Don't shave that coat


It’s tempting to clip long-haired pets to keep them cool but experts say it doesn't benefit your furry friend.

The thought of having a thick fur coat in 35 °C heat might make you break out in a sweat, but in fact your pets’ fur helps keep them cool.

“A pet’s coat is like insulation for a house,” explains veterinarian Dr Louise Murray, author of Vet Confidential: An Insider’s Guide To Protecting Your Pet’s Health. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter but it also keeps it from overheating in summer – and your pet’s coat does the same thing.”

Shaving your pet can interfere with this built-in temperature regulation. Cats in particular are good at regulating their body temperature and “really get no benefit from being shaved”, veterinarian Mark Stickney says.

Cats are good at getting rid of extra body heat, he explains, and because they’re almost always more mobile than dogs they can simply move to a shadier spot when temperatures rise. Regular brushing and thorough blow-drying after bathing prevent matting and makes for a happy cat with a sleek coat.

Shaving dogs

Some dogs’ coats have several layers which are essential for their comfort in the heat. Depriving your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating.

Your dog’s coat prevents it from getting sunburn and protects it from skin cancer. Dog with thick coats, such as huskies, are particularly vulnerable. A close shave can leave guard hair (the long, course outer hair that protects the underfur) embedded under the skin. “


New hair won’t grow until these ends fall out, causing irregular growth and often resulting in skin problems,” says Linda Easton, an internationally accredited master groomer. As with kitties, regular brushing removes any loose undercoat and prevents matting, leaving your dog’s long coat in tip-top condition.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24