Grooming Expert Reveals Why Shaving Your Dogs This Summer Isn’t Keeping Them Cool

Summer brings fun and sun, but it also poses unique challenges for dog owners. Understanding how to care for your pet during the hot months is crucial for their well-being.  Jennie Smith, owner and founder of Dog’s Own Grooming, shares essential tips on how to manage your dog’s comfort and health during summer.

Is Shaving Your Dog a Good Idea? Think Twice.

It’s a common misconception that shaving a dog’s fur short during summer will help keep them cooler. However, for breeds with thick, double coats like Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Pomeranians, their fur provides necessary insulation. This insulation helps regulate their body temperature by protecting them against the heat.

“Many owners ask to cut their dogs fur short in the summer so the dogs are cooler. While it seems like it would help, it may not. Just like we do not remove the insulation from our houses in the summer we should not take away a dogs natural insulation either. On thick, double-coated breeds like Huskies, Goldens and Pomeranians, think about it like this. An ungroomed dog packed in an undercoat won’t allow airflow to cool the pet, so it would be much like wearing a wool blanket outside in the sun. On the other hand, a groomed pet would allow airflow and be more like sitting under a tree on a hot day, with a nice breeze and cooler shade. 

People think that cutting these dogs short will help them to be cooler, however, the opposite is really true. It will take away their layer of shade, letting the heat of the sun penetrate down to the skin causing the dog to get hotter. It would be like sitting under a dead tree hoping to get some shade,” explains Jennie. 

Things to do Instead

Remember Hot Ground Can Burn

During summer, the ground can get scorchingly hot, which is dangerous for your dog’s sensitive paws. A simple rule of thumb: if the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

“Consider using protective booties if walking on hot surfaces is unavoidable, or try to walk your dog during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening,” advises Jennie.

The Importance of Proper Grooming

Proper grooming is critical to keep your dog cool. An ungroomed dog with a packed undercoat can drastically increase their body heat.

“Pets coats work like the insulation in your house. Not only does it keep the pat warm in the cold it also protects from the heat.,” Jennie notes.

Cool Treats for Hot Days

Offering your dog a frozen treat is a great way to keep them cool. These can be easily made at home with simple ingredients.

“You can get creative by adding other pet-safe foods like frozen banana pieces, unsweetened nut butter, unsweetened yogurt or kefir, bacon bits, coconut milk, and/or meat, fish, or poultry. For a less messy experience let them have the treats while they are outside,” suggests Jennie.

Hydration is Key

Ensuring your dog has access to fresh water at all times is key, especially when outside.

“Carry a portable water bowl during walks and make sure to offer your dog water frequently to prevent dehydration and overheating,” comments Jennie.

Follow these expert tips to help your dog enjoy a safer and more comfortable summer, keeping them cool even as the temperatures rise.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash.

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