Some dog owners believe that shaving German Shepherds in the summer is the best thing they can do and that this is helpful. After all, the dog will be cooler and he will withstand high temperatures better. It really sounds like a wise idea. We are here to tell you otherwise. Doing this is definitely not something you should do and today we will explain why.
Shaving German Shepherd: Why it is a bad idea?
In the lack of a better word, shaving German Shepherds is a huge mistake, period. Your dog can withstand heat with you helping him in many other ways and not by shaving his coat. His coat will need a lot of time to grow back and it may be uneven or much shorter/longer than it used to be. The color might change as well and the natural protection your pet has against mosquitos, fleas, and parasites will be destroyed.
In a nutshell, you will make your pet more prone to various issues and even when the coat grows back it won’t look as it should. You will end up with a dog that will need a lot of time and effort to restore his natural appearance. There are countless other problems that may be present in this case scenario and there are even more issues that may appear. The bottom line is simple. Never shave your dog. This affects German shepherds and many other dog breeds. Yes, some of them can be shaved but this breed is not one of those dogs.
Issues your dog will have once you shave his coat
As we have mentioned there are a lot of problems that will occur if or when you shave your German shepherd. But, we still have to explain these in detail so you know more and you can truly understand why this is a huge mistake.
UV ray damage
Human skin is 16-20 layers thick. On the other hand, your dog has much thinner skin which is between 6 and 10 layers. This is done because dogs have coats or fur to protect them. Once you shave that fur your pet will be exposed to the UV rays. What this means is that sunburns, damages to the skin and so much more are possible. Your pet can develop dandruff, painful wounds and so much more. If sunburns are a huge problem for us humans, with thicker skin imagine what your pet will have to withstand.
Dog’s fur is designed to protect the dog from UV rays among other things. Considering most dog owners will consider shaving their pet in the summer you can see the main problem here. It is one of those things that you must not do, period.
He will actually be hotter
Dog fur also acts as insulation. The long hair you can see is designed to keep cool air next to the skin and warm air far away from the skin. Once you shave it, there is no present perk. The fur acts as a simple air conditioning system and it is very effective. This simply means that once you remove the hair he will become much hotter and he will have a hard time withstanding high temperature. Overheating is usually prevented by the fur. If you shave it, your dog will overheat. Ironically, this is the same thing you wanted to prevent.
Senior dogs will have a hard time re-growing their fur
As dogs get older they will need more time and effort to grow back the fur. This means that shaving a senior dog will be an even bigger mistake. What we are trying to say is that senior dogs won’t be able to recover long hairs as quickly as younger dogs. They will be in a much bigger problem for a longer period of time. Even when their fur grows back it will look old, damaged, and even ruined. This is a huge problem for some dogs who already have skin or fur-related problems. Do not shave your senior dog.
The fur won’t grow the same
First of all, the fur will need a lot of time to grow back. During this process, your pet will look strange and weird. Even when the fur grows back again, the hairs won’t be the same. You can see the hairs which are different in thickness, color, and texture than the old ones. Your dog will look strange and you will need a lot of time and effort to help him gain his old appearance back. German shepherds have nice and stunning fur so this is the last thing you want to destroy.
Removing shaved fur is a nightmare
You all know that removing dog’s hair from clothing, pieces of furniture or almost anything else is a nightmare. Well, if you shave your dog you will have an even harder time removing the new hair. It is blunt and much thinner. It will stick into clothing, furniture and everywhere else and you won’t be able to remove it easily. This is actually one of the biggest problems dog owners who shaved their German shepherds have encountered. The worst part is in the fact you will have to wait and you will need a lot of time in order for the fur to restore and get back into the original shape.
Yes, you will also encounter major matting and you will see the problem here. The undercoat will grow faster than the topcoat of the fur. This is not an ideal solution and it can cause a lot of problems and matting that is annoying. You will have to groom your pet all the time and you will have a hard time removing his hair. He won’t look very nice during this process and there are countless other issues that may appear.
