Spring has sprung, and the days are starting to warm up. Many dog owners are beginning to think about shaving their dog or making a trip to the grooming salon. Most dog breeds start to shed in the spring, while others need to be shaved to help them cool down. Shaving your dog can improve the coat condition, reduce shedding and keep your dog cool in hotter weather. While shaving some dog breeds is a must, others such as Labradors should never be shaved.
If you’re wondering whether or not to shave your dog, read on. This article will tell what dog breeds should not be shaved.
Don’t Shave Double Coated Dog Breeds
Your dog may seem hot in the summer, but some breeds should never be shaved. Dogs pant to cool themselves down and also shed fur, so their coat is lighter and cooler during the summer. Many dog breeds have what’s referred to as a double coat, and these breeds shouldn’t be shaved. Working or herding dog breeds commonly have a double coat, including Golden retrievers, Collies, and Huskies.
Shaving dogs such as Huskies or Labradors can actually damage their coats, and it will be prickly and uncomfortable as it grows back.
All Dog Breeds that Shouldn’t Be Shaved
Here’s a list of dog breeds that should not be shaved:
- All Terrier breeds
- Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes
- German Shepherds, as well as English, and Australian Shepherds
- Sheepdogs including Collies
- Newfoundlands and Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Shih Tzus
- Golden Retrievers and Labradors
- Great Pyrenees
- Cavalier King Charles
- Hybrid dogs such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles shouldn’t be shaved or any dog with a parent on the above list.
- Double Coated Dog Breeds
Dogs with a double coat have a “topcoat,” which protects them from the sun’s rays and environmental factors such as dirt, insects, and pollen. These are sometimes known as guard hairs and will protect your dog during hot weather. A double-coated dog will also have an undercoat which will shed during the Spring so that your dog is cooler during the hotter seasons. It’s a good idea to brush your dog regularly during shedding to help eliminate loose hair.
Shedding is beneficial as it allows the air to circulate around the dog’s skin. Once your dog has shed its undercoat, the outer layer of hairs will be left to reflect the sun’s heat. This helps to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
In contrast, dogs that have a single coat have fur that grows constantly. If you shave a single coated dog, its fur will grow back normally after some time. The texture of a single coated dog’s fur will remain the same when it grows back. If you were to shave a double-coated breed, the texture would change, and your dog will feel rough as the fur grows back. This can be prickly, itchy, and uncomfortable for the dog.
Sometimes double-coated dogs require shaving if their fur has become very matted or tangled. However, it’s best to wash your dog and attempt to brush out the tangles rather than shaving your pet. You may have to cut out matted fur, but avoid shaving if at all possible. It’s a wise idea to regularly wash and groom your dog so that his fur doesn’t become so tangled that there is no option but to shave him. Owners who have shaved a double-coated dog report that their pet’s coat never feels the same when it grows back. Often owners will regret shaving their pet.
Shaving a double-coated dog isn’t recommended as it can cause your dog problems. It may seem like your dog would be cooler without a heavy coat, but dogs have their own biological cooling systems and don’t sweat as people do. Dogs keep cool by shedding their undercoat and panting. They also perspire at the paws and via blood circulation at thinner parts of their skin, including the ears.
Double coated breeds can stay insulated in cold weather and cool during the summer. The topcoat will shield your dog from the sun and protect against insects and dirt. Some dog breeds, including Huskies, don’t have a natural skin pigment and will be prone to sunburn if the coat was removed. Shaving a double-coated dog’s fur can result in allergies. There may not be time for your dog’s topcoat to grow back effectively before winter, which will leave your pet feeling cold.