As we approach the warmer summer months, it is a common misconception that it is perfectly safe to shave your Golden or Labrador Retriever to help them cool off. In fact, doing this can have many effects that could be detrimental to your service dog. While grooming is a must, shaving or clipping a Golden or Labrador’s coat can do more harm than good. Read our list below to find out why:
- Goldens and Labradors have a double coat and those coats work to protect your service dog in both the winter and summer season.
- The outercoat is made up of longer guard hair that helps repel moisture and dirt, while the undercoat is denser and coarse to keep them insulated (cool in the summer & warm in the winter).
- Both coats serve a vital purpose and should not be shaved.
- A great deal of the undercoat is shed leading up to summer weather.
- Shaving or excessive clipping can leave the skin exposed to potential sunburn.
- Shaving can also result in hot spots which can be painful to your service dog and difficult to heal.
- Removing excess coat in the summer can prevent the undercoat to grow back fully or at all for the winter.
- If you have any kind of Doodle breed, it is ok to shave or clip them because they do not have the same double coat makeup as a purebred Golden or Labrador Retriever.
Rather than shaving or extreme clipping of your Golden or Lab, we recommend these great tips to keep your service dog cool in the summer.
- Grooming: Be sure to take your service dog to the groomer during the shedding season, especially for spring. This is true for Goldens as well as Labs since both breeds tend to shed all year round.
- Water: Keep water accessible to your service dog at all times. Dogs don’t sweat like humans, instead they pant, and water can help keep your service dog hydrated and cool in the warmer months.
- Walking in the morning or evening: Walking while it is cooler during the day helps not only keep your service dog active and provide exercise, but prevents them from overheating. When you are indoors you should provide your service dog with air conditioning and a fan to help them stay cool.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or SDWR, provides custom-trained service dogs for invisible disabilities such as Autism, Diabetes, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. For more information visit www.sdwr.org or call (540) 543-2307.