Have you ever shaved your dog or thought about it? Did you want to help them stay cool or stop the massive amounts of shedding? Well, what if I told you by shaving them you actually didn’t help either problem and you could be doing more harm than good! If you live where it gets pretty hot and you own a Husky, Chow, Collie, or any of these, then you have probably thought about shaving them at one point, but please don’t.
What is a double coat? Dogs that have double coats have two layers of course. The first layer (undercoat) is made up of short, dense hairs. This layer acts as insulation for your dog and regulates their body temperature. In the Summer months it keeps them cool and in the winter months it keeps them warm. The outer layer that you see and that makes up the appearance of the dog is long, guard hairs. This layer protects the dog from the sun and repels dirt and moisture.
When you shave your dog, you typically shave them down to about 1-2 inches from their body leaving the undercoat. If you are trying to cut down on shedding, the undercoat is actually the part that sheds, so your dog will still shed after being shaved. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat through their skin, so shaving them to keep them cool doesn’t work either. They will still be just as hot, if not even more hot because you shaved off part of their insulation. They can also easily get sun burned if out in the sun too long and risk getting skin cancer. Our dogs were created with a double coat for a reason and you shouldn’t strip them of their natural ability to protect themselves.
You might ask, how can dogs with double coats that usually live up north in colder climates live in southern states where the temp can reach over 100 degrees? The truth is any dog will get really hot and is at risk for heat stroke. Especially, in temps like we experience in the south. If you own a dog with a double coat you just have to be more careful and monitor their time outdoors. I would never leave a dog unattended outside in heat 90 or above. Some dogs don’t know when to stop playing, get in the shade, or drink water so you have to be out there to make sure they do! Check out these cool products for your furry babies!
One other thing you have to worry about when you shave your dog is the chance that the coat will not grow back the same or at all if they are older. Do your dog a favor and don’t shave him!
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