As spring and summer approach many pet parents ask me about shaving their dogs coat. Today, I want to cover some really important thoughts on this topic.
First, a little about me, in case this is your first stop by my blog. I received my certificate as a professional pet groomer in 1999 and opened my shoppe immediately, grooming hundreds of dogs and cats. Although, life happened and I did not groom for several years, I am now back and have always kept up on the grooming world.
This post is my thoughts and opinions. I know there are many groomers who are happy to shave your dog, no matter the breed, but I am not so quick to comply. If your veterinarian has stated shaving your pet is a health necessity, then we will do it, but otherwise here are my thoughts.
Yes, I know, life is busy and it is hard to find the time to properly brush and keep them in full coat. So, with a groomers help, you can properly maintain their coats and give them a trim instead of a shave.
This past weekend, as we were leaving my son's college graduation, we were in start and stop traffic. Many people in the small college town were walking their dogs and we saw a golden retriever that had recently been shaved. Tail, ears....everything. My husband knew seeing this broke my heart. From the car, I could easily see the blade marks, uneven areas and for the life of me, I can not understand why they shaved his tail?. UGH!
By leaving some fur, at least 1 inch, the dogs are fluffy and cute and protected.
Most dogs NEED their coats to prevent several issues.
1) Depending on the size and age of the dog, it can be extremely time consuming and difficult for your dog to be completely shaved down. Not to mention a huge expense.
2) Dogs will not be cooler, as their coat is a protection from the sun and heat.
3) It can lead to sunburn.
4) It can sadly, lead to skin cancer.
5) As they age, the fur can begin to grow back in patches, with very coarse patches and even bald spots.
6) Shaving them often leads to dry skin and an uneven coat.
7) I will now break the myth, your dog will shed the same amount, if you shave them or not.
I ask that if you have a dog with lots of unruly hair, feathering and a thick double coat, to please talk with your groomer about how they can use clippers with an attachment to trim all of that and make it so much easier for the dog and for you.
Groomers will also lead you to the proper brushes and combs for you to purchase and use between grooming appointments. Spending time brushing your dog weekly is great for your relationship with your pet and can be stress relieving. It is also a great time to be looking for any issues with your pets skin and see any unwanted guests.
Breeds that I will not shave without a veterinarian reason, are golden retrievers, labs, newfies, chows, shepherds, collies and the list continues, but you get the idea.
I am also cautious and will talk to the owners before I use a short blade (anything higher then a 5) on spaniels, poodles, shih tzus, maltese, and again the list continues.
Something else, I need to touch on today is, when your dog gets a trim at the groomers, do not look at them and laugh. They do understand and will feel ashamed and sad. Do not let children make fun of the dog, as it is not funny.
I see this way to often and if you are near me, I will speak up and ask that the behavior stops.
Instead, praise your dog and let them know they are handsome or beautiful. Love and respect their new look. Give them a treat and a hug.
Until next time, hand to paw.