Dogs Grooming

UK heatwave: Ought to I shave my pet’s fur in excessive temperatures?

To say that it’s actually scorching within the UK proper now could be an understatement, and situations are about to worsen.

The present heatwave will see excessive temperatures as excessive as 37C hitting the south of England subsequent week, with a “hazard to life” climate warning prolonged till Tuesday (19 July).

The Met Workplace has warned that the extreme situations will seemingly trigger severe sickness and endanger lives, and there’s a one in 5 probability that Britain may file its hottest ever temperature subsequent week.

The intensely scorching temperatures is not only being felt by folks, however by our pets too. Seeing them visibly uncomfortable within the warmth might be distressing.

As our beloved furry pals pant and seek for cool, shady spots to get away from the relentless warmth, it may be tempting to suppose that shaving their fur will assist them settle down.

Observe the most recent updates on the UK heatwave right here

However is it a good suggestion?

Dr Samantha Webster, veterinarian at Joii Pet Care, warns pet homeowners to “again away from the clippers”.

“It could appear counterintuitive, however clipping pets’ fur can really make them hotter as a substitute of cooler,” she tells The Unbiased.

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Though people may suppose that shorning a canine or cat of their fur may be akin to taking off a layer of garments, this isn’t the case.

Dr Webster explains: “Throughout scorching climate, pets’ fur holds a layer of cool air subsequent to their physique to cease them from overheating.

“While a trim of a protracted or unruly coat may be useful, pet mother and father ought to by no means shave pets all the way down to the pores and skin.”

Even in the case of pets that seem to have very thick coats, resembling huskies, Dr Webster says the identical precept applies.

“Huskies have what is named a double coat, which implies that the underlayer is a layer of fantastic smooth hair near the pores and skin, and that is what retains them heat within the winter and funky in the summertime,” she says, warning homeowners to “positively not clip that”.

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Nonetheless, canine breeds with double coats, together with huskies, golden and Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Pomeranians, chows, and corgis, may gain advantage from common trims and grooming.

“Double-coated breeds shed loads and brushing out that shedding undercoat will assist enhance airflow close to the physique, holding them cool,” Dr Webster says.

When you’ve already taken the well-meaning, however ill-advised step of shaving your pet, you could must take further measures to guard them from the solar, she tells The Unbiased.

“Clipping or shaving a pet’s fur means they get extra direct daylight on their pores and skin, which may result in an elevated threat of overheating, warmth stroke and sunburn.

“The excellent news is that fur grows again,” she provides. “Till that occurs, pet mother and father ought to restrict how a lot time the pet spends in direct daylight, apply pet suncream and comply with the under ideas to assist the pet maintain cool.”

So, don’t shave your pets even when they seem scorching and uncomfortable through the heatwave. As a substitute, Dr Webster recommends taking different measures to assist maintain them cool.

Brushing their fur often to take away free hair and stop matting helps to permit higher air circulation close to the pores and skin.

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In case your pet’s fur is badly matted or too lengthy, take them to an expert groomer who may help them really feel higher.

A groomer may even be capable of trim fur across the toes, the place pets sweat, or round their tummy and legs to assist maintain them cool.

Moreover, ensuring they’ve entry to chill water and shade is crucial to holding pets snug through the heatwave.

Canine homeowners ought to solely take their pooches out for walks through the coolest components of the day, Dr Webster says.

“If it’s too scorching, then skip the stroll altogether,” she recommends. “Over-exercising in scorching climate is the commonest explanation for heatstroke in canine.”

Dr Webster additionally emphasised the significance of by no means leaving your canine unattended in a scorching automotive, including: “It may well take as little as 10 minutes for a canine to overheat.”

Final however not least, being conscious of the indicators of heatstroke may save your pet in case of emergency.

Signs of heatstroke in pets embody heavy panting, problem respiration, drooling, lethargy, vomiting and collapsing.

“If homeowners do see these indicators, they need to search veterinary care instantly,” Dr Webster urges.

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