Should you shave your dog this summer? This is a question many dog owners ask themselves. The first question that needs to be answered: “Is your dog a double coated or single coated dog”? Many dog owners think their dog is going to be hot. STOP before you proceed to shave your dog as sometimes the hair helps keep your dog cool and protect them from the sun.
Dogs are classified as double coat or single coat. Dogs such as Pomeranian, Husky, Malamutes, and Chows are a few that have the double coat. Shih Tzu, Poodle, Doberman, Maltese are examples of the single coat dog. Double coated dogs should NOT be shaved!
Now you say what is the difference? Your double coated dogs have two layers of fur, the undercoat is fine fluffy hair which are short and crimp and closest to the skin. That is the fur that sheds; light and soft. It is the layer that is excellent at trapping air and insulating the dog. It keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Then you have the topcoat which is tougher guard hairs and they don’t shed–they protect the dog from the sun’s harmful rays, bug bites and it insulates them from the heat. This means “DO NOT shave your double coated dog”. Shaving your double coated dog is stripping them of their natural ability to heat and cool themselves and could do more harm than good.
Dogs are not like humans. They do not cool themselves through their skin. The main mode of cooling down is panting and they sweat through their paws.
Sometimes people want to shave their dogs because of all the dog hair, however double coated dogs are going to continue to shed though the hair is shorter.
Double coated dogs shed or what is commonly known as “blow” their under-coat twice a year (spring and fall). They need to be regularly brushed. To keep your double coated dog cool and comfortable in the summer give them baths and brushing.
In the summer when your double coated dog sheds the densely grown under-coat, they regrow a less denser summer under-coat to protect their skin. This keeps the heat out and keeps the dog cooler.
This is a controversial subject among dog owners. However if the canine has a double coat it is for a reason–our dogs are amazing creatures and they are made the way they are for a reason. Let’s don’t take away the ability for them to insulate and protect themselves naturally.
Remember: When shaving down a Shih Tzu it is entirely different than shaving a double coated dog such as a Pomeranian. For our single coated dogs if you shave them you will need to protect them from the sun and bugs when they are outdoors.