Should You Shave Your Dog for Summer?
Last week, we posted an article about a German Shepherd dog on our FaceBook page. The story was that the owner had taken their dog to a local groomer for grooming and the dog ended up being shaved with only his head and tip of his tail unshaved.
The owner was distraught and threatening to sue the groomers. I was a bit horrified until I read the full story and heard the groomers side of things. They stated the woman asked for this cut, they advised against it, even showing her a small patch of what it would look like, but she insisted. I had less sympathy for the owner after that – maybe she was at fault?
In most situations like this of “he said – she said”, the truth is somewhere in the middle. It’s a shame for the dog. Not only does he look goofy, but GSD’s are not meant to be shaved to the skin. A dog’s coat protects them from many things, the sun being an obvious one and rather than keeping the dog cooler for summer, his insulation is removed and his skin exposed to the sun.
Many folks said, and I agree, it comes down to owner education. I think some owners get frustrated with the care and effort required to keep a dog’s coat in shape. (Even though a GSD coat doesn’t seem too difficult to me). Shaving becomes a simple solution. While it may be better than letting your dog become matted, it’s not always the answer.
There are certainly breeds that are traditionally groomed and shaved or trimmed (poodles, obviously), but it’s not a good solution for every dog. Double-coated dogs, like Jack and Maggie should never be shaved as their double coats protect them from the elements and act as an insulator from the heat ( as well as the cold in winter). Shaving them would likely ruin the coat.
And the idea that shaving a dog will prevent shedding is just WRONG. Dogs shed…full stop. If you don’t want dog hair in your house and on your clothes, don’t get a dog, get a gekko.
Interestingly, there is evidence that some dogs actually love to rid themselves of some of their extra hair and a trim or cut actually improves their spirits. The dog in the article and many others, exhibit signs of anxiety and discomfort after being shaved. Think about how you would feel if your hairdresser shaved your head!
If you do decide to shave your dog, it’s recommended to leave at least an inch of hair to protects the dogs skin.