Shaving Dog Coat- Yay or Nay?

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During summers, the hot and humid weather makes many dog owners think that they need to shave their dogs to keep them cool and comfortable. But it is not a good idea for all dogs. Shaving some particular dog breeds can damage their coats as well as their natural abilities to cool down.

Dog breeds that should not be shaved.

According to Dogs Naturally, there is a “non-shaving” rule for double-stranded dogs. This includes northern species such as the Huskies and Malamute as well as breeds such as the Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Aussie Shepherds, Shelties, Newfoundlands, and the Bernese Mountains.


Double Coated meaning

These dog breeds have two hairs to protect them from cold temperatures. The outer layer is made up of long protective hairs that can keep cold water and ice on their bodies, and a soft layer of coat grows close to the skin to keep them warm. In the summer, these species produce great underwear, and long protective hairs work to keep them protected from the sun and heat. Without underwear, the air can move and keep these dogs cool.

Two-coat dogs have soft, inner hair close to their skin that acts as a protective layer, which helps keep them warm in cold weather and cool in the heat. In the summer, the dog will release a small amount of this under the layer, but the rest will help to hold the air between the two coats, allowing the dog to retain heat and control its body temperature. The outer coat (or guard hair) contains long hair that gives the dog its color and is less worn.

Examples of doublecoated dogs are Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, and English Springer Spaniels. As they shed their coats under warm weather, their outer layers, or guard hairs, often protect them from the scorching sun and insect bites.

Don’t shave double coated dogs- here is why.

Shaving can change the texture of coats and damage the natural process of keeping these dogs cool. After improvement, the underwear begins to grow very fast before long curly hair. When the topcoat starts to grow again, the texture feels very different. Worse yet, the combination of these two coats growing at the same time will make your dog very hot because the underwear will keep the air from circulating. The flexible texture of long curly hair will absorb heat from the sun to make your dog extremely hot.

Drs. Jerry Klein, AKC veterinary officer, says that your dog’s coat acts as a protection. Shaving the coat reduces stress or is thought to keep the dog cool and eliminates the frightening fur that causes the dog to suffer from heatstroke and can lead to improper hair growth and the possibility of cord injuries. The dog’s fur coat protects it from the sun and reduces the risk of skin cancer. “Double shaving can also cause long-term damage. When shaved down to the skin, the underlying hairs will grow back faster, and sometimes they will choke the slower growing hair. This can change the texture and color of the dog’s coat and make it look dull and unattractive.


  • Shaving a double-coated dog will make it difficult for it to cool down on its own.
  • Coats should not be cut less than one inch to protect from sunburn and bedbug infestation.
  • Regular brushing will get air circulation and cooling going.

Temperatures are rising, your dog is panting, and there is dog hair all over the house. You may think that a good, close shave can help cool your dog while eliminating some of this furry dirt. Think again. Most dogs should not be sheared at all, depending on the type of coat they have. Shaving can have a different effect on what you intend to do and make your dog hotter. Here are some details on how to shave your dog, and some steps you can take instead of keeping your dog healthy in the heat.


Dogs with a single coat

Single coat dogs include dogs such as Greyhounds, Boxers, Dalmatians, Poodles, Maltese, and Afghan Hounds. They can have very short hair or long hair, and they can be hot, smooth, or curly – but they all have beautiful looking hair that does not have soft underwear.


Certain color-coated dogs can benefit from having a piece of clothing to adjust their coats from time to time to prevent overcrowding and keep them cool, but coats should not be stripped of their skin. It is best to leave at least one inch of hair to protect yourself from sunburn, skin cancer, and animals. These dogs do not have the extra lining of the underwear, so they need to keep at least one inch of hair to keep them warm and secure.


Instead of Shaving

Dogs cool down very differently than we do, and shaving has little effect on cooling. Dogs rely on breathing to control most of their temperature regulation. They also rely on stimulating vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels) to help them cool down, especially on the ears and face. When blood vessels dilate, they bring hot blood closer to the skin.

Dogs also have merocrine sweat glands that act similarly to human sweat glands, however, they are only found on the dog’s buttocks, and are active when the dog is hot to cool it. Instead of shaving your dog, there are some steps you can take to stay comfortable in hot weather:

  1. Always brush your dog’s hair to remove dead hair, prevent congestion, and allow better air circulation to his clothes.
  2. Give your dog a regular cool bath to keep it clean and free of insects.
  3. Since your dog’s cool sweat glands are found on his feet, keeping his paws cut with a lot of furs can help with sweating and cooling.
  4. Rubbers suggest that it is also a good idea to keep dogs and the legs of the abdomen shaved with very long hair to enhance cooling.
  5. Make sure your dog always has cool water and shade; takes a trip to the gym and exercise only during the coolest places of the day; nor is it left unattended in a car, even for just a few minutes.
Wendy Hendriks

Wendy Hendriks

This is Wendy Hendriks From iClean Internationals Ltd. Life-long learner, committed to working hard at self directed learning environment.

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