View Full Version : Should I give him a haircut

19th May 2010, 10:54 AM
Ben my entire eight year old boy has a beautiful coat and long feathering, he also has a rather short muzzle compared to my previous cavaliers and consequely seems to suffer more in hot weather than my first two. I do not want to cut his coat but I am wondering if I should for his wellbeing and with our short summer approaching.

19th May 2010, 11:03 AM
If he has a beautiful coat and feathering and a good heart,I wouldn't cut his coat.
I'm not sure that cutting his coat would bring any health benefits either.
It would be sad to shave him down only to discover that it made no difference and he was still under pressure.
My foster sister's 9 year old passed away last summer after a warm day.She'd been clipped back and it was futile.She also had a double heart murmur though.
So if it were my cavalier,I'd opt for keeping him a cool shady place,with plenty of water and a fan and just not walk him until the sun went down.

19th May 2010, 11:45 AM
I've heard that actually cutting the coat doesn't make them feel better. We think that because we'd be hot in that situation the same goes for them, but I've heard dogs bodies don't work the same as ours (we sweat through our skin, they don't and they get rid of excess heat by panting, etc.).

In any case, if you do some research and feel comfortable that he'd really be more comfortable with a shorter coat, I would cut it. I'm sure you will miss the gorgeous coat, but you want to do what's best for him too. I know people who've shaved their dogs in summer and the coat does grow back. I'd just do the research first and be comfortable that it would really help. I'd also keep him cool & in the shade too no matter what - if the coat is cut too sparse you won't want to be in the sun either because he could get sunburn without the coat to protect him.

Good luck in whatever you decide. I'm lucky both my dogs have fairly sparse & short coats on their backs so I don't have to wrestle with this decision.

Kate H
19th May 2010, 02:00 PM
I'm not sure of the science of this, but if a thick coat acts as an insulation layer in cold weather, trapping air to create a layer that prevents heat leaving the body, presumably it acts in the same way in the summer, when the layer of air would prevent heat getting into the body? Hair is not the same as a woolly jumper! Cavaliers feeling uncomfortable in hot weather seems to be dictated more by coat colour - the whole colours definitely feel the heat more. And if your Blenheim or Tri has a white muzzle, they may need sunblock around their nose to prevent sunburn.

Kate, Oliver and Aled (who had a huge coat last summer and didn't seem to mind the heat - though I walked both of them early and late and not at midday)

21st May 2010, 11:34 PM
I would keep his lovely coat if you can, and just try and walk him when it is a bit cooler in the day.
I didn't know the solid colours felt the heat more, interesting! does it mean that they feel the cold more too?

Kate H
22nd May 2010, 12:04 AM
Re whole colours feeling the heat more - this is just my observation from having a black and tan and a ruby, though corroberated by friends with whole colours. I think it is because dark colours absorb heat, while light colours reflect it away from the body.

Kate, Oliver and Aled