In the summer, we humans like to shed as many clothes as possible to cool down. Is the same true for your dog? When the hot, South Carolina sun starts beating down, what are the best ways to cool off your pet? Is shaving the way to go?
Debating About Shaving? You Might Want to Hold Off…
While it may be tempting to take those clippers and snip all the hair away, doing so could actually be more detrimental than beneficial. A dog’s coat not only helps keep them warm in the winter, but it helps keep them cool in the summer.
Dogs that have double coats particularly benefit from keeping their fluff in the summer. The double coat is waterproof and helps protect from sunburn and overheating. In addition, it acts as insulation to help regulate your pup’s body temperature and keep it from drastic extremes.
What Can Happen If You Shave Your Pet?
- A higher likelihood of sunburn
- A greater chance of overheating and/or heat stroke
- A greater chance of developing skin cancer
Is It Ever Okay to Shave My Dog for the Summer?
If you are unsure, it is always best to talk to your veterinarian or a trusted groomer. Each dog is different, and while most dogs benefit from keeping a full coat, some dogs may do just as well with a new summer hairdo.
If you and your veterinarian decide shaving is the best option, be sure not to take too much hair off. Doing so increases the risk of sunburn. Leave a generous covering over your pup’s body.
If You Don’t Shave, What Can You Do to Cool Fido Down?
Shedding is a natural way dogs adjust to seasonal changes. To help remove excess fur, consider investing in hair removal tools, such as the FURminator. The FURminator helps remove loose hair without ridding your pooch of his luscious coat.
Frequently brushing your pet’s hair and giving him baths provides improved air circulation, allowing your pet to stay cooler in the hot summer months.
A Trip to the Groomer
If the bulk of the undercoat has not shed the way it should, you may consider taking your pet to the groomer to have them bathe your pooch and help remove excess hair that needs to shed. If you choose this option, just be sure the groomer does not shave your pet, as this could lead to further problems.
Don’t Forget the Water, Shade and Kiddie Pool!
Keeping plenty of water outside for your pooch is a key way to help him hydrate and cool off. Shade and kiddie pools are other important means of cooling down. Kiddie pools allow Fido to play for hours in the summer sun without overheating.
Indoors Is Always an Option
If the weather outside is getting too dangerously hot, the best way to protect your furry friend is by bringing him inside to avoid the possibility of heat stroke.
If you are concerned your pooch is showing signs of heat stroke, don’t delay in seeking immediate medical attention.
When it comes to your dog, your veterinarian will have the best answers. If you have concerns about keeping your pup cool or think shaving would in fact be the best option, a call to your vet is the best way to go.
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