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Please have mercy - do not shave your doggum!

Some people think shaving dogs is fun, little do they know about all implications of this act. In my opinion shaving double coated dogs should be considered animal cruelty.  Some people think shaving dogs is fun, little do they know about all implications of this act. In my opinion shaving double coated dogs should be considered animal cruelty.

As the summer approaches I see more and more completely shaved dogs. Regardless of the type of the coat i.e double coated (breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies, Border Collies, German Shepherds, etc., which have two layers of hair, fine undercoat and top coat) or not- you should never shave your dog and here is why:

1. You cannot be smarter then thousands of years of evolution and natural adaptation. Instead of helping your dog to cope with the heat by removing his hair you will actually disrupt dog's cooling system designed by nature. Dogs do not cool themselves through their skin. At most, it is only the pads of their paws that sweat. Their main mode of cooling comes from panting. Dogs' coat serves as very effective insulation both from hot and cold weather. This is especially true in the case of double coated dogs with two layers of hair, the inner fine one providing insulation and the top one that essentially protects the rest of the fur. Shaving your dog's fur you will be stripping his natural ability to cope not just with the extreme temperatures but also other environmental factors.

2. In most of the cases larger part of dogs skin lacks pigmentation making it very sensitive to sunburn and related problems. This is another reason why dogs should never be shaved. If you already shaved your dog do not use commercial sun blocks as they are normally laden with harmful chemicals. Instead try to avoid sun all together until the hair grows back or if this is not possible use coconut oil - a very efficient natural sun block.

3. The hair will grow back in most of the cases, but in some cases it may never grow back. I have seen one case of 3 year old Samoyed whose fur has not grown back 2 years after shaving. Although this is not common I am sure you don't want to take even the smallest chance. The older the dog is, the less likely it is that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This leaves them with the undercoat, giving them a patchy, scruffy look. It can alter their coat for the rest of the dog's life. Not only does it look bad, but you can end up having to shave the hair continuously from then on and once again, you strip them of their natural ability to protect themselves.

4. Shaving will not prevent dogs from shedding! Most of the dogs shed hair, even the short haired breeds and this cannot be solved with shaving. Instead of shaving frequent grooming of your pet's double coat will reduce shedding and may also keep things a lot cooler, too. Instead of cutting out matted masses, take the time to patiently and diligently brush them out.The better kept your dog's coat is, the better its air circulation will be. Proper air circulation will keep your friend feeling cool and fresh even during the most uncomfortable "dog days of summer," pun absolutely intended.

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