He will be an easier target
Once again, a dog’s fur is designed to protect a dog. Once you remove it, he will become more sensitive to ticks, mosquitos, and all the rest. What this means is that more and more parasites will affect your dog. It is much easier for them to reach the skin because there is no obstacle in the form of fur. Your pet will be in pain, he will have to scratch himself all the time and all of this will damage his skin. You will be able to see various damages to the skin layers and your pet may need treatment as soon as possible.
Help your German shepherd in the summer
Shaving a German Shepherd in the summer is not a thing you should do. This is actually one of the biggest mistakes you can make and one that you do not want to make. Luckily for you, there are a lot of options you can still do that are helpful and actually much easier than shaving a dog.
Use a cooling mat
A cooling mat is probably the best thing here and one of the best additions you can make. All you have to do is to place the mat on the floor and your pet will sleep on it. The mat will absorb the heat from your pet and dispense it. In other words, your dog will feel more comfortable and he will be much cooler. There are no issues here and most German shepherd owners claim this thing works well.
Use cooling treats
You can make a lot of treats that are ideal for this time of the year. These include frozen treats that are safe for dogs. There are countless options in this case scenario and you can even buy most of them. It is much better than giving your pet an ordinary treat that can be a problem at this time of the year.
Make a pool (small one) in the shade outside
German shepherds like this option. You will need to make them a small pool outside in a shade and fill it with water. You will be able to see your pet going to the pool and resting there. He may spend hours there and he will enjoy it. Yes, this does take some time to get used to it and most dogs will need help from their owners. But, once they feel the cool water you can find them in the pool all the time.
Brush them more
Brushing your pet will have a huge effect on the dog and the temperature. You will remove excess fur and you will help him enjoy a lower temperature. There are a lot of perks here and there are a lot of things your pet will now be able to do. There are special brushes for this case scenario and they work well in most cases. It will need more effort from you but this is not a complicated or time-consuming thing hence you will find the time.
Use an elevated dog bed
An elevated dog bed is ideal for the summer. It promotes airflow all around the dog and takes away the heat. You can see that your pet will enjoy sleeping there more than ever before. You can add the fan as well which will be an even better decision. These are not expensive and there are a lot of options on the armlet so you can easily find the one that matches your pet perfectly.
Add ice to the water
This is something that all dog owners should do. Adding the ice to the water that your pet drinks outside is a great thing to do. It is extremely simple as well and you can make your own ice so there is no need to buy it. In a nutshell, your pet will have access to a much cooler water source and he will appreciate it. You will need to add new ice on a regular basis but it is very effective. You can see that your pet will drink more water because he will use it to cool down.
Use a fan
You can also use a fan. Direct it towards your dog where he is sleeping and you are done. This does work well. Just make sure to train your pet so he doesn’t run away from the fan. Most of them won’t, but some are scared and they would rather be too hot than sitting in front of a fan.
Exceptions you need to know about
Yes, there are two cases when shaving your dog may be a smart idea to do. The first one is if your dog needs treatment or a procedure that requires removing the fur. This is usually surgery or when some skin issue is present. Even then, your vet will do it and he will shave the smallest section needed to complete the procedure. This is more common than you may believe and when the hair grows back, it will be hard to notice the affected section.
The second case is when you live in an area where humidity is extremely high and the temperature is even higher. Even then, if you use all of the tips we have revealed above there is no actual need to shave your German shepherd. However, some dog owners have discovered that this does help and it is an effective method. Others had a lot of problems after taking action so it is something you will have to decide.
The final word
You were able to see that shaving a German Shepherd is not something you should do. Shaving your dog is a rare mistake that will need a lot of time to be repaired. Your pet has fur due to a reason and he needs it. Removing it or messing with it will cause you a lot of problems and will affect the overall health of your dog. This is all something you will want to avoid. During the summer use the tips we have mentioned above and your German shepherd will be fine.