Three Common Myths:

1. My dog needs to be shaved because he/she is hot.

While there may be some valid reasons for shaving your dog, it won’t necessarily make them cooler. A properly maintained coat serves as insulation as well as protection from the sun. It’s important for pet owners to make sure proper maintenance is performed, brushing out the loose undercoat before it gets matted. This will also get out any debris imbedded in the coat which could cause skin irritation and itching. In addition, some coats that are shaved may grow out unevenly and the texture may change. At Waggers, we’ll oblige your request to shave your dog, but will always advise you of the risks.

2. I don’t want to get rid of matted hair because my dog will be cold.

Matted hair can be hazardous to your dog’s health. In extreme cases, it can cut off circulation, hold moisture and promote the growth of bacteria. In fact, we’ve seen instances where dogs developed hematomas (swelling filled with blood) when matted clumps are shaved from the tips of their ears after circulation was restored. The best advice is to regularly brush your dog to maintain the coat so it doesn’t get matted. Two tools that are essential for long haired or curly coated dogs are a good brush and a metal comb. You know you’ve done your job when you can run the comb from the skin to the end of the hair without hitting any snags.

3. Regular bathing isn’t good for my dog’s coat.

This is true if you’re bathing with a harsh soap or detergent. If you bathe your dog with a high quality, detergent-free shampoo, it won’t harm your dog’s skin or coat even if you bathe your dog every two weeks. However, be sure to do a thorough job. Brush your dog before bathing and make sure he or she is completely wet before applying the shampoo. Be sure to work the shampoo down to the skin and rinse all of the product out of the hair. For curly coated dogs especially, brushing and combing once dry is a must in order to avoid matted hair.