When the weather gets warm, it’s inevitable that many dog groomers start to get requests for dog shaving. Many pet owners may also consider this activity themselves, for their dog, rather than taking them to the groomer’s. Most often, the reasons cited are to keep the dogs cool or more comfortable during warmer weather – a natural, loving thing that a pet owner would do, of course! But dog shaving isn’t always the best way to achieve those results – in some cases, it can be downright counter-productive.
Pet owners generally know that a dog’s coat helps to keep them warm in colder months. Fewer people are aware that their coat also helps to keep them from overheating. This seems counter-intuitive – people don’t wear coats outside in warm weather! But dogs aren’t people. The way their skin and hair respond to temperature changes, and the way their body is designed to do so, is very different than a human’s. Dog skin is thinner than human skin, and their hair provides both protection and insulation. Their coat actually serves to regulate body temperature, even in warm weather. It insulates their skin, and slows down the heat absorption into their body. The net result is that a shaved dog can actually overheat more quickly than a dog with a healthy coat. Their thinner skin is also more prone to sunburns than humans, and more likely to get injured, too.
So, is dog shaving necessary, or even a good idea? Read on and we’ll discuss the details on dog coats, temperature regulation, and everything you need to know to answer that question for your particular pet.