Many pet owners figure that their pet’s comfort level during the summer is directly related to the length of their fur, and while that may be true in some cases, in other breeds shaving their fur will actually add to their discomfort. For dog breeds that have a double coat, shaving can cause damage to the dense undercoat that can never be repaired. If you are unsure if your dog has a double coat, ask a professional groomer or your dog’s veterinarian. In general, no dog should be shaved down to bare skin unless absolutely necessary as they may sunburn without their fur to protect their skin. Double coated dogs should have their coat brushed on a regular basis using an undercoat brush to remove loose, dead fur. Double coated dogs commonly do a complete shed about twice a year (in spring and fall) and may require daily brushing during these times. A professional groomer can often alleviate shedding during these times with a thorough bath and undercoat brush out. Never use scissors on your pet’s fur as injuries can result; leave trimming to a professional. If your pet experiences matted fur, seek the assistance of a groomer or veterinarian as sores and infection are common with matted fur. Always keep your dog’s tolerance level for grooming in mind when you brush them and keep grooming times short and fun. Over brushing or using the wrong brush can result in damage to the skin and coat. Never use human shampoo products on your pet when bathing and make certain that your pet is thoroughly rinsed and dried. When in doubt, seek the assistance and advice of a professional.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on summer-time grooming or visit: http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-information/dog-groomer-salzberg/dog-shaving-debate.aspx
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff