Is It OK To Shave Your Dog’s Coat In The Summer?


Summer is fast approaching. But, summers aren’t like they used to be. In the last couple of years, everything seems to be suffering during those few hot months, including we hoomans. However, we can’t forget about our canine buddies, too. 

I’m sure it’s pretty hot under those coats, no matter if they’re double or single coats. 

I know how most owners think. We all know that it’s not okay to wash our dogs all the time. If there was just any other way to help them cool down. 

Wait… what about shaving the coat? Is that a thing? Can we shave our dogs’ coat no matter their breed?

This isn’t really a yes or no question. To answer it, we’ll need to go through several things because in most cases, it’s not okay to shave a dog. But, sometimes, that’s absolutely fine. 

Let’s step into the summer together, paw in paw!

When Is It OK To Shave Your Dog?

Woman trimming a small dog with scissors in a grooming salon

Technically, there are several dog breeds that have a green light for shaving in summer months. However, the practice has shown other hairstyles that are more comfortable and more suitable for summer than shaving. 

If it’s really necessary, you can shave dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies, and Lhasa Apsos. What makes these breeds different from others is the fact that they have hair instead of fur like most dogs. 

Yes, they’re all hypoallergenic, too!

Poodles can often be seen featuring a somewhat shaved look. Those are fancy hairstyles done by professional groomers. Yorkies fall into this category, too! 

If it’s really that hot in your area and you don’t plan to spend a lot of time outside in the burning sun, then you can shave your dog. 

Most double-coated dogs can be shaved, too, but groomers still advise you pick the summer cut, which is usually just 1-inch short hair, instead of a fully-shaved look. 

In the following section, we’ll discuss shaving further, why it’s not okay, and how to deal with summer heat.

Why Is It Not Okay To Shave A Dog’s Coat?

groomer tidies up a spitz dog

Dogs don’t sweat like hoomans do. We have sweat glands all over our body, but dogs sweat through other parts of their body.

No, it’s not their tongue. It’s completely wrong to assume that dogs sweat through their tongue. 

In fact, it’s their paw pads and nose that sweat a lot.

As you can see, shaving your dog to reduce sweating really has no point. No breed would sweat through its back or belly. A shave is a haircut just to make them feel lighter and agile during hot months.

The whole point of a dog’s coat is to protect it from outside factors like cold and heat. To be precise, during summer months, the coat works as an isolator against solar heating.

Once you shave your dog’s coat, you’re leaving his skin exposed, and the extreme UV factors could do so much damage to it, including forming cancerous cells. Your dog could easily suffer from a sunburn or, God forbid, melanoma skin cancer.

On top of everything, a lot of dog breeds could end up with a damaged coat. When you shave the coat, you damage hair follicles, and they could grow out weaker; thus, making your dog’s entire coat look scruffy.

How To Deal With Heat In The Summer

A Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier sitting in grassy ground

First and foremost, do you really have to go outside when it’s too hot? It’s equally hot for your dog, too, so why should you leave at noon to go to the park? Pick mornings and evenings instead, when the heat wears down. 

There are several ways to ease your dog’s summer issues:

  • Provide enough water
  • Play fun games in the pool or with sprinklers
  • Apply sunscreen meant for dogs
  • Exercise less
  • Snooze inside on wet towels
  • Or, simply read our Guide On Making Summer Easy for dogs.

To Sum Up…

The bottom line is, if you really don’t need to shave your dog for the summer, just don’t. 

The one-inch haircut is a much happier choice for your dog and you’ll be grateful, too, because grooming is almost non-existent.

Shaved dogs are at high risk of getting sunburned, developing skin cancer, overheating, and ending up with a poor-quality coat when it grows out. 

So, don’t think your dog will be any cooler when you shave him. That’s not how things work with dogs. It’s hydration, shady places, and refreshments that help them feel refreshed during hot months.