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.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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