double coats. The undercoat is the layer that is closest to the skin, while the guard hairs are the ones that stand out farthest from the body. In the winter, the guard hairs protect against the snow while the undercoat keeps the dog dry and warm. 

In the warm months, the double coat has a different purpose. The undercoat will shed once summer begins, and the guard hairs will remain and protect against the sun’s rays. These guard hairs will not only protect your dog from getting a harsh sunburn but can also help to regulate heat when the wind blows through the guard hairs. Though thick fur may seem too hot for our furry friends in the summer, their coat is actually doing them a favor. 

Shaving Your Dog Can Change Coat Texture

When you shave a dog with a double coat, you are actually disrupting their natural temperature regulation. Like we explained above, the undercoat will shed while the guard hairs remain. When you interrupt the process and shave your furry friend, the undercoat will begin to grow first. Since the guard hairs take longer to grow, the different fur will begin to mix together. When this happens, the texture of your dog’s fur will often change drastically. 

Many owners note that once they shave their fluffy dogs, their fur afterward begins to pick up more sticks and bursts than ever before. This new coat is often much more sticky and can result in your dog being a walking velcro pad. 

Shaving Your Dog Won’t Help With Shedding

One of the most common reasons why dog owners shave their pups is the desire to have less hair in their homes. Though this seems like a wonderful idea, it’s actually not the case at all. Shaving a dog that is prone to shedding will only make the fur that sheds throughout your home shorter. Shaving the hair will not limit the natural shedding process, and it will always continue at the same rate it did before. 

What Type Of Coat Does Your Dog Have?

So how do you know what type of coat your dog has? In order to help you answer this question, let’s discuss a few tips that will help you come to a conclusion. 

  • Low-Density Coat:You can easily see your dog’s skin through their coat. 
  • Medium Density Coat: You can see your dog’s skin when sifting through their fur, but it does offer more protection than low-density coats.
  • High-Density Coat: You have to hunt for the sight of your dog’s skin when sifting through their fur, and it can be challenging to soak through their fur when giving them a bath. 

So Should You Shave Your Dog?

So now that you understand the job of your dog’s coat, do you still think you should shave your furry friend? In our opinion, we think there are much safer options of keeping your dog cool! Shaving your pup may disrupt their natural temperature regulation, and end up giving you the opposite effect of what you were looking for. There are plenty of other options when it comes to keeping your dog cool, and we’ll dive into them below!

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Other Ways To Keep Your Dog Cool

Since we now know that shaving a dog is not the best way to keep them cool, let’s dive into some of the safest ways to cool them off in the summer!

  • Be sure to monitor their activity when they are playing outside. Once your dog begins to pant or slow down, it’s probably time to bring them inside and give them a break.
  • Be sure to carry water around with you at all times. You can offer them water to drink, as well as soak them in the water when they are playing outside.
  • Try to introduce your dog to water activities in the warmer months. This can mean swimming in a pool, playing in the river, or even a run through the sprinklers.
  • Allow them to lay on cool tile or wood floors when they come inside. Imagine wrapping yourself up in a thick comforter after a jog in the summer heat; you wouldn’t want that!
  • Be sure to keep your house nice and cool during the warmer months. This will offer your pup a sanctuary once they come in from their outdoor activities.

Though shaving your dog in the summer is a nice thought, it may not be the best option for your fluffy friend. Be sure to review the tips we’ve mentioned above, and you can find safe ways to keep your dog cool in the summer heat!

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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock Author of What To Know Before You Shave Your Dog

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When not working, she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.

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