Recently I stumbled upon a Facebook post of someone showing off their huskies' new DIY haircut. The owner was so proud of the work he had done shaving his husky for the hot summer. Shortly after posting, someone educated him on NOT shaving your pet. He truly did not know he was not doing his dog a favor by shaving his thick fur for the summer.
When your pet is panting in the heat, it can be tempting to want to help, but do not stress! Pets have their own temperature regulation system. Their bodies naturally keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When we interfere, we are messing with our pets ability to care for themselves. According to a DVM at Texas A&M University, Dr. Mark Stickney, pets, "really get no benefit from being shaved." A pets fur is the barrier between the suns rays and their skin. Shaving your pet increases their risk of getting sunburn.
Aside from their bodies having their own natural cooling system, pets have the instinct to pant, their version of sweating, and move to shadier spots. The best way to help your pet is to have fresh water around. Keep a water dish or a pool available for them to use. Never leave your pet in a hot car! Do not take pets for walks during peak heat hours. Early mornings and late evenings are the best time for walks! If all else fails, keep your pet indoors in extreme heat waves!