Labrador retrievers are very popular breeds of dogs. It is family-friendly and energetic both at home and on the field.
It was initially developed in the united kingdom and used as a fishing and hunting dog. They are now kept as companion dogs, mainly in the west.
A Labrador’s Double Coat
A Labrador retriever has a double coat which is great for winter periods but not as comfortable during warm summers. Dogs with a double coat have two distinct layers, the outer and under.
The under layer, also known as the undercoat, is a dense layer composed of short, soft hairs. The outer layer, called guard hairs, comprises soft coarse hairs and acts as a barrier to the dog’s skin.
The double coat has various functions like temperature regulation, cleanliness, and protection against direct sunlight.
A Labrador’s shedding is somehow different compared to other dogs. It is an issue especially for first-time owners when they encounter a change of season. Regular shedding occurs all year round but a Labrador’s shedding transitions from winter to summer, known as a coat blow.
Common myths that make pet owners shave their Labradors
If you’ve had a Labrador for a while and are familiar with its double coat, consider the risks and drawbacks of shaving them. You might wonder why they are done. Many people do not know the adverse effects of shaving your pet.
Different myths and misconceptions about shaving a Labrador’s coat confuse first-time owners. This article explains why having a Labrador should not be part of its maintenance and grooming.
- The idea that shaving will keep your dog cool during the hot weather is a common misconception. Dogs get hot during the summer, but the Labrador’s double coat is meant to keep it warm and cool during summer. Shaving the dog interferes with its warming and cooling process.
- Another myth is shaving a dog prevents shedding. This is false; there is no cure for shedding, especially a Labrador’s double coat. A Labrador owner can best manage the shedding by giving the dog a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy coat. It would help if you also committed to regular grooming and vacuuming.
Reasons Why You Should Not Shave Your Labrador
Shaving a Labrador’s Coat Removes It’s the layer that protects against Sunburn. A Labrador has a thick and protective undercoat.
The undercoat and the exterior coat are designed to protect it from various elements. As a result, the soft interior fur and rough exterior should not be tampered with.
The undercoat protects the Labrador against direct sunlight, which prevents it from getting sunburns.
Labradors can sunbathe for hours on end and not get affected by ultraviolet rays because of their double coat. The double coat has the same functions as sunscreen, preventing humans from getting sunburns.
The undercoat provides Insulation against freezing and hot weather.
When you observe the behavior of a shaved Labrador, you will notice how it negatively affects it.
Shaving the dog’s coat makes them more susceptible to heat and causes them to feel cold. Shaving a Labrador’s coat makes it vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures.
Growing fur is a complex and unpleasant process
Since a dog’s soft undercoat is designed to insulate and help it control body temperature, shaving makes it sensitive. This undercoat protects the dog and should not be removed or tampered with.
Drawing that layer changes everything; it messes with how its body is supposed to regulate temperature, which should be natural. This may cause your dog to be in significant discomfort.
Many people do not know about this until they experience it. Unfortunately, hair regrowth is not cumbersome for pets and their owners.
The soft undercoat of a Labrador is removed when the coat is shaved down to the skin, and it will not regrow as soft and fluffy as before. It won’t be as long and smooth as before you shaved the dog, but it is less and more spiny.
In some Labradors, the undercoat never grows back to how it was before. Sometimes the regrowth of the fur is itchy and uncomfortable for the dog. The hairs will be prickly and rough, which makes the experience of cuddling your pet not fun.
The Double Coat offers protection from Dirt & Moisture
What is the purpose of the outer coat? While the undercoat regulates a dog’s temperature and protects the skin underneath from sunburns, the outer coat, which is coarse, also has an essential function. If it is removed, it stops serving its purpose.
The outer coat is tougher, coarser fur to ward off moisture and dust particles that could harm your pet. This is very important, mainly because a Labrador is an active dog.
Shaving the dog makes it easier for dirt and moisture to penetrate the skin, making it harder to keep it clean.
Shedding still occurs even after removing the coat
Shedding of pets’ fur is something many people hate. If you own a Labrador, you should know that it sheds a lot and that this is something you will have to deal with.
Shaving your dog might stop or reduce shedding, according to some people. Sadly, this is a false impression.
Your Labrador will merely keep shedding the short, scratchy hairs, which may even prove more challenging to get out of furniture, clothing, and carpets.
Options Rather Than Shaving Your Dog
Is this the end of the line? Even though Labradors shouldn’t be shaved, there are other ways to keep them cool and clean during the summer and springtime. How can you maintain your Labrador’s order, cleanliness, and grooming during the summer?
Remember that the Labrador requires more frequent grooming during its shedding period than the entire year.
When bathing your Labrador, consider blowing and grooming during the warmer seasons. This cleans fur of any soil and sweat, which irritates the skin. It also gets rid of any odor smell that the Labrador may collect.
Giving your Labrador water to drink is another way to ensure it stays cool. Lack of fresh water makes it hard for a Labrador to regulate its temperature. Consider acquiring a plastic splash pool for the Labrador to play in on hot days.
Tips on how to groom your Labrador
Grooming your Labrador is the best substitute for shaving. Here are a few pointers on how to groom Labradors:
- Schedule each week to groom your Labrador. This should be done especially during the shedding period and at least twice or thrice a week to prevent matting.
- Use the right equipment, i.e., a pet grooming tool, to eliminate dead hairs effectively.
- Use a slicker brush for your Labrador’s rear end because the thick fur makes it difficult to brush with a regular brush.
- For the outer coat, comb stray top hairs with a bristle brush.
These are the main reasons for not shaving your Labrador retriever.
- Shaved Labradors are more prone to cancer and blisters.
- Shaving also damages your dog’s coat in the long run.
There are still ways to keep your Labrador cool and groomed throughout the summer, even though it is obvious that shaving is a bad idea. Your dog can be comfortable all year long without shaving if proper grooming methods are used.