Shaving to keep them cool?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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Herpaderp-apotam- us
Barked: Wed Jul 4, '12 6:58pm PST 
I've worked in a few different grooming shops and spoken with many different groomers on this topic but I would love to get more opinions on this:

Does shaving a dog keep them cool in the summer?

I always tell people, no, it does not and keeping them well brushed and free of mats will do more for keeping them cool than shaving them. But so many professional groomers reinforce this belief that people have, saying things like "Oh yeah, he'll feel so much better without all that hair." Obviously if the dog is matted, it's another issue, but I'm talking about dogs with a healthy clean coat. Someone actually brought a pit bull in recently, asking us to shave it. I was baffled. Dogs don't sweat through their skin people!

So please, clear this up for me. Am I right here?
Calamity- Jane

Barked: Wed Jul 4, '12 9:40pm PST 
While I'm not a groomer, I think you're right. I have heard that shaving could actually be detrimental to the dog and could make them overheat faster, but I don't know how much truth there is to that. However, pulling from my own experience, I keep Jane brushed and clean, and she has a much better heat tolerance than I do, despite all of her fluff. She'll even willingly go out and bask in the sun in the middle of one of our Texas summer days.

Design jewelry,- not dogs!
Barked: Wed Jul 4, '12 10:26pm PST 
As a groomer, I refuse to shave a dog just to keep it cool because, IMO, it doesn't help at all.
I have two hairless cresteds and they are way more sensitive to heat than any of my dogs with full coats.
There is also the added problem of insect bites and/or sunburn without that coat to protect them.
And, finally, in many cases the coat will never grow back correctly after a complete shave down.
We do trim the feathers on breeds such as goldens, collies, etc., but that is more for keeping the dog from collecting debris and sticks.
I do agree that a clean, matt free coat will allow better air circulation and be cooler that a dirty, matted coat or one with clumps of shedding undercoat, so a good professional groom DOES have a role in keeping your dog cooler.


Super Friendly- Aviator
Barked: Wed Jul 4, '12 10:26pm PST 
Any groomer who suggests to shave a double coated dog should go back to school, if you ask me. What shaving does is expose a dogs skin to the sun's harmful rays, and actually make them hotter because now they don't have their coat to insulate against the heat, and the sun is now hitting their skin directly. Not only that, it will ruin their coat quality, and screw with the natural shedding cycle.

You can't always talk pet owners out of something once they've made up their mind, especially if they've been shaving the dog every summer for years already, but at our salon we try to warn people about what they're actually doing to their dog when they shave it down.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 7:24am PST 
Does this apply to dogs that are meant to be cut like poodles and shih-tzu and etc?

Because I do keep Jewel short in the summer and if nothing else I believe having less hair on her underside means that when she lays on the cool floor she cools off faster.

But I agree with not shaving a coat that's not meant to be cut.
Hunter( Dark- Lord)- 2010-2014

Dark Lord
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 11:21am PST 
My mom is a groomer for over 30 years and she tells owners do not shave the big dogs, We have some poeple who bring in there Labs to be shaved.

Yeah they think the dog will be cool but they are wrong on that, There dog can get sun burn, Heatstoke or sunstoke and the hair sometimes growns back funny too, PLEASE DO NOT GET YOUR GOLDENS,LABS,GERMAN SHEPHERD,SAINT BERNARD,COLLIES,BORDER COLLIES ETC SHAVED. Unless they are badliy matted.

You can get your dog a kiddie pool to help keep them cool, We have 2 Saint Bernards and we have a pool for them to lay and play in. dogdogdogdogdogdogdogdog

Herpaderp-apotam- us
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 3:17pm PST 
No, I'm not referring to shih tzus, poodles, etc. I'm talking about goldens, newfies, labs, etc that people keep bringing us to shave.

I do my best to encourage them to do a deshedding instead, but ultimately it is the owner's decision and I can only make recommendations.

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 3:28pm PST 
When I still owned my own salon I absolutely refused to shave double coated dogs. No I don't think it makes them cooler.. and since the only time I've ever had one of my stock dogs overheat is when I shaved her I think it's actually way worse for a dog than keeping the clean hair.

I actually nearly Lost that particular dog to heat stroke... no fun that. Where as my rough coated dogs work just as well if not better at times in the heat than my smooth coats.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 3:40pm PST 
As a groomer you do not have to do ANY groom just because the owner requests it. I will not shave double coated breeds and never have. IF someone is insistant, I am sure they will find someone but my conscious will be clear as I did not do it here in my salon!!!
Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
Barked: Thu Jul 5, '12 6:13pm PST 
I have seen many shaved down dogs here, Huskies, Golden's, Shiba's, and more. They all had the exact same cut, shaved to the skin except around the head, feet and a tuft on the tail. I guess that's the lion cut. I've also seen a couple of these shaved dogs with a nasty sunburn...the poor dogs were obviously in pain. frown

That was the number one reason why I didn't want to shave Tasha, I was afraid she would easily sunburn, plus I don't like the look of certain dogs when shaved. But, when I finally realized I had to shave her because of extreme matting, I decided to do it myself because I didn't want her shaved to the skin. I bought a dog razor, set it to one inch and did my best to shave her along the contour of her body. As this had been the first time I'd ever shaved a dog, she looked pretty good! laugh out loud There are some places where I had to cut to the skin, but that was on the belly and back legs, so not too bad. So, she does still have fur to protect her from the sun, which I'm happy about.

Hopefully I won't ever have to shave her again or any future dogs that I own.
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