Sunday, June 1, 2014

To shave or not to shave

It's starting to feel like summer and we want to keep our pets comfortable. Many dog owners assume that a dog with long hair will naturally be more comfortable in these hot months if they clip their coats short.  It makes sense - or it certainly seems to - but for many breeds, you'd actually be doing him more harm than good.  

We take one look at a long haired dog and wonder how they manage in the summer heat.  We think that when we shave our pets we are helping them to stay cool. But, shaving your pet may cause more harm than good.  Most of those breeds with thick fluffy coats actually need that fur because it provides insulation that helps to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When you shave your dog you are robbing him of that insulation and exposing his skin to the sun.  Unlike us, dogs don't sweat (except for the bottoms of their feet), so exposing their skin to the air doesn't affect them the way it does us.  Dogs with thick, fluffy coats will be cooler if you keep their insulation in tact, than they will if you clip their hair short.  

It's counter-intuitive, and you might not believe me.  But ask your veterinarian.  Your dog's temperature control system is reliant on that insulation.  If you clip it off, you're dog will be more exposed to the heat and the sun.

Speaking of sun...

Your dog's skin is sensitive to the sun just like yours is, and they can get sunburns too. If you plan to have your dog outdoors in the sun, protect his skin.  Your vet or groomer can recommend a sun screen that's developed specifically for your dog's sensitive skin, and one that won't harm him of he licks it. Apply it on all the places where your dog's skin is exposed, like on the bridge of his nose or on his belly to protect his skin. 

Be wise... Bewaggle! 

About Bewaggle:

Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more, in the convenience of the customer's home.  Every Bewaggle employee is bonded, insured, professionally trained and has undergone a background check.  Be wise... Bewaggle!

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