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Viral Photo Of Shaved Husky Raises An Interesting Question

Shaving your dog in summer can actually make him hotter πŸ•β˜€

With summer fast approaching, some folks with thicker-coated dogs might be considering giving their pups a shorter new 'do to help them keep cool on the hottest of days β€” but for dogs like this one, a haircut can actually have the opposite effect.

This photo of an almost full-shaved husky went viral on Twitter this week, potentially inspiring other pet owners to do the same with their dogs. But while the look is certainly striking, and may seem amusing and harmless on the surface, it's really nothing to laugh about.

Huskies are one of dozens of dog breeds that have double coats — long outer fur covering a shorter, denser coat beneath. That double coat obviously keeps dogs warm in cold weather, but it serves an important role when it's warm out as well.

Wikipedia

"In my opinion, double-coated breeds should never be shaved unless there's a medical reason to do so, as their undercoats act as an excellent insulator against the summer heat," writes veterinarian Karen Becker. "It seems counterintuitive that an extra layer of fur would help a dog stay cooler, but it does. Air is a natural insulator, and air trapped between the hair follicles and hairs on your pet's body does a really efficient job of keeping body temperature in balance."

So, while it may be tempting to want to help your double-coated dog shed a few layers this summer, it's important to keep in mind that their fur is there for a reason.

Even dogs with single coats likely do not need to be shaved to stay cool, but for folks who choose to do so, it's recommended to leave at least an inch of hair to protect them from getting a sunburn.