Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Would Hair Cut Keep Dogs Cool?

Dear Porky and Buddy,
Last year, I adopted Buster, a true “Oswego County Muttin Terrier.” When he came home with me most of his coat had been clipped very short because I guess he was very matted when he was first rescued.

But since then, his coat has grown back and it is gorgeous but very long.

I am thinking in this summer heat, maybe I should get him clipped right down very short again.

Is that a good idea?

I can’t imagine wearing a fur coat now.

Dear Jack,
What an interesting question.

It sure seems like a logical thing to do, but we didn’t really know for sure so we asked our friends at the ASPCA and here is what they told us.

A dog’s coat functions the same way as insulation for your house.

Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer. And, your dog’s coat does the same thing.

Dogs’ coats have several layers and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat.

Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating.

So no, shaving him or clipping his coat very short is not a great idea.

Buster’s coat also prevents him  from getting sunburn and helps protect him from skin cancer.

For more protection  from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of his nose, the tips of his ears and his belly.

There are better ways to manage Buster’s coat to keep him cool, simply trimming and brushing.

It’s OK to trim his long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs.

That isn’t necessary for the insulating effect of his main coat.

And brush him lots to remove any shedding hair.

He probably loves to be brushed anyway so you will get some extra bonding time and he will (we hope) adore you even more.

And most important, keep Buster inside as much as possible with plenty of water during these hot days.

And you should be drinking lots of water too!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone (315) 207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because people and pets are good for each other!