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To shave, or not to shave...
a question for the pet guru's!

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9 replies to this topic

#1 jodi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

I have a 10 month old St Bernard x Macedonian Mountain Dog... we currently live in Qld and it is now tick season... I am seriously considering getting Emmett shaved, both to help with tick prevention and detection... and to help keep him cool.

The issue is, he actually has a 'double coat' which is designed to help insulate him... is he better off with his full coat, or is a good shave in order?

#2 aprilrain

Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have an aquaintance with a chou chou, with the insulated coat. He mentioned he specifically doesn't clip him as he copes much better with it grown. I'm in Bris and often see them walking.

Maybe call a breeder.

#3 TarneeW

Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

I'm no expert and I'm sure most will say don't, but we have an Alaskan Malamute (with a double coat) an have been shaving him for years during summer. He is a different dog when shaved and DH and I feel it made a huge difference to his comfort. He used to (he's 11 now) bound around/play etc more so than usual.

We were told not to shave him mainly for aesthetic reasons (his coat wouldn't grow back the same etc) and never had a problem. Only problem is, it's so expensive to get it done.... Oh & when it's done he looks very silly! Kind of like he's wearing a skivy with his big fluffy head & tail sticking out biggrin.gif

#4 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

The double coat is insulating - which means it serves the purpose of keeping the external temperature (whether hot or cold) out, just like the batts in your roof.

So no, I wouldn't clip unless I had a very good reason to, such as surgery. FWIW, I have two Norwegian Elkhounds, that I don't clip, and they've been fine in the 30+ week we've just had. All you need to do is make sure they have shade, plenty of water for drinking and maybe a splash pool for dipping feet and tummies in, and if you're really wanting to provide additional cooling, a nice wet towel to lie on in the shade is also fun for most dogs. And its cold on their tummies. wink.gif

#5 FiveAus

Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:26 AM

If you are worried about him overheating, give him somewhere cool to lie, and keep his water topped up. Also use an undercoat rake to remove as much loose undercoat as possible.

If you are worried about ticks, use tick prevention and groom him daily (which is good pet care anyway). That way if a tick gets past the first line of defence, you'll find it in your grooming session.

His coat won't grow back strange if you shave him; shaving doesn't damage the hair follicles. It might grow back different to how it is now though, because at 10 months he won't yet have his full adult coat. But he's a breed with a beautiful coat that you should be proud of, and keep in good, lustrous condition to keep him looking at his best.

#6 JazzyWeasel

Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

I wouldn't. I have a Goldy X Samoyed who is old now (12yrs) but she coped fine in the WA heat with a clam shell pool full of water, frozen water bottles in her drinking water and shade. One of those trampoline beds too so air could circulate under her. Of course when I was home she would be inside in the air con with me.

#7 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

We've shaved our Rottweiler... only one of them who sheds in massive chunks. She seems to love it. It's growing back quickly though. We can't give her ice to cool her down anymore though (or frozen meat) because she now seems to vomit if she has something cold. Even 1/2 a tsp of ice cream and she will vomit.

She is 100% indoors except for walks though. My Mum isn't working atm so when it's a hot day both dogs are inside with the aircon on.

#8 FiveAus

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

QUOTE (PussyDids @ 04/12/2012, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We've shaved our Rottweiler... only one of them who sheds in massive chunks. She seems to love it. It's growing back quickly though. We can't give her ice to cool her down anymore though (or frozen meat) because she now seems to vomit if she has something cold. Even 1/2 a tsp of ice cream and she will vomit.

She is 100% indoors except for walks though. My Mum isn't working atm so when it's a hot day both dogs are inside with the aircon on.

Can you put a cool coat on her? I bought some Chillybuddy mesh cool coats from Cleanrun. com for my two show dogs, as they are black and even on a mildly warm day they can get hot. I tried them for the first time a couple of weeks ago, on a very warm day in Canberra. They were brilliant.....the outer layer is silver, so reflects the heat, the inner layer is mesh that can be dampened (I sprayed it with cold water) to cool them more, or the whole coat can be dipped in water, wrung out and put on the dog for maximum cooling effect.
The dogs stayed cool and comfortable all day, then wore them in the car for the 8 hour drive home, as the sun was at times shining onto the back seat where they were lying.

#9 BenevolentDictator

Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:11 PM

Whenever I have asked this question in the past I have been advised against shaving a double coated dog, for the reason Spikey and others have given.  The double coat acts as insulation and I've been told that shaving removes the protection and thus can lead to more overheating i.e. the opposite effect than intended.

I like the idea of the wet towel - must try that, although I suspect I'd come home to towel garnishes all over the garden.

#10 Thornapple

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:44 PM

I too live in Qld, and have a double coated dog, who I don't shave. As PPs have said, it is insulating, so I feel no need to clip him to keep him cool.

Some ideas I use to keep my dog cool; shell pools in the shade filled with water, or damp soil for him to dig in so he can cool off if he wants to. Also frozen Kongs stuffed with tasty treats or old ice cream container 'ice-blocks' with a couple chicken necks or sardines - to keep him interested (like they use for the polar bears in zoos- no idea if this is just enrichment or actually helps them keep cool)

I live in a tick prone area, however, my boy's daily tick search isn't too arduous, as his coat is only about an inch long.

If my boy had such a long gorgeous coat (going by the pictures I got by Googling your dog's breed), and I had found a tick/ neighbour's dog had a tick, I would probably shave him. That looks like a whole lotta dog to search every day, and the little beggars can be hard to find through all that fur!

I know quite a few people who shave their Maremmas, Malamutes etc for this reason. I don't know anyone whose dog has suffered after a shave, but quite a few who have either lost a dog or had to shell out the big bucks to treat tick toxicity.

You can Advantix/ Frontline religiously every two weeks, but it may not kill all of them before they attach.

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