As we continue to slog through the dog days of summer, many pet owners have their pets shaved as a means of keeping them cool. It stands to reason that since humans require fewer layers of clothing, pets would be happier with less fur. Yet many pet parents are surprised to
learn that veterinarians do not generally recommend that summer shave.
While it seems counterintuitive, your pet’s coat not only keeps him warm during the winter, but also cool during the summer. His coat is part of the body’s entire process of thermolregulation, and removing large quantities of hair interferes with said process. Additionally, shaving exposes the skin to allergens. Normally these might cling to the hair without causing discomfort for your pet. Without the protection of his coat, however, your pet may begin suffering from allergic dermatitis. Excess sun exposure can become a problem as well. A pet’s bare skin can burn quickly and severely in the absence of the protection that’s usually afforded by his fur. If your pet has an especially thick coat, ask your veterinarian what is best for your individual pet. Even if you get a green light for a shave, be sure to leave at least an inch of hair to keep sunburn and allergies at bay.