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To Shave or Not to Shave

Posted by Awesome Doggies

As pet parents, we always want to do what is best for our favorite Fido, but sometimes the information available about what is “best” is a bit confusing. One of topics we get asked about most from our San Diego mobile pet grooming clients is about whether or not the summer shave down is helpful to their pups or not.

dog-deciding-whether-or-not-to-get-a-shaveOur first assumption may be that all that dense fur must be a real burden, especially in the summer heat. After all, we’d probably be suffering if we were covered in fur so it is reasonable to think they may be suffering too.

Dog fur is different than human hair though, and made to serve different and additional purposes. Fur actually helps regulate a dog’s internal temperature in the cold and heat as well as protect them from sunburn.

In most cases it may not be necessary to shave due to heat, but there are instances where it can be helpful. Some dogs shed excessively and if  the dog has a longer coat, much of that loose fur can become trapped in the coat adding to the coat in a way that could make the temperatures uncomfortably warm.  

Another problem that could indicate a need for a shave down is matting. Some matts become so seriously entangled near the skin that the process of detangling would be too painful and could cause damage to the dog’s delicate skin to make it feasible. In this case, shaving is helpful and necessary.

If you decide that shaving is an option, here are some tips on how to do it safely.

Practice Clipper Safety

Clipper blades heat up astonishingly fast and cause damage to your dog’s skin. To avoid causing painful dermal burns, use clipper blade lubrication and rest the blades regularly throughout the grooming process. Check the heat of the blade against your arm before placing it near your dog’s fur and skin.

Leave an Inch

If you are clipping your dog’s coat yourself, leave at least an inch. By leaving a little room for error, you can avoid mistakes like clipping too short or nicking the skin. If you need it shorter, leave it to the pros. A professional groomer can take it down to 1/4” very safely, and if it is matted the groomer may have to take it shorter.

dog-to-avoid-shaving-by-being-de-shedTalk to the Professionals

If you are not sure whether to shave or not, or do not have experience in doggie shave downs, it is probably better to talk to the professionals. As mobile pet groomers we hear of many stories of the DYI groom gone wrong. Some mishaps are easily fixed while others unfortunately have caused cuts our burns. In most cases, it is just a lot easier and involves a lot less stress for you and your dog to call in a professional dog groomer. Feel free to contact us with your questions or set up an appointment.

If your aim is to avoid the shave down, regular brushing and grooming can help. We highly recommend using the FURminator de-shedding system to help prevent matting that leads to the need to shaving.

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