Cool Cut Beats a Close Shave for Hot Dogs


Jana is looking spiffy and cool with her new summer haircut. I was careful to have just a trim done, though, mostly of her thick “feathers,” the long hair that golden retrievers have around their back legs. As you can see from her photo, she still looks like a golden. While it might be tempting to shave your dog to help her beat the heat this summer, don’t!

Dogs’ fur provides protection from the sun and, though it seems counter-intuitive, from the heat. The fur acts as insulation and is a part of each dog’s natural cooling system. It is also a barrier against sun exposure, protecting dogs’ skin from those harmful rays. Dogs can get skin cancer, just as we do — and if you live in a sunny climate or have a sun-worshipping dog like Jana, you might want to get some pet-safe sunscreen for her nose, belly, and other exposed areas.

Trimming long hair is OK, and frequent brushing is a great way to remove excess and loose hair. And there are other ways to cool your dog — a kiddie pool, a romp under the sprinklers, or a cooling mat, for example. Our dogs love ice — I call Cali the “tax collector” for her diligence in appearing out of nowhere to collect her cut every time I so much as look at the freezer door. If plain ice doesn’t do the trick for your dog, try some cool treats, like these or these, for stuffing Kong toys. Find more tips on keeping dogs cool here: The Uncommon Dog.

So, back to Jana’s new ‘do. (Before I shamelessly promote a local business, I’d like to mention that the Thinking Dog Blog never gets paid to endorse products or businesses!) While Jana was getting her stylish trim, Albee was enjoying a bath. We were at the Salty Dog, a cute (recently remodeled) do-it-yourself pet wash and grooming salon. I did not trim Jana myself, though. Owner Stephan will bathe or groom your dog if you make an appointment. His prices are reasonable, he uses wonderful, organic pet cosmetics, and the standard poodle who manages the place is a sweetheart. What’s not to like?

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