With the summer heat upon us, many think that shaving their fluffy four legged friend is a great idea to help keep them cool on hot, humid days, but most animal care professionals agree that shaving your dog may not be the best idea for your pup.

For double-coated dog breeds like huskies, malamutes, Burmese mountain dogs, and others, their double coat keeps them warm in the winter AND cool in the summer.  Did you know dogs are able to shed different coats depending on the season?  Their double layer of fur helps them to regulate their body temperature in all seasons, so Best Friends Fur EverSM doesn’t recommend shaving double-coated dog breeds for this reason.

Many people with long-haired, double-coated dogs like to shave their dogs in the summer and allow their dog’s hair to grow long over the winter.  When owners don’t have time to maintain their pup’s coat, it can cause it to become matted, which means their pup will usually have to be shaved to help get their coat and skin healthy again.

If you have a long coat dog, daily brushing is important.  A slicker brush works well with longer coated dogs with fur more than an inch and a half because it keeps the metal slicker prongs from touching the dog’s skin.  Slicker brushes help to get out knots without too much pulling.  A metal dog brush comb can also help to get knots out easily. To keep your dog’s coat healthy, Best Friends Fur Ever recommends a professional grooming about every six weeks for maintenance of longer coated breeds in all seasons.

Brushes, like the FURminator®, are good for getting to the undercoat of short haired, double-coat breeds like labs and some shepherds, but it will strip the outer coat of long-haired breeds which can make their top coat look patchy and mangey.

Short-haired, single-coated dogs also need regular brushing and a standard dog hairbrush often works well for keeping their coat maintained and healthy.

It is okay to shave some single coat breeds like poodles, doodles, Havanese, golden retrievers, and others, BUT it is important to consider these factors first:

  • Sunburn and Heatstroke – Dogs are at greater risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and heatstroke when their hair is shaved. Most dogs’ skin is white making it sensitive to the sun, but even dogs with black skin can get hot and still get sunburned.  Their skin is not used to being exposed and seeing the sun, therefore, it’s very sensitive and can burn easily. Kids sunscreen can generally be used on dogs, but be sure to check with your vet first to find out what brands of sunscreen are dog-friendly.
  • Shaving for the Beach – Shaving your single-coat dog’s fur in the summer can help to keep sand from getting stuck to them, but make sure you apply sunscreen!
  • Fur Can Grow Back Funny – Shaving a dog’s coat can cause it to grow back very cottony and wiry. Frequently fur doesn’t look the same when it grows back in as their fur looked before the shave.

If you have questions about grooming or shaving your dog, please call and speak to one of our groomers – Joppa 410-671-7529 or Cockeysville 410-773-7529.