You love your dog, and that’s probably why you’re considering giving him a haircut. You may not realize, but if you cut dog’s hair, it’ll do more harm than good. It won’t help your dog cope with heat or uneasiness. Instead, it’ll make him prone to heat stroke and other serious diseases.
Here’s why you should not shave your dog’s coat.
Dogs are Physiologically Dissimilar
Humans are quite good at temperature regulation. If you’re feeling cold, you can put on a sweater. And if it’s hot, your body will begin to sweat, which will lower your body temperature.
Dogs, on the other hand, sweat through the pads in their tongues and paws. Dogs have a two-part cooling mechanism, including panting and vasodilation – panting provides around 80% of a dog’s cooling power. The faster the dog pants, the colder air comes into contact with the tissue inside his mouth. When this happens, the blood vessels in the dog’s head expand, which cools the blood.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of trimming dog hair because you feel your pooch is feeling hot, it won’t help.
Increased Risk for Double Coat Breeds
Many dog breeds, like Huskies, Malamutes, and Golden Retrievers have a double coat. This coat consists of long, still guard hairs and fluffy, short, dense hair. The double coat is protective and waterproof. It insulates your pooch from heat and cold and helps your dog stay comfortable.
When you cut dog’s hair, you put your dog at a greater risk of being affected by heatstroke. Your dog’s double coat may also take a while to recover as the guard hairs grow slower than the base layer. It can also result in a patchy look.
Increased Risk of Disease
The top dog website in India suggests that trimming dog hair can increase the risk of skin cancer. Shaving your dog’s coat makes him more susceptible to the harmful rays of the sun. If not sunburn, this exposure can lead to serious diseases like skin cancer.
Think of it as a bald human head at the beach in the sun. It will attract UV rays like a magnet. But if you wear a hat, you can prevent the bald head from direct sun damage. The coat of a dog acts as a hat and protects from harsh rays of the sun.
It Changes the Coat Texture
As discussed before, trimming dog hair can cause your dog to have a patchy look. Let’s talk about it in detail. If you trim your double-coated dog, you’ll notice new hair growing pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the undercoat coats first and stays next to your dog’s skin to keep it warm. The guard hair, on the other hand, grows slowly, and soon, you’ll see them mixing with the fluffy undercoat.
This mismatch will lead to a change in the texture of the new double coat, which will not be the same as it was before. It will become sticky and Velcro-like. When your dog comes after a playful session in the back yard, he’ll have burrs, seeds, twigs, and grass stuck to his coat.
This uneven composition of soft and undercoat and guard hairs will also make your dog feel extra hot in summer, as undercoat stops cool air from getting inside the skin. Besides, the unusual texture will also absorb more sunrays and contribute to overheating.
What to do Instead?
Don’t cut dog hair; instead, take care of it. For a strong, healthy, and shiny coat, your dog’s fur should be free of tangles and knots. These knots can include dead hair, parasites, and mites. It is crucial to get rid of these problems for your dog.
Slightly trimming the entangled areas might be a good idea. After a mild trim, comb your dog’s hair thoroughly. If your dog’s fur is densely knotted, visit a professional dog groomer.
When to Shave your Dog
According to the best dog website in India, there are some instances when trimming dog hair is a good idea. These include:
- Your dog is old and needs help to self-groom
- Dog needs surgery
- The dog has skin diseases like myiasis or hot spots
- There’s a lot of matter hair
Better Ways to Help your Dog Stay Cool
You might consider trimming your dog’s hair to help him get rid of excess heat. But as discussed, it won’t help. There are better ways to prevent your dog from overheating. These include:
Carry water: Carry water for your dog on summer walks. There are doggy water bottles you can buy with a special lid that doubles as a drinking cup. You can also carry portable water bows and fill them from a regular water bottle.
Monitor activity: Dogs who love staying active and playing games like fetch might end up doing it all day without realizing they’re getting hot. Thus, make sure to monitor his activity closely and look for any signs of overheating.
Let him get wet: If you live in a hot region, it’s a good idea to buy a kiddie pool for your yard so your dog can cool off. If you don’t have space for a kiddie pool, take your dog to natural environments, such as near a pond, lake, or river. If you have a double-coated dog, such places can be a lifesaver for him in summer.
Indoor cooling: Fans and air conditioning will help your dog stay cool indoors. In warm weather, many dogs will choose to lie on a cool tile floor right beside the A/C vent instead of on a rug or bed. If you want, you can also buy your dog cooling pads. The gel ones are light and can be quite effective in helping your pooch cool off.
Cutting your dog’s hair won’t do him any good. It’ll make him look weird, and it’ll also increase his risk of skin cancer, sunburn, and heatstroke. It’s good to cut the dog’s hair only if there’s a medical condition. So, don’t shave your dog’s coat unless your vet recommends you to do so.