Shaving Dogs in the Summer: More Harmful than Helpful

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Royal Flush Havanese debunks the myth that shaving a dog's coat helps to keep him or her cooler in the summer.

Royal Flush Havanese's Donnie in Perfect coat

Royal Flush Havanese's Donnie in Prfect Coat

By shaving off the topcoat, a dog is more prone to both side effects of insect bites and sunburn, as well as loss of hair growth, bald patches, cowlicks, and hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Now that the summer weather has arrived in full force, the intense heat drives many dog owners to book their pooch an appointment at the grooming salon. One of the biggest misconceptions about long haired and double-coated dogs is that they can easily overheat with their longer coats intact through the summer months. Due to this misinformation, many owners choose to shave their dogs. Royal Flush Havanese shares with readers how shaving a dog’s coat can actually do more harm than good.

The Havanese breed has a double-coat, which is believed to have developed as a result of living in the tropics. This means that evolution has allowed for a coat that provides both heat retention in the winter, and cooling effects in the summer. This double-coat, although appearing dense and heavy, is actually light and silky. The first layer of hair, known as the undercoat, is composed of fine, short, and wavy hairs. This layer is used primarily for trapping air and insulation. The second layer of the coat, the topcoat, is composed of tougher hairs that protect the dog from bug bites and sunburn. By shaving off the topcoat, a dog is more prone to both side effects of insect bites and sunburn, as well as loss of hair growth, bald patches, cowlicks, and hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Double-coated dogs with fur shed their undercoat twice a year, which is why it is so important to consistently brush these breeds. In the spring, dogs shed out the dense winter undercoat, which is then replaced with a lighter undercoat meant for summer weather. It is important that owners do not think of a dog’s coat as similar to that of humans wearing a coat in the summer. Dogs do not sweat from their skin– they pant as a means of cooling down and occasionally sweat through the pads of their feet. Contrarily, the Havanese is considered to be a non-shedding breed, as they posses a coat of hair, rather than fur. This means that they shed much less than dogs with fur– a type of shedding that is easily comparable to the shedding of human hair. If the Havanese coat is not brushed consistently, they will develop mats in their coat. Because the Havanese still possesses a double-coat, they still should not be shaved.

Although shaving a dog for the summertime is not a viable method of keeping him/her cool, there are plenty of other ways to do so. For more information, check out a previous article from Royal Flush Havanese, which is titled Tips on Keeping Dogs Cool in the Summer Heat.

Royal Flush Havanese is a BBB accredited business, specializing in breeding and raising Havanese puppies born and raised in both Rhode Island and Florida. Royal Flush Havanese has been awarded a Certificate of No Complaints from the BBB and a rating of A+ for outstanding dedication to honesty in the business place, customer satisfaction, and for ethical policies and procedures. Please join us in our quest to teach others about the loyal, gentle and lovable Havanese breed. Like us on Facebook and check out our website where you can find even more helpful articles and informative tips for dog-enthusiasts and breeders alike.

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Holly Mastroianni

Holly Mastroianni
Royal Flush Havanese
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Royal Flush Havanese Holly Mastroianni