Sunday, June 26, 2011

To Clip or Not to Clip?

To be honest, I don't know whether dogs like being clipped for summer. As I have many times noticed and many dog owners assert, some dogs seem to prance and smile with a new clip. Is this our imagination, or might it just be that the dog is relieved to be done with a long and boring grooming session and happy to be free?

Aside from dog preference, does it make sense? One argument goes that a dog's coat provides insulation against heat as well as cold and therefore should be left alone, but many, many dog owners observe that whatever the logic behind the clipping decision, their dogs appear more comfortable with a shorter clip.

At Aussie Pet Mobile Cape Cod, we think the decision to clip or not to clip should be made based on the behavior of the dog. If you are wondering what to do, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does your dog have extensive "undercoat" ( a thick, downy layer close to the skin that tends to shed in hot weather and grow thicker in cold)?

2. Is shedding extreme in spring?

3. Is your dog a "cold weather" breed like a Husky?

4. Does your dog pant and seek a cool place to sleep by digging a hole in the shade when the weather turns warm?

If any or all of these are true for you, we recommend you try a summer clip and compare your dog's behavior before and after. Aside from smiles and prances, does your dog pant less, and seem more willing to play on a hot summer day? Even if the dog doesn't appear to care much one way or the other, a summer clip can make a big difference for you and your housekeeping by reducing the amount of hair in your home and the sand or mud that your dog tracks in from the beach and yard.

A summer clip can range anywhere in length from peach fuzz to 3/4". We usually advise about 1/2", although on dogs with massive amounts of undercoat, a shorter end of the spectrum produces a smoother, more attractive finish. The clip can take the form of a "lion cut" with a longer mane, natural legs and a flag or ball on the end of the tail (see Aslan's photo at the head of this post) or same length all over.

We are booking for grooms and clips the week of July 4th. Call us if you'd like to see what a summer fashion could do for you and your dog.

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