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It's hot and humid, maybe my dog would benefit from having it's coat cut short for the summer?

It's hot and humid, maybe my dog would benefit from having it's coat cut short for the summer?

I'm sure, if you have a dog with a long or thick coat, you've considered giving their coat a trim.  Surely a shorter coat would keep your furry friend cooler in the summer months when it's so hot and humid?

In short, the answer is No, don't do it.  It's important to remember that not all dogs require the same level of maintenance. 

Some breeds are blessed with low-maintenance coats that naturally regulate temperature and protect them from the elements. Those breeds that do require regular grooming, should still be groomed but just to the coat-length that they are usually groomed to. In hot weather, the temptation to groom or over-groom may arise, but it's crucial to resist the urge. Let's explore the reasons why you should leave well-coated breeds alone, even in hot and humid temperatures.

  • Natural Insulation: Certain dog breeds, such as Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and even your collies and retrievers, come equipped with thick, double coats that provide insulation against both cold and hot temperatures. These coats act as a natural barrier, helping to regulate body temperature and protect the dog from the heat. Grooming these breeds excessively can compromise their natural insulation, making them more susceptible to temperature extremes.
  • Sun Protection: Believe it or not, a dog's coat can provide protection against the sun's harmful UV rays.  Breeds with dense or long fur have a built-in sunblock that shields their skin from direct sunlight.  Excessive grooming, especially shaving, can strip away this protective layer, exposing their skin to potential sunburn and heat-related issues.  If you have a short-coat breed dog or a dog lacking overall hair-to-skin coverage you should be applying dog-specific sunblock to the exposed skin and keeping them out of the direct heat during the day.
  • Coat Health: Dogs with thick coats have an unique self-cleaning mechanism. Their fur helps to repel dirt, debris, and even parasites. Over-grooming can disrupt this natural process, potentially leading to skin irritations and infections.  If your dog is one that likes to roll around in mud or has decided diving into dead fish on the beach is a fun activity - then you're better to focus on washing and cleaning rather that cutting their fur short.

While the desire to pamper our dogs is commendable, it's crucial to recognise that not all dog breeds require grooming and coat-cutting, even in hot weather. Breeds with thick, low-maintenance coats have evolved to manage their own hygiene and temperature regulation. So, next time you're tempted to trim that thick coat, remember: sometimes, less is more.  Keeping them in the shade and providing fresh water is far more beneficial.

About Fiona: 

Fiona is a certified dog trainer with a passion for animals. She holds several qualifications, including a Canine Behaviour and Training Certificate, a Pet First Aid Certification, an online Puppy Trainer Certification, and a Certificate in Companion Animals. Previously, she worked in senior positions in change management, sales, and continuous improvement. Fiona is now a co-owner of K9 FUNdamentals, where she applies her passion for positive outcomes to create memorable experiences for your furry family members. To learn more, visit https://www.k9fundamentals.co.nz

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It's hot and humid, maybe my dog would benefit from having it's coat cut short for the summer?

It's hot and humid, maybe my dog would benefit from having it's coat cut short for the summer?

I'm sure, if you have a dog with a long or thick coat, you've considered giving their coat a trim. Surely a shorter coat would keep your furry friend...

Read More