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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Should I be shaved? Should you?

Summer is quickly approaching its end, and Fall is just around the corner. How have my fellow canines been coping with the heat? I recently met an Eskie like myself named Thor. It was a warm afternoon, and Thor's sapien was taking him to the groomer for a nice shave. I overheard my sapiens talking with his, and discovered that Thor's coat was never quite the same after a couple of shaves. Thor doesn't do well in the warm weather, and pants profusely. While I am still a young pup, I wonder if I may end up needing a close cut in the future.

This isn't nearly the amount I normally shed


I have come across two articles which have received quite a bit of controversy on whether or not you should have your canine shaved. An older one comes from Examiner.com, as a pure statement against shaving your canine: Why you shouldn't shave your double-coated dog. It presents interesting and seemingly factual information about the origins of the topcoat and undercoat. In a nutshell: the topcoat is for protection against UV from the sun and bug bites (and insulation), and the undercoat mainly for insulation because it traps air. While at first read, it sounds feasible, I question how both coats work in conjunction to keep me warm in the winter (seems obvious) and cool in the summer (less so). Without any references to scientific studies, I find it a bit hard to trust this article in making a determination.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is definitely a mild temperature. I have not experienced extreme heat at home where I have panted profusely. I have heard sapiens discussions about how double-coated breeds (Huskies, Chows, Samoyeds, etc.) like myself were breed for the colder, winter climates. Let me tell you, I have been to the snow, and the clumps of snow that clung to my fur were not something I was happy with! Freezing winds up in Lake Tahoe also made me wish of warmer days back home!

Don't I look miserable?
The second article I would like to talk about is from the Salt Lake Tribune: Should you shave your dogs for summer? This already starts off a bit better because it realizes the debate among the sapiens regarding the welfare of their canines. Through interviews with business owners and veterinarians, the author gets readers to make up their own minds about what they should do. Some groomers say "don't do it!", while some veterinarians say they do it for their dogs. I am starting to come to the conclusion that the answer to this question is: It Depends On You!

I do not think it's fair for everyone to judge what they do for their dogs. As long as the sapien is informed (with the best information they can get), they are only doing what they think is right for their puppy. For my sapiens and my self, for now, having not shown much angst and suffering during this Summer of 2013, I will continue to not shave. A solid brushing, monthly bathing, and constant grooming by my sapiens is what I am enjoying as of now. Time will til next summer if things change!

As for shaving...have you seen me with barely any fur?? Where's the rest of me??


An american eskimo after soaked by water hose.
I sure look happy, don't I?

Shave or no shave? Let me know in the comments!

Woof,

Ruckus the Eskie

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19 comments:

  1. Hello. Nice meeting you. Let me see! I guess it depends. I have Buchi shaved because of the hot weather and medical purposes. However, Buchi is a shih tzu so I guess it makes sense and it's more advantageous. As for Eskies... I haven't seen one getting shaved before.

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    1. Hi haopee, Nice to meet you and Buchi too! Do you have a picture of Buchi before and after grooming sessions? I have seen many American Eskimos shaved during the summer. AND I have seen the many reactions of sapiens to Eskies being shaved...which is what led me to this topic of discussion.

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  2. I can only speak for breeds i know, namely me- Alaskan Malamute. If you ask vets and groomers, they will say it's OK to do it. But what I often find by investigating further is that these same folks have no clue about my breed or what my coat needs are. So I asked breeders and people who have had Malamutes in their care, and they said NO WAY! I don't shave.

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    1. Hi Rumpy, I can see why groomers would say sure..shave it! That brings them more clients and more money. Vets, on the other hand, I am curious about. I have not asked my vet about it yet. I wonder what his response would be! I do agree that this decision is very much breed dependent.

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  3. My groomer is dead set against shaving double coated dogs. she'll do it, if you ask, but she'll explain why it's a bad idea first and she hates doing it.

    The ASPCA advises against it for the reasons you listed. It can also cause something called "post clipping alopecia" where the dog's hair just doesn't grow back- if you live in an area with a cold season, or you just like having your dog's breed characteristic coat, that can be problematic. It appear more common in arctic breeds, so it would NOT be recommended for your Eskie.

    http://www.aspca.org/blog/heat-wave-should-you-shave-your-pet
    http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=7250 (scroll down to the "post clipping alopecia" bit.

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    1. That is great that your groomer is so honest. Thanks for the link, really helpful information!

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  4. I probably wouldn't. My understanding is that what is "blown" regularly is the undercoat - the guard coat stays on to act as a cooler and a sun shield. I use a furminator GENTLY when they start blowing their coats.....you aren't supposed to use any pressure as it rakes the skin. Actually that is true of all brushes and combs. If Ruckus is hot, put a kiddie pool in the yard and see if he will jump in..... I also understand that keeping the paws clipped helps because they sweat thru their tongues and their paws.....

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    1. Hi Ms. Marianne, thanks for the tip with the kiddie pool. Since many people are suggesting that, I will push my sapiens for it! Hopefully that will convince them. I do get my paws normally trimmed since they can get pretty wild. Manis and Pedis are always fun!

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  5. No shaving! The coat that provides insulation from the cold in the winter provides the same protection from the heat in the summer - no shaving!

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    1. Thanks Emma for visiting. What do you think about a trim? Does that ruin the insulation effects?

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  6. I vote for the natural look - I'm puffy when I'm not clipped too, and I think it's a beautiful look! My family's last dog was a shepherd/collie/husky mix and had long, extremely thick fur too. They said she'd leave fur "tumbleweeds" around the house!

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    1. That's funny! Tumbleweeds! It's funny because it's true.

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  7. Thank you for your visit! We think you look beautiful in all your furry glory :-) I didn't have a choice, my winter coat naturally comes off in the summer and I bulk back up in the winter!

    ~ Coccolino the mini pig

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    1. Thanks Coco and Katie! Appreciate the compliment. How much of your coat do you really gain back in the winter?

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  8. Hi Ruckus,

    Nice to meet you and what a gorgeous coat you have!

    I also have a double coat and it's really long - I go running in the summer too and I also live in the Bay Area, but inland so it's hotter, I cope fine with my coat in it's natural state and let the wind blow through it as I run, my buddy next door is the same breed and also does fine in the heat - I usually like to lie on tiles or the concrete outside to cool off and I have lots of water and ice and I'm good!

    Hope this helps buddy,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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    1. Hi Snoopy! Thanks for the great advice. I also like to cool down with the belly on tile approach. Have you ever received a trim or a new do?

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    ReplyDelete
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