As summer temperatures rise, many dog owners consider shaving their pets to help them stay cool. However, shaving your dog isn’t always the best solution and can sometimes do more harm than good. This article explores whether you should shave your dog in the summer and offers alternatives to keep your furry friend comfortable.

Understanding Your Dog’s Coat

Dogs have different types of coats, each serving specific purposes:

  1. Double-Coated Dogs: Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Huskies, and German Shepherds have a double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a topcoat. The undercoat provides insulation, while the topcoat protects against sunburn and insect bites.
  2. Single-Coated Dogs: Breeds like Poodles and Boxers have a single layer of fur, which may grow continuously and require regular grooming.

The Function of a Dog’s Coat

A dog’s coat plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature. For double-coated breeds, the fur acts as insulation against both cold and heat. The undercoat traps cool air, while the topcoat prevents overheating by reflecting sunlight. Shaving these dogs can disrupt their natural ability to regulate temperature and expose their skin to harmful UV rays. Most of times, Dogs should not be shaved and here are some breeds for which it is not recommended to shave:

Akita, Border Collie, Chow Chow, German Shephed, Husky, Pomeranian, Samoyede, Shetland, Shiba Ina, Labrador and other short-haired dogs

Risks of Shaving Your Dog

  1. Heat Stroke: Shaving a double-coated dog can remove the protective barrier that helps them stay cool, increasing the risk of heat stroke.
  2. Sunburn: Without their fur, dogs are more susceptible to sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer and other health issues.
  3. Skin Irritation: Shaving can cause skin irritation and itching, leading to discomfort and potential infections.
  4. Coat Damage: Shaving can damage the hair follicles, leading to improper regrowth and a patchy or uneven coat.

When Shaving Might Be Appropriate

In some cases, shaving might be necessary or beneficial:

  1. Medical Reasons: Conditions like severe matting, skin infections, or surgery may require shaving.
  2. Single-Coated Dogs: Dogs with single coats may benefit from a trim to reduce shedding and keep them cool, but shaving is still not usually recommended.
  3. Special Cases: Dogs with specific needs, such as elderly or sick dogs, might benefit from a light trim for easier care and hygiene.

Alternatives to Shaving

Instead of shaving, consider these alternatives to keep your dog cool and comfortable:

  1. Regular Grooming: Brush your dog’s coat regularly to remove loose fur and prevent matting. This helps improve air circulation and keeps your dog cooler.
  2. Hydration: Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.
  3. Shade and Cool Areas: Provide shaded areas and cool spots in your home or yard where your dog can escape the heat.
  4. Cooling Products: Use cooling mats, vests, or bandanas designed to help regulate your dog’s body temperature.
  5. Avoid Overexertion: Limit exercise during the hottest parts of the day and opt for early morning or late evening walks.


Shaving your dog in the summer is not usually recommended, especially for double-coated breeds, as it can disrupt their natural ability to regulate temperature and expose them to additional risks. Instead, focus on regular grooming, providing shade and water, and using cooling products to help your dog stay comfortable and safe during the hot months.


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