Thinking about taking your pet to the groomer, so you can help them feel more comfortable in hot weather? Whatever you do, don’t ask the groomer to trim – or shave – your dog’s fur, to help them stay cool! That’s according to emergency veterinarian, Dr. Justine Lee. She says shaving a dog’s heavy coat may SEEM helpful when it’s hot out. But here’s why that could backfire, and even be dangerous:

First: Fur is a dog’s #1 protection from bites and scratches. Think about it: If a tick lands on your dog, for example, it has to work harder to get a meal if there’s a thick layer of fur in the way, compared to if it lands on bare skin. Plus, dogs love to explore under porches and between thick shrubs……which exposes them to lots of sharp branches and nails. Dr. Lee says they’re much less likely to get injured if there’s fur protecting their skin.

Plus, fur keeps dogs cooler than you think. Dr. Lee compares it to the insulation in your home’s walls, which helps keep the INDOOR temperature comfortable. With most dogs, fur traps a layer of air which helps keep them cooler in the summer – and warmer in the winter – just like that insulation.

Finally, let’s talk about sunburns. You know how we always recommend wearing sunscreen every day? Well, think of your dog’s coat as the ultimate sunscreen, that NEVER needs to be reapplied. Because it shields dogs from most of the dangerous U-V rays which cause everything from burns to skin cancer! It’s why Dr. Lee recommends regularly brushing your dog’s coat, NOT shaving it.