Should You Shave Your Dog or Not?
Summer is upon us. The heat is harsh, and seeing your furry baby panting may strike you with a desire to help them. For a lot of people the first thing that comes to mind is to get rid of all that heavy fur! And while some breeds do well with regular grooming, including a summer shave down, be sure to do your research first.
Some breeds actually need that fur as an insulator to stay cooler. And it’s not always the ones that you’d think. Extra fluffy breeds such as Samoyeds, Huskies or Malamutes are among these breeds. It has been proven that their fur can actually keep them cooler. But they are not the only ones! Other double-coated dogs, herding breeds like Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, among many others should also not be shaved down. When in doubt, ask your vet or trusted groomer.
Shaving these breeds can permanently damage their coats. And the worse part is a lot of groomers will still shave them. So just make sure to do your research before you listen to that instinct.
There are plenty of ways to help keep your pooch cool without the risk. Here are some things to keep in mind:
More Ways To Beat The Heat:
- Change the time of your walk to avoid the hottest times of day-
Early morning or late evening is best for this. If you can’t get out before work or are too tired to take them after work, look into getting a dog walker to take them when the temperatures are lower.
This also helps avoid damaging their paws. Asphalt and concrete can get very hot during the afternoons. If you do need to walk your pet during the hottest time of day always check to make sure the sidewalks are safe for them.
To do this place your hand on the sidewalk and hold it there for seven to ten seconds. If it is too hot for you, then it is too hot for them. You can get Dog Shoes For Hot Pavement to help keep their paws safe or opt to walk them in grassy areas.
- Limit how long your dog is outside-
Dogs do love to be outside, but can get heat stroke just like we can. If you can avoid leaving them outside for extended periods of time then you should. If you need to leave your dog out for more than a few minutes always take precautions.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Always be sure that your dog has PLENTY of fresh cool water available (inside and out) Check out this 5-Star rated dog water bottle. Adding ice to their water will help keep it cooler for a longer period of time.
- Make sure they have access to shade. Do not assume a dog house is an effective source of shade. Because a dog house is completely enclosed it actually will be hotter than the air outside of it. Consider putting up a shade umbrella to provide a shaded and comfortable area in your yard.
- Provide your dog with a wading pool. Fill a Sturdy Pool Just For Your Dog with water so your dog can cool down. Leave out a wet towel for them to lay on.
- Never muzzle your dog if it is being left out in the heat!
Your pet needs to pant. Panting helps to cool them and regulate their body temperature. This lowers the risk of heat stroke.
- Never, ever, ever leave your dog in your car-
Even with the window cracked temperatures in your car are sweltering and can raise quickly. And even if it is only for a few minutes your dog will not be comfortable, and it can lead quickly to severe problems…even death.
Don’t Forget To Cool Them Off From The Inside!
Provide them with cooling treats! Here are a few of my favorites:
Ice cubes- Super simple but most dogs still love them! A cool twist for this is to fill your tray with salt-free chicken or beef broth. You can give them as treats, pop them in their water bowls, or even add them to their dry kibble.
Cooled/frozen veggies- My dogs love cold carrots. I have also heard of people using frozen peas, apples, bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. Find the thing your dog loves and cool it down.
Frozen baby food pops are another good idea – Just be sure to make sure that you use baby food that does not contain anything that is toxic to dogs!
Try these two pup-favorites:
Yummy Yogurt and Berries Dog Treats
Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Treats
You can also use any of these as fillings for your Kong Toys. Just put them into the Kong before the freezing process. YUM for your dog!
With these tips, you and you special fur-friend should have a fun (and cool) summer!