Dog Days of Summer
Since we live in Texas we very often get asked...Isn't it too hot for Siberians in Texas? They must just be inside dogs right? or How do they handle the heat? Along those lines we have gotten, We shave them to help them stay cool during the summer.
Because of comments like these I have decided to write this article.
Double Coat Myths and Misconceptions
Yes we live in Texas and Yes our dogs live in air conditioning when it starts to warm up during the summer months, however Siberians can adapt to the heat just as much as any other breed of dog. Please do note that I said ADAPT. If you get a dog from say Wisconsin or Colorado and they have been living in a much colder climate they will not automatically be able to handle our Texas HEAT! This isn't because they are a Siberian, but because of what they are use to. Any dog that changes their climate in this manner needs to be slowly adapted to the new temperatures. Likewise a dog that is totally in the ac all day should not be tossed outside for a few hours. They are not use to those temperatures and can very quickly succumb to heat stroke or worse! You must slowly acclimate your dog to the heat. A few min at a time 10-15 a few times a day and then you can slowly increase that time. Of course common sense comes into play as well. If it is 110 degrees in the shade you don't want to leave your dog outside for more than just a few min! That's any breed not just Siberians. If you wouldn't want to be outside for that long, neither does your dog!
Most people look at their double coated breed with a big coat and think they must be burning up! Because of course if you had on a coat in the summer you would be! right!?
This isn't the case in double coated breeds. Think of their coats like a thermos or a cooler. When you put ice in a cooler and drinks it helps to insulate it and keep it cool, but the same also works to keep things warm. In the winter their coat keeps them warm by keeping those temperatures away from their body, and in the summer it does the same. It helps to regulate their body temperature as long as their coat is maintained well. IE if your Siberian has clumps all over they aren't going to stay as cool or as warm as a dog that has been groomed properly. Siberians do typically shed their coats when it is coming into summer and put on lighter summer undercoat. The thinning out of the undercoat is a natural way to help them stay cooler.
If this is the case then why would you ever shave your siberian?
Some say they want to avoid the shedding process so hair doesn't get all over their house. They do still shed regardless if you shave them or not. They will just shed shorter hairs.
or The other popular It's too hot for all that fur!
Here are some reasons NOT to shave your Siberian other than what I mentioned above.
Shaving allows the sun to directly hit their skin. They no longer have that insulation like we talked about above, as well as exposing them to sunburn. You know for yourself it only takes a few minutes in direct sunlight for you to sunburn, and for a dog it is much easier. Dogs only have about half of the dermal layers that we do. Would you want to be walking around with a sunburn all the time? Never mind that you just negated what you thought you were helping them with. You wanted them to stay cool but now they can't be because they are burned. OUCH!
Lastly, You can affect the natural growth of hair if you shave your Siberian. Older dogs have a hard time growing back in their top coat. If you shave them they may never get that top coat back in. That top coat keeps those sun rays bouncing back off their skin, and helps protect the undercoat.
Sometimes after shaving even their undercoat doesn't come back in or come back in correctly. You can also change the texture and sometimes the color/shade of the coat by shaving.
We hoped you enjoyed our article and found it informative! Let's find other ways to beat the heat with your siberian! Those kiddy pools from Wal-mart sure sound like a winner! Splashing fun with your siberian!
Have a great summer everyone!
Tired happy babies!