Now that we’re already in the middle of June and the weather is heating up, it’s only natural that we put away our winter wardrobes and opt for lighter clothes.
Unlike us, our furry friends simply can’t take off their built-in coats whenever they want, which has mistakenly led some to believe that shaving their dogs is necessary to keep them cool during the summer. But when it comes to double-coated breeds, it isn’t the best idea.
This photo of a funny-looking shaved husky has recently been going viral, but it’s a perfect example of what not to do to dogs with thicker coats during the hot months.
Breeds like huskies, golden retrievers, and Australian shepherds have a dense undercoat of short hairs to protect them from both hot and cold temperatures, so shaving them can prevent them from cooling off and put them at risk of getting a sunburn. Their top coat of longer hairs is there to repel moisture and dirt.
“In my opinion, double-coated breeds should never be shaved unless there’s a medical reason to do so, as their undercoats act as an excellent insulator against the summer heat,” wrote veterinarian Karen Becker. “It seems counterintuitive that an extra layer of fur would help a dog stay cooler, but it does. Air is a natural insulator, and air trapped between the hair follicles and hairs on your pet’s body does a really efficient job of keeping body temperature in balance.”
Instead of shaving your dog, Becker recommends giving them a “puppy cut” instead if you feel so inclined. This gets rid of excess long hair but leaves the coat intact. I personally do this every summer with my own golden retriever and it keeps him happy!
(via The Dodo)