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Why You Cannot Shave All Breeds of Dogs

Summertime in Nashville usually means hot and humid weather, and many dog owners think they need to shave their dogs to keep them cool and comfortable. However, shaving certain dog breeds can ruin their coats as well as their natural abilities to cool down. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you if your dog falls into this category.

Which breeds of dogs should never be shaved?

According to Dogs Naturally, there is a “no shave” rule for double coated dogs. This includes the northern breeds like Huskies and Malamutes as well as herding breeds like Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Aussie Shepherds, Shelties, Newfoundlands, and Bernese Mountains.

What does “double coated” mean?

These dog breeds have two layers of hair to protect them from cold temperatures. The outer layer is made up of long guard hairs that can keep cold water and ice from their bodies, and the softer undercoat layer grows close to the skin to keep them warm. In the summer, these breeds shed most of the undercoat, and the long guard hairs work to keep them protected from sunburn and to insulate them against heat. Without the undercoat, air is able to circulate and keep these dogs cool.

Why should double coated dogs not be shaved?

Shaving can change the texture of the coats and ruin the natural process of keeping these dogs cool. After being shaved, the undercoat starts growing back very quickly before the long guard hairs. Once the top coat begins to grow back, the texture feels much different. It can be like Velcro and attract burrs, grass, seeds, and anything else that your dog touches. Even worse, the combination of these two coats growing in at the same time will make your dog even hotter since the undercoat will keep air from circulating. The changed texture of the long guard hairs will actually absorb heat from the sun to make your dog overheat.

If you have a double coated breed of dog, you should never shave him in the summer. For more helpful tips to keep your dog cool during the hot and humid Nashville summer months, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital.

The Importance of Grooming Your Pet

When you own a cat or a dog, it is essential to keep them groomed. Of course, grooming includes brushing your pet’s fur and trimming his nails, but you also need to check out his ears, eyes, and teeth to be sure everything is healthy. According to WebMD, grooming your pet helps you find the first signs of a health issue. Whenever you groom your pet, you should be checking for lumps, bumps, and overall body condition. 5 Points Animal Hospital understands the importance of grooming pets, and we would like to share some grooming tips with you.

Brush your dog or cat several times a week.The Importance of Grooming Your Pet Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Even if your pet has short hair, you should brush him often to cut down on hairballs. Although cats typically will vomit or eliminate hairballs in litter, a large hairball could lead to stomach or intestinal blockages. You may not hear as much about dogs having problems with hairballs, but they can occur.

Routinely check your pet’s eyes and ears.

Your pet’s eyes should be clear and shiny, so if you notice any redness or cloudiness, you should call 5 Points Animal Hospital to be sure there is not a problem. Your pet’s ears should never look red or inflamed as this is a sign of an infection. We recommend using liquid ear cleaners that are designed for pets to prevent infections and are happy to show you how to use this cleaner.

Take care when trimming your dog’s nails.

While cats’ claws are easy to clip, you will need to use caution when trimming your dog’s nails because it can be hard to avoid cutting into the quick, which is the area within the nails that holds blood vessels. Styptic powder will stop the bleeding if you do cut into the quick. If this intimidates you, you can always visit 5 Points Animal Hospital for a professional trim.

Brush your pet’s teeth once a week.The Importance of Grooming Your Pet Image - Nashville Tennessee - 5 Points Animal Hospital

You can find toothbrush kits that are specially made for cats or dogs that include a special toothbrush that fits over your finger and a pet toothpaste. Start slowly by massaging your pet’s muzzle for a week, and then dab your pet’s lips with the toothpaste. You are then ready to introduce your dog or cat to the toothbrush. At first, let your pet play with the toothbrush and chew it. After your pet is used to the brush, you can then brush as many teeth as you can in one sitting.

To keep your pet happy and healthy, regular grooming is very important. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out more grooming tips for your cat or dog.

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