Should I Give My Pet a Summer Haircut?

14 July, 2018

When it gets hot outside, doggy salons fill up with owners wanting to cut their pet’s hair or fur. But is a summer haircut really necessary? If you’ve asked yourself this question before, this article will certainly give you the answer.

Should I Cut my pet’s hair during the summer?

Whether you have a cat or a dog, this question might cross your mind whenever summer approaches. You may have heard that hair makes your pet hot, but before you start snipping them scissors, you should know that hair blankets your pet in the winter and refrigerates him during the summer.

In fact, most veterinarians don’t advise getting your pet a summer haircut. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty explains:

“While humans can’t tolerate walking around in a fur coat during the summer, the hair of cats and dogs provides them relief and protection from the heat.”

A dog getting groomed

Your pet’s coat acts like a thermal insulator, preventing the heat from causing them harm. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, their fur provides a natural refrigeration system for your pet. If you get rid of it, then your pet will be exposed to higher risks of overheating.

It’s only advised to cut your pet’s hair or fur at least twice a year. This will get rid of most knots, allow the skin to breathe, and remove any old hair. Specialists recommend that you should cut your pets’ hair every fall and spring, when the temperatures are not too high or low, in order to cause your pet the least amount of harm as possible.

How can we help our pets in the summer?

Even though after reading everything on this matter and you decide not to give your pet a summer haircut, there may be one question that still remains. How can you make the summers more bearable for pets? You may think that pets experience heat the same way humans do, but it doesn’t have anything to do with its coat.

Brushing a dog's coat

Here are some tips to help your pet manage the heat:

  • Keep the house cool. Open the windows or turn on the air conditioner if you have one. You can also use a fan. This last option might not be your pet’s favorite because he might not like the blasts of air. However, if it’s your only option, your pet may still stand close to it.
  • Give your dog cold water. If the water from the faucet is too hot, or the water you give your pet turns warm quickly, don’t hesitate to add some cold water to your dog’s water bowl. Make sure it’s always clean and fresh.
  • Your pet’s bed. Your pet’s bed may be made of synthetic material that can make him hotter. Consider covering it with an old sheet or buying a new bed. It’s important that you locate it in a comfortable and relaxing place.
  • Knotted hairAs mentioned before, your pet’s coat acts as a thermal insulator that prevents him from overheating. However, if you don’t brush him that often, there could be big knots preventing the dog’s hair from doing its job. In such cases, even if it’s summer, it’s best to go ahead and cut your pet’s hair.

Now you know that there’s no need for a summer haircut in order to keep your pet comfortable. Instead, it’s a matter of taking good care of him throughout the year and finding other ways to beat the heat.