Double Coated Dogs: To Shave or Not To Shave? - PetWow

Before deciding to have a groomer shave your pet’s coat, it’s important to know whether your canine has a coat of hair or a double coat. A double coat is a combination of fur and hair. And while some dogs with long hair may require regular trimming of their coat, some definitely shouldn’t be shaved!

Keeping Cool

It’s important to note that shaving any dog for the summer months will not necessarily help him stay cool. Why not? Because dogs don’t sweat through their skin like people do. Dogs stay cool mostly by panting and also by sweating, but only though their paw pads. Grooming your dogs, however, is always an important part of their care, especially bathing and brushing. Grooming not only ensures that they look their best, but you’re also making sure their coats don’t become tangled or matted, and that they are free of parasites such as fleas and ticks.

What’s in a Coat?

Next, you need to determine if your pet has a coat of hair or a double coat. Hair is coarse, uniformly about the same length, and you’ll be able to see the skin between the individual hairs as you brush them to one side. Fur, on the other hand, is very soft and fluffy – almost like cotton, and it lies close to the skin. Dogs with double coats will have both the soft, fluffy fur and the coarse hair. While dogs with longer hair may be safely shaved to diminish the effects of shedding, pooches with double coats should not be shaved, and here’s why.

Purpose of a Double Coat

Shaving a dog’s under-coat of fur takes away his body’s natural means of keeping heat out in warm weather and retaining body heat in cold weather. As well, shaving a double-coated dog shortens the longer coat of hair that covers the fur. The hair actually helps to protect a canine’s skin from sunburn and insects like mosquitoes, fleas and ticks.

Finally, shaving a double-coated dog could result in limited re-growth of their hair, especially if your pet is older than five years of age. And when shaved hair regrows unevenly, your dog’s coat can look patchy and scruffy. Besides, a patchy, uneven coat may expose your pet’s skin to harmful sun rays and parasites.


As always, if you are unsure about any form of care for your dogs — including grooming — check with your veterinarian. What can PetWow do for you? Since 1998, our fully mobile Home Veterinary Care has offered top-notch animal care, and we also provide round-trip transportation for animals to be groomed at our location. Schedule an appointment today by calling 513-738-9691 or email For more pet care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn!

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