Seeing your puppy panting in hot seasons can make you think you should shave them down. Perhaps you feel that shaving their thick furry coat will make them feel more comfortable just like you do in light clothes when it gets hot.
But wait, do you really think shaving your puppy is the best choice to cool them off in hot weather? Well, maybe not.
You need to know certain things before making the decision to shave your puppy. Thus, in this article, you will get helpful tips to make the best choice concerning shaving your puppy or not.
Should you shave your puppy?
Experts advise that you should not shave your puppy at all. Nevertheless, deciding whether you should shave them or not depends on the type of coat they have.
Your puppy can be single-coated or double-coated. Single-coated breeds of puppies such as the Poodles have one layer of fur, which can be shaved or clipped down to their skin.
Double-coated puppies have two layers of fur consisting of a thick bottom layer known as the “Undercoat” and a top layer of guard hairs. Double-coated breeds of puppies include Chows, Huskies, Golden Retrievers, German shepherd, Labradors, and Pomeranians.
If you notice that your puppy is a double-coated breed, you shouldn’t shave them at all. The undercoat contains fine hairs, which act as insulators that naturally keep your puppy warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
You shouldn’t be bothered about seeing your double-coated puppy covered with thick fur because they will go through a natural shedding process during springtime.
Why you should not shave your puppy
It may be challenging to figure out whether your puppy is double-coated or single-coated because their fur is still in the early stage of growth. Thus, experts advise not to shave your puppy for the following reasons:
Shaving can permanently damage their fur
If you shave your puppy, especially a double-coated breed, the top guard coat is unlikely to grow back. This will leave your puppy more vulnerable to parasites as they grow older.
The Undercoat may also grow with anomalies, leaving your puppy’s coat with patches and a dull appearance.
In addition, the failure of the top guard coat to grow back will leave the Undercoat unprotected, causing it to become brittle. Hence your puppy may begin to experience hair loss.
Shaving exposes your puppy to sunburn and skin cancer
When you shave your puppy, you expose them to heat and ultraviolet radiation coming down from the sun. These may increase their risk of developing skin cancer or sunburn.
In addition, several carcinogenic substances floating in the air can easily be deposited on your puppy’s exposed skin, and this can eventually lead to skin cancer.
Shaving does not cool them down
The high temperature of the summer season may make you think that shaving your puppy will help in cooling them down. Actually, it won’t. In fact, it will make them less tolerant to the heat.
Your puppy doesn’t have the same type of sweat glands as you do. They don’t rely on sweating to keep them cool, so why should you shave them?
Your puppy’s coat is a natural insulator that helps in warming them up in cold weather and keeping them cool in hot weather. Thus, shaving them will interrupt their natural way of regulating their body temperature.
Shaving your puppy doesn’t reduce allergies
You may want to shave your puppy to reduce their allergies, but shaving does not help with allergies.
Allergies are caused by danders on your puppy’s skin and fur and not by the fur itself. Thus, shaving your puppy is not a solution for reducing their allergies.
Instead of shaving them, take your puppy to your veterinarian to get recommended products that will get rid of the danders from their skin.
If you must shave your puppy
“I can’t just carry them around with thick fur in the summer” … “Who does that?”
Well, you may actually feel uncomfortable carrying your puppy with a thick coat, especially when the weather is hot. In this case, you just want to shave them down!
If you must shave your puppy, here are some guidelines you should follow.
No close shave
Don’t shave all your puppy’s fur down to their skin. Leave at least one inch of hair on their skin. Shaving them down to their skin may cause ingrown hairs to develop in their hair follicles, resulting in painful bumps.
Leave at least an inch of hair all over their body to protect their skin from sunburn.
Use the right tools
Don’t just choose a random pair of scissors to shave your puppy. Get high-grade sterilized clippers and blades to shave them.
You should also apply lubricants on the blades to avoid irregularities when shaving your puppy.
In addition, take frequent breaks while shaving your puppy to allow the clippers to cool down. This helps to prevent burns on your dog’s skin that may be caused by hot clippers.
Consider hiring a pro
If you’re not skilled at shaving pets, perhaps it’s your first time trying to shave your puppy, you should consider hiring a professional groomer rather than doing it yourself.
Lack of experience may cause you to leave several lacerations on your puppy’s skin after shaving their fur.
What to do instead of shaving your puppy
The best thing to do in hot weather is to help your puppy in enhancing their natural way of keeping themselves cool rather than disrupting it by shaving them
Here are a few helpful tips:
Brush your puppy
Brushing your puppy regularly helps untangle their undercoat, allowing air to circulate near their skin, hence, keeping them cool in hot weather.
Doing this also gets rid of certain ectoparasites that may stick to the puppy’s fur and cause skin irritation.
Keep your puppy indoors
You should keep your puppy indoors on a sunny day to ensure they stay cool. When the temperature gets too hot outside, panting will not be enough to keep your puppy cool, hence you need to ensure they stay indoors.
Provide them with cool water
Giving your puppy cool water to drink helps them stay hydrated and maintains their body temperature on hot days. You may also try to add ice cubes to their water bowls on very hot days. This will help to cool down their surroundings.
Shelter your puppy from the sun
The major way your puppy cools themselves is through panting which works best if the temperature of their surrounding is lower than their body temperature.
Therefore, providing a shady shelter for your puppy will help in cooling them on very hot days.
Shaving your puppy is not appropriate in hot seasons. In fact, doing this does not help in cooling them down but rather makes matters worse.
Experts advise you not to shave your puppy at all because their fur serves as a natural insulator that keeps them warm in cold seasons and keep them cool in hot seasons
Shaving your puppy can make their skin more vulnerable to sunburn, cancer, and parasites. It may also permanently damage their fur.
Rather than shaving your puppy, consider keeping them away from hot areas and providing them with cool water to help in regulating their body temperature in hot weather.