Summer Coats – June 2023

Summer Coats – June 2023

As the winter breaks and the warm weather rolls in we notice our extra furry Pups needing a good spring cleaning. Some have grown long shaggy coats for the winter, and some have packed the insulation in with undercoat. So, what kind of hair style is appropriate for the summer weather? Well that all really depends on their coat type and just as important, their lifestyle.

Let’s start with our shedding breeds. This includes any breed or mix of breeds that have coats that don’t grow but shed. All the dust bunnies that roll across the floor and all the lovely fur that sticks to your clothes and couch. The way a shedding coat works is there is a top layer of Guard hairs, which protect your Pup from insects and the sun’s rays and then a layer of undercoat. The undercoat is usually lighter in color and is more like cotton fluff. The undercoat sheds and renews constantly while the guard hairs also do but at a slower rate. The purpose of undercoat is to keep your Pup warm or cool. It is thicker in the winter to keep them warm and sheds almost completely out in the summer to keep them cool leaving just the guard hairs. There has been a long-standing debate on shaving your shedding Pup and the truth is that its not a great idea. It sounds good in theory, but it has a few cons that make it a real no no. First, there is a very decent chance that if you shave a Pup that is not supposed to be you could easily destroy that layer of guard hairs and it will never grow back. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give your Golden’s longer coat areas a good trim, just don’t shave them off. Second, it leaves your Pups skin exposed to the elements, insects, and brush scratches. Third, they will now have to figure out a different way to regulate their body temperature. Just proper maintenance of their coat will keep
them comfortable and happy all year long.

That leaves us with all the other Pups that don’t shed but grow their coat continuously much like we do. These Pups require regular haircuts and maintenance to keep their coats knot free. Their haircuts are really based on their lifestyle and activities. For example, if your Pup is an avid swimmer in
the summer you will want to keep their coat relatively short so that it dries quickly and doesn’t get tangled up from being wet all the time. It is also a good rule to at least leave a half an inch of hair if you want to go short to give some sort of barrier from the sun and insects. The coats of today’s Pups are
kept very differently from their breeds intended use.

In the end, both coats have a purpose and though they do the same jobs they just do it differently. Both types should not be taken down to the skin for protection against insects and the elements. Making sure your Pup takes regular trips to the groomer no matter what type of coat or cut they have is the most important thing you can do. Brushing at home in between groomings is also extremely helpful. It’s the best way to keep your Pups coat healthy and it’s a great bonding moment for you and your Pup.

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