Should you shave your dog's coat?

Are you thinking of shaving your dog to help them deal with the Summer temperatures? Well, shaving is not always the answer and can potentially have the opposite effect. Here's what you need to know. 

Should you shave your double-coated dog? 

Double-coated dogs are for instance Border Collies, German Shepherds, Labrador, Huskies...

They have a soft, inner coat of hair.This layer helps them stay warm during Winter and cool down during Summer. During the warm season they shed some of this under layer but keep enough to still be able to regulate their temperature. 

Even though your intentions are good, shaving your dog's coat deprives them from this insulation layer which they really need to avoid heat stroke and sunburn. Just let them shed what they need to get rid of!

How about single-coated dogs?

Boxers, Dalmatians, Poodles, Maltese... are examples of single-coated dogs. They either have very short or long hair but no soft undercoat. 

While some dogs could benefit from getting trimmed (by a professional groomer) to keep them cool during Summer, their coat should never be shaved down to the skin. Experts recommend to leave at least 1 inch of hair to reduce the risk of skin cancer, sunburn and bites. 

Summer grooming tips

  • Brush your dog's fur to increase air circulation in his coat. 
  • Keep their paws trimmed to help with sweat evaporation (as their cooling sweat glands are located on the feet).
  • Groomers also advise to avoid letting the leg and stomach hair grow too long as it could prevent your dog from cooling off. 
For more Summer dog care advice, read our top tips on how to prevent dog heat strokes.