Shaving Your Pet for Summer? Maybe You Shouldn’t

Shaving Your Pet for Summer?

(Think Again)

Are you thinking of shaving your pet for summer? Maybe you already have. But, even though it makes sense, it might not be such a great idea after all.

Shaving Your Pet for Summer? -- Maybe You Shouldn't
Deb Gray, Flickr


An animal’s coat is designed to protect it, whether that means keeping it warm in the winter or keeping it cool in the summertime. Shaving your pet for summer may interfere with the way nature intended to regulate the animal’s body temperature.

Dogs’ coats are nature’s way of providing them with heat relief — like insulation.  They have several layers of fur that are essential to your their comfort in the different weather temperatures, and that includes heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheat the dog.

Most experts recommend against shaving your pets for summer, though there are exceptions. Share on X
Shaving Your Pet for Summer? -- Maybe You Shouldn't
Myri Bonnie, Flickr

Cats usually get away with not being shaved by their owners, which is a good thing.  It’s easier for their bodies to shed some extra body heat than it is for dogs anyway. Cats will usually just get up and walk away from any hot area outdoors, or near a sunny window, into a cooler spot. There is no good reason to shave your healthy cat.

If there are exceptions about shaving your pet for summer, it will more than likely be with your dog. Although dogs’ coats are meant to regulate their body temperature like cats’ coats do, some dogs do have thicker coats than others. These may be dogs that may have initially originated in colder regions of the world.

Products to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

If your dog has thick, long hair, then they may need a little help during the hotter periods of intense summer heat.  Consider giving them a “summer trim,” leaving about an inch of hair behind though, to prevent possible sunburn. I recommend getting a dog groomer to do the job.

Dogs with thick coats naturally shed so that they have a lighter coat in the summer. Get a good quality dog brush for grooming to keep your dog’s fur-free from matting and to help shed more hair. A well-brushed fur coat allows for better air circulation.

Never shave a short-haired dog. There’s no point, and it puts your dog at risk for sunburn.

Shaving Your Pet for Summer? -- Maybe You Shouldn't
Ricky Brigante, Flickr

Also, if your dog has matted hair, or hot spots, shaving your pet for summer might be recommended, but please seek the advice of your veterinarian first.

Heatstroke in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention

Do your best to keep your pets cool in hot weather by keeping fresh, clean water nearby at all times, keep them inside in extreme weather, and NEVER leave them in the car on a hot day.  Take them for a swim, or get a kiddy pool in your backyard. They love this!

Have a fun, safe summer!

Sources: WebMD  ♦  ASPCA

Shaving Your Pet for Summer? -- Maybe You Shouldn't. #PetHealth #Dogs #Cats Share on X

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Do you groom your pet differently in the summertime?
Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

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26 thoughts on “Shaving Your Pet for Summer? Maybe You Shouldn’t”

  1. I like that you said that dogs with long fur need to be shaved during summer. Our cat is pregnant and I am hesitant to cut her hair. It would be nice to get some advice from a cat grooming service to help us out.

  2. We once had a collie with very long fur and she was so hot in the summer. But, we never thought of shaving her. I have heard of folks who do this and it seemed like a bad idea because of the risk of sunburn and skin irritation. I hope people see your article before they make their decision.

    • Thank you for visiting my blog, Melody. Nice to have you here. I’m glad you didn’t shave your collie. It seems like people didn’t do much of that some time ago. I wonder if it’s a trend? I know the collie coat and it does look like it would be hot. Grooming is the best way to go. Thanks again! Ciao for now.

  3. Such an important reminder not to over-groom our pets, thank you! Years ago, with my first long-haired dog, my vet warned me against shaving its fur. The best thing we do for our dogs is to brush and comb them daily, no need for a haircut!

  4. This is great advice! Mom takes Taffy to the groomer because she’s a Cocker. She does get her coat trimmed pretty short but not sure if she is shaved too much so we need to figure this out. Love Dolly

    • Since cutting hair shorter in summer is common in humans, we naturally assume it’s okay for dogs too. Thank you for including me on our A-Z road trip. Off to go visit you site now. 🙂

  5. Absolutely agree with this post; double coated breeds should never be shaved. I understand why people do it, looking at a Husky it’s easy to imagine they’re super hot in the summer, but all that fur not only helps keep them warm in the winter it cools them off in the summer.

    • That’s right, Jen. It’s just the opposite of what a person might think. Hopefully, they would consult with an expert first, and get steered in the right direction. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you!

      • I’ve also heard a lot of grooming horror stories when it comes to shaving double coated breeds; that fur doesn’t always grow back correctly. Many times it takes years to get back to it’s “normal” state and they’re left with just the dense undercoat. I am glad there’s more attention being paid to this; I’ve seen far too many shaved Huskies & Goldens around here but I certainly don’t want to confront them about it in person.

        • I’ve heard grooming horror stories too. You’re right, often the coats don’t grow back correctly. That’s so unfortunate. I know what you mean about not wanting to confront people about their shaven dogs. It’s a difficult place to be. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you’re aware of the issues with shaving dogs in the summer. 🙂

  6. Jeanne, I’ve always wondered if it was in the animal’s best interest to shave off their coat in the summer. They always seem to suffer so afterwards–with itching, sunburn, etc.

  7. There are days when I want to shave my head from this heat. This is a cool topic that I haven’t read much about and good tips for pet-owners, but alas, not me!

    • I hear ya, Dorit. I shave my husband’s head (at his request). He’s a runner with very thick hair and needs it. Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I’m glad you stopped by. 🙂


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