I've learned many things from this forum and one of those things is that shaving your lab's coat in hopes of keeping your pet cooler during the summer will have the exact opposite affect. Their coats help keep heat out while trapping cold air underneath. When shaved, the lab will actually be hotter and I think it was also stated that sunburn would be a problem as well (but I wasn't sure if that was true or not?)
So my question is, does this only apply to dogs with similar coats, or is it a bad idea to shave any dog for the sake of being cooler?
The reason I ask is because I work at a vet clinic and today a client brought in her long haired dog (some kind of mix with a black coat similar to a collie's) and asked one of my co-workers if shaving her would keep her cool during the summer. The co-worker said shaving her would definatley be a good idea. I suspect that she was only basing this off her own logic and not something she knows anything about (she a receiptionist with no clinic background, only knows what the techs and vet have told her) I could see maybe trimming the dog, but to completely shave it? I just wasn't sure if that was the right answer or not.
I was raised with Siberian Huskies. I can remember at an early age when out for walks with them, people commenting on "Ohmygosh, that poor dog. He has so much hair, you really should shave him so he can be cooler".
So totally the opposite as you stated in your post above. Huskies have 2 coats - an under insulating layer, almost like down, a second denser layer of guard hairs. By shaving him we would have ruined not only his coat, but his entire insulating effect. The 1st layer keeps the heat in in the winter, and believe it or not, insulates against the heat of the summer. Yes, Ideally, huskies are not meant for warmer climates, but they do acclimatize.
I honestly think that unless the dogs breed standard was to have it shaved , like a schnauzer, lion cuts on poodles, or if your dog rolls in tar and then burrs, just don't do it.
Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.
I have seen several dogs that had been shaved to keep them cool that ended up with sunburns! One guy shaved his golden retriever to keep her cool, took her on a hike and the dog ended up hospitalized for several days with severe sunburn as well as severe dehydration. The owner was horrified but said he only did what the BREEDER told him to do. Evidently she keeps all her dogs shaved. My short answer when people ask if they should shave their dogs is no. Keep them appropriatedly groomed and provide them with decent shelter and there shouldn't be any problems keeping them cool.
Wow such an interesting topic! i wish I had read last year! My Groomer actually suggested we shave our babies, not just to keep them cool but for the cleanliness factor in the shedding season. We really liked them shaved, they looked amazing and we didn't have to vaccuum nearly as much! I was just about to make an appointment to have them shaved for summer. it can get over 110 degrees here in early summer, and can stay that way and hotter for 2 months or more. Keeping them shaved kept all that shedding hair off the boat after they go for a swim also. We difinately thought this was a good idea. Now that I've read this, I'm really thinking twice! any other ideas?
Not to mention that traditionally longer haired breeds look stupid shaved.
A woman who lives at the top of my road shaved her Bearded Collie at the end of last summer. The dog looked so odd. That was in August. Now, 8 months later, the dog is a spitting image of an Old English Sheepdog. Its fur has not grown back in the traditional Beardie way so yes, shaving can and does ruin a coat.
No way would I shave my Labs. I can't imagine how stupid I would look, let alone them!
The way you put this cracked me up..I agree with it compeletely. I wouldn't shave my dog either. I'm sure the folks giving the advice had well meaning intentions but...Besides in all the books, and other sources I have read not one word was ever mentioned about shaving a Lab. And I have tow onder about the breeder someone mentioned that recommended shaving the dog...Originally Posted by Trickster
We do keep our Yorkie in a much shorter hair cut during the summer but not shaved. I would never shave Mocha though she has never even been to a groomer just a zoom groom and a bath at home occasionally if she needs it.
Shaving won't do anything to help with shedding - you'll just have shorter hairs being shed - that's it.
And it's already been said but heat exhaustion and sunburn are concerns with shaved dogs and the coat doesn't always grow back in correctly either.
Just a bad idea all around - but lots of people don't know it and are still doing it.
Now, if we're talking about afgahans or OES's then maybe a summer cut is in order, but NEVER a shave to keep cool.
So, what I'm getting is that no dog should be shaved (unless the breed standard calls for it.) So it bugs me then that more groomers don't know this. I realize that not all groomers get a lot of education outside of what a lion cut is or what the typical teddy bear face would look like, but this would seem like a pretty important bit of information to know. So can I feel safe to tell owners to not shave their dog if they ask? I remember now that just last week someone brought in her German Shepherd to be shaved and the poor thing looked ridiculous after it was done :-\
I don't know about all the breeds so I hate to offer any kind of blanket stmt. Maybe there is a breed out there where it would be acceptable to shave them -
but I'm unaware of one.