All the rage – the summer look for dogs
Would a human feel comfortable in a thick winter coat when it’s 30 degrees in the shade? No way. But dogs have no choice. They can’t just take their fur coat off. That’s why ever more dog owners are giving their four-legged friends a smart, short haircut to ease “the dog days of summer”. The experts from Maxi Zoo explain what to bear in mind when doing this.
In contrast to us humans, dogs can’t generate evaporative cooling by sweating. They actually only have a very few sweat glands, on the paws and the bridge of the nose, which hardly make any difference. So their only option is panting or seeking out a shadowy spot when the thermometer starts climbing. And in hot, humid weather even panting scarcely keeps them cool.
Trim your tail-wagger
That’s why, alongside the northern breeds such as huskies or Samoyeds, particularly long haired dogs suffer during the summery “dog days”. Heat is retained in their thick fur to an extent many times more than normal so that a heat collapse can easily occur. More and more dog owners are pooh-poohing the perfect look and desirable breed standards and are giving their four-legged fur coats a crew-cut. The refreshing summer look is recommended for e.g. Tibetan Terriers, Bobtails, Bernese mountain dogs, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, Sheepdogs and similar breeds and of course long-haired mongrels. However, it’s important not to cut the coat too short so that the sensitive dog skin is protected from sun burning. To be absolutely sure, you can also pull a T-shirt on over your four-legged companion for the first few days during strong sunshine.
Do it yourself!
Unless you’re all fingers and thumbs you can, of course, do it yourself. However, as the handling of shearing equipment isn’t quite that simple, you should first get some advice from a dog hairdresser or a specialist shop. An expert will use different shears depending on breed or type of coat. For instance, there are short, long and bent shears as well as electric shears and any number of shearing heads. An expert can also explain to you how to trim coarse and wiry haired dogs like Dachshunds or Fox Terriers. Instead of cutting the hair off, the dense underwool is plucked out with the fingers or a special trimming knife.
Shampoo, smooth then shear!
Before shearing, you should wash your pet with dog shampoo. Brushing and combing beforehand also makes cutting easier. In fact, some dogs are irritated when they’ve then become one or two pounds lighter but when they get used to the new sensation they enjoy the airy summer-look all the more. Swimming is now even more fun and they will dry off more quickly after bathing. Apart from that, leaves, parasites or dirt don’t become so easily embedded in their fur. And the chic crew-cut has yet another advantage: older dogs look years younger.