Many people who call West Hartford Pet Sitters’ ask this.
First of all, do you know if your dog is single or double coated? Manny at Manny’s Pet Sitting in CA shared his findings from his local groomer and found single coated dogs are okay to shave.
Which dogs are single coated? Single coated dogs include Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers, etc. They are typically fine with their hair shaved down.
Double coated dogs, or as some call them, dogs with an “undercoat” include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Experienced groomers suggest a nice bath and blow dry and not to shave the dogs.
Why? Well, hair protects dogs from being sun burned more than those with a single coat. Erin at “Pet Grooming by Erin” also says “hair on a double-coated dog, functions as his air conditioning system. The coat will contain the cooler air in between the hair to keep the body temperature down. So, shaving down the double-coated dogs is actually not good for them, and not to mention the hair some times will grow back in patches.”
By what about fur control? Many owners also want to have their double-coated dogs shaved for shedding control. What they don’t realize is the hair will still be shedding, but just shorter. The owner will think the shorter hair doesn’t need to be brushed so when the hair grows back and tangle with the dead hair. As the result, the dog becomes a matted ball, that’s even more uncomfortable for the dog.
Erin recommends having dogs groomed every 4-6 weeks to help keep them cool in the warmer months. Most grooming facilities use a high velocity dryer to blow out all the unwanted dead hair and keep the “air way” open for the cooler air to stay between the hair to keep dogs cool.