Certain breeds of dogs actually have hair like humans.  Dogs that have human-like hair would be breeds like Poodles, “Doodles”, Shih Tzu, and Lasa Apso. These breeds will need a haircut on a regular basis. If you own one of the dog breeds with double coats such as Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Huskies, Australian Shepherds, etc. shaving them may not be the best solution.

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Myths when it comes to shaving dogs:

1. It will keep them cool:

One of the main reasons that these breeds have a double coat is that it helps them stay warm in the cold, and stay cool in the heat. If you shave one of these breeds you are actually getting rid of their undercoat which helps them trap cool air. I know that you think, “Well when we get hot we just take off layers.” We sweat through our skin, dogs do not. They sweat through their feet and tongue, anywhere there is not fur. Shaving these breeds can also cause them to get sunburn which we all know is not pleasant at all. Of course, there are non-grooming ways to help your pal stay cool in the heat.  Always provide shaded areas for your dog if they are outside and provide water; dogs should always have plenty of fresh, clean, cool water to drink, especially when it is hot. A well-hydrated dog can pant and regulate its own temperature more effectively. Adjust their activities. On hot days it is best to walk or exercise your dog early in the day or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler, avoiding exertion during the hottest hours.

2. It will reduce shedding:

Another popular idea is that shaving a double coated dog will reduce shedding, this is also untrue. The hair is still going to shed off, only the hair is less visible than when it was long. Shaving them will also remove the guard hairs, which then allows the undercoat to grow unchecked, leading to more hair growth and more shedding.

3. My Dog will feel better after:

Shaving can also result in skin problems: When a dog’s coat is cut too short, ingrown hairs can develop that can cause painful bumps or lesions. If the dog is already prone to skin problems such as dryness or sensitivity, shaving will only make those problems worse.

4. My Dog will look better when shaved:

Shaving the coat may also cause permanent damage to the appearance of the dog. The two layers of a dog’s coat – the dense, softer undercoat and the long, coarse guard layer – grow at different rates, and shaving the layers off together can permanently damage the coat so it is no longer balanced to provide adequate insulation and protection. As a result, the coat may grow back in uneven patches or may have a ragged, unkempt texture that cannot be groomed appropriately.

When to shave your dog:

One reason to have to a double coated dog is if it is EXTREMELY matted where there is no way to brush them out.  Please consult our groomers if you have any concerns or questions!

Alternatives to Shaving:

Regular Grooming

Groom your dog regularly. Thorough brushing will remove much of the loose fur of your dog’s coat, cooling them far more effectively and safely than shaving. This will also minimize shedding.

Regular Baths

Good shampooing on a regular schedule will also minimize dander and keep the coat in great condition.

Regular Trimming

Trimming the coat can be an excellent alternative to shaving the dog entirely. It is easy to trim the longer parts of your dog’s coat to minimize bulk, and allow more airflow. A quick trim to areas such as the belly, butt feathers, chest, and feet can make your dog more comfortable for the summer and also improve its appearance!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns we are here to help.  Call 307.733.DOGS or visit www.DogJax.com

Amy Perkins