Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's Harmful To Shave Your Dog For The Summer?

Tips on Keeping Dogs Cool in The Summer Heat from Royal Flush Havanese

Royal Flush Havanese shares some important information regarding how to keep one's dog cool in the summer heat.

Now that the summer weather has arrived in full force, the intense heat drives many dog owners to book their pooch an appointment at the grooming salon. One of the biggest misconceptions about long haired and double-coated dogs is that they can easily overheat with their longer coats intact through the summer months. Due to this misinformation, many owners choose to shave their dogs. Royal Flush Havanese shares with readers how shaving a dog’s coat can actually do more harm than good.

The Havanese breed has a double-coat, which is believed to have developed as a result of living in the tropics. This means that evolution has allowed for a coat that provides both heat retention in the winter, and cooling effects in the summer. This double-coat, although appearing dense and heavy, is actually light and silky. The first layer of hair, known as the undercoat, is composed of fine, short, and wavy hairs. This layer is used primarily for trapping air and insulation. The second layer of the coat, the topcoat, is composed of tougher hairs that protect the dog from bug bites and sunburn. By shaving off the topcoat, a dog is more prone to both side effects of insect bites and sunburn, as well as loss of hair growth, bald patches, cowlicks, and hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Double-coated dogs with fur shed their undercoat twice a year, which is why it is so important to consistently brush these breeds. In the spring, dogs shed out the dense winter undercoat, which is then replaced with a lighter undercoat meant for summer weather. It is important that owners do not think of a dog’s coat as similar to that of humans wearing a coat in the summer. Dogs do not sweat from their skin– they pant as a means of cooling down and occasionally sweat through the pads of their feet. Contrarily, the Havanese is considered to be a non-shedding breed, as they posses a coat of hair, rather than fur. This means that they shed much less than dogs with fur– a type of shedding that is easily comparable to the shedding of human hair. If the Havanese coat is not brushed consistently, they will develop mats in their coat. Because the Havanese still possesses a double-coat, they still should not be shaved.
Although shaving a dog for the summertime is not a viable method of keeping him/her cool, there are plenty of other ways to do so. For more information, check out a previous article from Royal Flush Havanese, which is titled Tips on Keeping Dogs Cool in the Summer Heat.

 Royal Flush Havanese recognizes that summer is an ideal time for dogs to be outside enjoying the weather; however, extreme temperatures and overexposure to the sun can be detrimental to any dog’s health. Following some simple guidelines during the hot days of the year will keep both pet owners and their companions happy and healthy throughout the “dog days” of summer.
        Fresh water is the single most important resource a pet and his owner can have! Drinking water for any dog should be kept at room temperature or slightly cooler. Keeping dogs properly hydrated is the key to maintaining their good health - especially during the hot summer months. If a dog will not drink from his bowl very often, get creative! There are many different recipes for dog treats that will hydrate while providing entertainment. Ice pops made with frozen chicken or beef broth are one of most simple and tasty options! These also work well to help cool off an already hot dog. Outdoor showers, hoses, or even sprinklers can be used to keep a dog cool as well and provide playtime. When running cold water on a dog,Royal Flush Havanese suggests pouring the water over the dogs’ paws first, working up to his back and head. If a dog does not like the feel of water, cloths can be dampened with cool water and placed on a dog’s fur, specifically in areas such as the neck, armpits, and on the pads of his feet.
    One of the most common and potentially catastrophic mistakes a dog owner can make is leaving his dog in the car during a hot day. Even if it is just for a few minutes, and regardless of whether the windows are left down, a car can heat up just like the inside of an oven. If the outside temperature is 85°, the inside of a car can heat up to 120° in only 30 minutes! If a trip in warm weather will involve leaving a dog in the car, it is far better to leave him home in a cool place.
    Another danger in hot weather for dogs is heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke include panting, drooling, vomiting, dark red tongue with pale gums, disorientation and lethargy. Dogs with short noses and those that are very old or very young are most susceptible. If a dog is exposed to especially warm conditions, it is very important to be vigilant and check for any of these symptoms. If he is showing signs of stress due to heat, call a local veterinarian and try to keep the dog cool by employing the methods described above. However, never use ice or ice water as this can make the heat stroke worse.
    There are several other simple preventative measures dog owners can take to keep their pets cool and protected from the sun throughout the summer. Dogs with darker coloring absorb more heat than dogs of a lighter color, and may be less tolerant to sun exposure. Longhaired dogs can also retain more heat within their coat. Giving long-haired dogs a summer ‘haircut’ will help keep them cool. An ideal trim will leave a dog’s coat length no shorter than one inch, as anything under this length can result in sunburn.
    Finally, always try to walk dogs during the cooler parts of the day, such as after sunset and early morning when air and surface temperatures are lower. Beyond quickly capturing and radiating heat, sand and pavement can burn the paw pads of any dog. While doggie boots are available specifically to guard against burns, walks during cooler parts of the day are a better alternative, as well as allowing the dog to walk on grass.
    Despite all the potential dangers posed by heat – especially in the summer, the warm weather is a perfect opportunity for all dog owners to get outdoors and spend quality time with their canine companions. Activities such as swimming are a smart way to combine exercise with keeping cool in the heat, as well as providing a fulfilling bonding experience between dogs and their owners. Understanding and knowing how to minimize the risks summer heat poses to dogs allows for a happy and rewarding summer for all.


Shawncowwen said...

That was totally awesome! I loved your blog and you right amazing things. Pets have to be taken good care and we should our self understand their problems.

Vet clinic lincoln ne said...

It's a nice blog with nice post. I would like to visit this blog again... Keep writing
veterinarian lincoln ne