Dog or cat shaving, good or bad?

With summer well and truly here you might be thinking it’s a good idea to reach for the clipper blades or call your groomer to get your dog shaved. Surely all that fur on your dog or cat in this heat is better taken off allowing the skin underneath to breath more? Don’t be so sure it may not be the best option for your pet…. read on.

Dog and cat fur is not the same as human hair and you should think about what type of breed of dog you have before getting the clippers out!

An animal’s coat is designed by nature to insulate, this means both from the cold and believe it or not from the heat too. If you shave them you are actually messing about with their in built temperature control system, which can lead to overheating, especially in this Middle Eastern heat. As well as protecting from heat the hair also acts as a barrier against the sun preventing sunburn.

So you have a thick coated dog and want to help a bit with the heat, walking your dog early morning and early is a must and you want to help your dog stay cooler during those times. Brushing is best, every day, especially if you have a double coated breed for example German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Belgium Malinois, Samoyed or Husky. By brushing you are eliminating dead hair, stimulating skin oils to protect the hair better, encouraging air circulation and getting rid of any knots that may occur, this ensures a productive and healthy coat to do its job.

Cats certainly do not benefit from being shaved due to heat, unless of course, you’ve not being brushing your long haired cat and you have knots (that’s another blog to work on 😉). Cats are very good at controlling their body temperature and if you are very worried about the heat keep them inside or allow them out at night if they really must get some outside time, better still invest in a cat flap/door that allows them a choice to go outside when they feel comfortable to do so.

Although shaving is not actively encouraged you can of course get your dog’s coat trimmed or cut. Thinning a coat is also a possibility if you think necessary, ensure you use a competent groomer to do this correctly. Any absolute shaving should not be done close to the skin, at least an inch or two should be left on to provide some protection.

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