To shave or not to shave? That is one question that plagues pet parents all over the world, especially with temperatures outside soaring every day!
Summers have arrived in full swing with the heat and blaze beating us down. We are all ready to strip down to our shorts and swimsuits, and while it may seem natural to shave off our pet’s coat as well, is it really going to help them?
Most experts recommend against shaving your pets, whether cats or dogs. There might be some exceptions to the rule, but there is a simple reason behind not shaving them: your pet’s hair isn’t the same as yours.
Why you shouldn’t shave your pet’s hair
A dog’s coat is extremely important to keeping them cool and comfortable when the temperatures outside go up. Shaving their coat, no matter how thick, may actually end up harming them. That’s because it will end up removing their protective topcoat and leaves them vulnerable to insect bites, sunburns, heat strokes, or sometimes even skin cancer.
Shaving a dog that has two layers of coat can also result in some patches of hair that don’t grow back. Sometimes the undercoat might end up growing faster than the topcoat, resulting in hair follicle damage.
Your pet’s coat is designed to keep it cool during the summer season and warm in the harsh winters. If you shave your pets, you end up interfering with their temperature regulation. Cats especially are great at regulating their body heat, and will get no benefit if they are shaved.
How else can you keep your pet cool in the summer?
Not shaving your pet doesn’t mean you cannot groom them. Groom your pet regularly. Brush their fur, give them nice baths. If their coat is clean, it will improve air circulation, keeping them cool and comfortable. You should also groom your pets if they have long hair so that it is more manageable during the summers.
Always keep them close to unlimited access of cool water. Just like us, pets also need to stay hydrated, and drinking fresh cool water, especially after they’ve been outdoors, will help them cool down. Also make sure they have access to shade when outside during the summer, so they can get a break from the heat.
Introducing coconut oil in their meals can also help their coats grow nicely. Try and schedule their walks during the time when the sun is at its lowest, like early morning or late evening. Add yoghurt and watermelon (without the seeds) in their diet to keep their bodies cooler. You could also try making some cool treats for them at home.
Do you have any other tips to share? Do let us know!