AUSTIN, Texas -- A hairless Siberian Husky has caused an online debate about whether or not it’s safe to shave a double coated dog.
KVUE’s Nicole Rosales spoke to a long-time groomer and a veterinary radiation oncologist about the impacts it could have on your pet.
Luther Edmonson has been styling pups since 1961, he says when he first saw the hairless husky, it was pretty unusual.
"They took too much hair off in my opinion," Edmonson said.
He says he doesn't recommend shaving, period: a light trim at most for clean-up.
"I would brush it out and leave their outer coat -- some people don't understand, they think that their dog is getting hot. You take that undercoat out and the out coat of hair, it protects them -- kind of like somebody in the desert,” he added.
He says the problem is that they lose protection in extreme heat, making them more prone to sunburn, especially dogs with white or light fur who are even more sensitive.
The top coat, also known as the guard coat, doesn’t shed, but the bottom coat does. This is the area that owners can comb to get rid of any “dead fur.”
Veterinary radiation oncologist Catrina Soto has worked with animals for over 20 years, she says it's rare to see an owner shave their dog without taking health into consideration.
Soto says their coat acts as their cooling system.
"I don't think it's a good idea. The only time I've seen it is for medical reasons only,” