Dog shearing is unnecessary and especially harmful. Here’s why dogs should absolutely not be sheared and how to really protect them from mugginess, sunburn, and sun rash
Shearing is a practice that is not only unnecessary but mostly harmful, based on the mistaken belief that by stripping it of its fur, the dog feels less hot in summer.
You may not know that
the dog does not sweat
like humans: it is the coat that performs the thermal function and not the sweat glands.
These, in fact, are located on the fingertips of the paws and their secretion, mostly composed of water, is almost exclusively to keep the fingertips soft and moist and not to remove excess heat.
The coat keeps your dog’s body temperature constant, and shearing only exposes him or her to the risk of heat stroke, sunburn, erythema, and dermatitis.
Dog hair and its thermoregulatory function
The hair acts as a filter for the sun’s rays, insulating the skin from external overheating, and because of its importance it should be cared for, preserved and certainly not eliminated by resorting to shearing.
Shearing in no way promotes heat dissipation but eliminates a valuable temperature conservation tool.
The dog’s coat keeps warm in winter and cool in summer.
In addition, the removal of hair, since the latter has a waterproofing capacity, increases the risk of rheumatic forms or other diseases closely related to the moisture the dog may retain when subjected to frequent contact with water.
The dog gets rid of excess heat by panting
The mechanism of thermoregulation is to increase the respiratory rate: ventilation accelerates and also increases the evaporation capacity from the surface of the lungs.
This lowers the blood temperature and, consequently, the body temperature as well.
Under normal conditions, the dog breathes through the nose.
If the outside temperature, however, rises to excessively warm levels, the dog no longer eliminates air through the nose, but does so through the mouth.
The hotter the animal is, the more it will open its mouth and stick out its tongue.
Air entering through the mouth flows over the moist surface of the tongue.
Through a rapid evaporation mechanism, it cools down.
This allows the temperature of the bloodstream to rise sooner while the systemic temperature drops.
This mechanism results in a great dispersion of body fluids so it is necessary for the dog to have fresh water (not frozen, mind you!) available at all times in order to replenish lost fluids.
What dog hair looks like
The dog’s coat consists of two types of covering:
– the fur: longer and harder, which is on the outer part, shields the dog’s body by protecting it from the sun’s rays and thus from skin burns and partly from parasites
– the undercoat: soft, woolly, and much shorter than the outer covering hair, which has the function of retaining heat
Dogs normally molt in spring and fall
Hair loss in spring serves to shed winter hair that is not needed for summer, while hair loss in fall serves to prepare the regrowth of the thicker coat for the cold season.
Shearing no but thinning yes: when to do it
If you are in the habit during the spring and summer of taking your dog out into the countryside, through meadows and woods, to the lake or to the beach, inevitably the likelihood increases that the fur will pick up dirt, vermin, dust and even the deadly bores.
If this is the case, spend some time brushing the dog and on the advice of your veterinarian, also take him to a professional groomer for a little trimming if he has particularly long hair.
The rare cases in which shearing is permitted
There are exceptions, either because of belonging to a specific breed, or for
hygienic and sanitary reasons
, which make it necessary to shear the dog’s hair.
There are some breeds of dogs, such as curly-haired dogs (see the Poodle or Bichon) whose hair is continuously growing that needs to be trimmed periodically in order to avoid the formation of knots and tangles that are impossible to untangle later.
Often and often, shearing only serves to remedy the laziness of the owner who does not brush his dog’s hair properly and with due periodicity, causing hanks to form that can no longer be unraveled except by a clean cut.
Finally, dog shearing may be necessary in extreme cases where the animal is severely infested with
A serious and competent groomer should be familiar with all breeds and hair types and be able to show the client the best way to handle their dog, refusing to comply with the owner’s erroneous requests by giving informed reasons for refusal.
Always rely on accredited professionals: your dog’s health and well-being depends on it.
And remember: your dog’s health needs to be taken care of not only from the ‘outside but also from the inside.
Taking care of a dog’s coat also requires adjusting its diet and making sure it contains all the elements needed to give vitality and vigor to the animal and consequently also to the coat.
Always seek advice from your trusted veterinarian.
In this regard, we would like to remind you that at La Veterinaria Clinic, our Staff physicians will be are always available for specialist examinations and consultations, even in August.
La Veterinaria Clinic is open every day, including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.
For the joy of seeing them happy.