To trim or not to trim: that is the question. For a lot of us, summertime brings with it an abundance of sweltering temperatures. People often like to beat the heat by cutting their hair shorter in the warmer months which provides us with some sweet relief. While we often assume that cutting our dogs’ fur would yield a similar result, is that necessarily the case?
Determining whether you should cut or shave your dog’s fur largely depends on their breed and if they have a single or a double coat. Double coats indicate two separate fur layers, with a shorter, denser layer of fur on the interior and a longer, protective layer on the exterior, also known as the “guard layer.” Double coats naturally provide temperature regulating properties to dogs, and thus you should avoid shaving double-coated breeds.
Some common double-coated dog breeds include Siberian Huskies, all collies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Samoyeds, German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers, but a simple google search should help you determine your pup’s coat type if you are uncertain.
Single-coated breeds only have a single layer of hair, like humans, and therefore you can trim or shave those types of dogs, but you should always be wary not to trim their fur too short: the golden rule is to not trim or shave your dog’s fur shorter than an inch in length. This is because fur provides all dogs with protection from the sun (think sunburn and heatstroke), insects, and skin infections, among other things.