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Summer Grooming Tips for Dogs

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Many pet owners decide to shave their animals for the summer. I am surprised to see almost completely bald dogs walking outside.

The purpose of fur

Fur is there for a reason! Nature created hair to protect the skin and hence the body from the outside world. We humans got rid of our hair, because we use clothes. Even though we wear hats, most of us still have hair on our heads: why? Because our head is the most important part of our body and needs to be safe.

There are two types of dogs regarding fur: double and single coated. Double coat is the base coat and top coat. You can see they have thick fur. Dogs with single coat have no base coat: Poodles, Shitzu's and Maltese to name a few.

Single coated dogs need regular grooming and they don't shed that much fur, but no dog should be ever shaved completely bald. Small trimming does the job. If you shave the dog bald, when he gets older his protective layer might not regrow and he will lose this protection.

Fur protects from both cold and heat, by creating a layer of air trapped in the base coat. This air is isolated and keeps body temperature constant, so it acts just like the dry suit in diving. Base coat is the layer of very soft hair closest to the skin. Top coat is above the base coat and gives extra protection from wind, sun, rain and mechanical injury.

Basically if you remove all fur, you expose your dog’s skin to all what fur protects from: weather conditions (sun burn, rain, heat and cold), injuries, insects, bacteria and fungus.

If you shave your dog because it sheds fur, I personally recommend using a vacuum cleaner and combing your dog’s fur from time to time. Dogs always come with fur and you should consider this small effort when planning to live with an animal. If you are worried about your child's safety, for example because of allergies, you should clean your apartment regularly and vacuum the fur that fell off your pet.

What about Clothing?

Many people like to dress up their dogs, which might look very cute and funny, but in many cases can be another risk for your pet’s health due to lack of air ventilation in case of bad quality clothing material. Synthetic materials, specially worn long time, can make the dog’s skin prone to fungus, bacteria and hair loss. Shoes can additionally deform the paws and dogs usually dislike wearing those.

Dogs are well equipped by nature to deal with their outside world. Usually you do not have to intervene as the dog’s coat adapts itself to the environment like seasonal changes just by changing coat. I advise each dog owner to pay attention to your individual dog’s fur and skin condition and to consult with professionals like vets whether your dog might need shaving, trimming or clothing.

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