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Ask a Groomer: Should I shave my dog?

Should I Shave my Golden Retriever to keep him cool in the summer?
-Laurie M.

We hear that question all the time in grooming! There are several risks when shaving a double coat breed like a Golden Retriever.

First, dogs only sweat from their paws so having a long coat doesn’t generally significantly affect their body temperature.

Unfortunately, sometimes the hair will not grow back the same, meaning your dog’s coat may be sparse and coarse.  You also run the risk of your dog over heating, which sounds like the opposite of what you would expect, but let me explain why

Double coated breeds (like golden retrievers and corgis) have two layers of fur.

  • The outer layer is a coarse coat which protects them from the heat and sun.
  • The under coat is thicker and softer and keeps them warm in the cold. 

Some people prefer to shave their dogs to prevent the shedding and keep their dog cool, but when you do that you remove both their air conditioner as well as their heater. This means your dog may actually be warmer, and can even overheat on hot summer days when shaved.

A deshed is the perfect solution since it removes that undercoat while leaving their top coat, their air conditioning layer.

golden retriever de-shed at bayside pet resort of osprey

If the undercoat is left to build up it can make your dog hot, which is why regular brushing is vital as the weather gets warmer. Our Deshed process includes a Low-Shed shampoo and Deshedding conditioner, which work together to loosen the follicles of the undercoat.  We then use a combination of brushing and blow drying to get that undercoat out, keeping your dog nice and cool!

When done regularly (every 6-8 weeks) a deshed can reduce shedding up to 90%! Your dogs coat will feel softer and lighter, while still being beautiful and shiny.

by Aubrey Bird, Grooming Manager
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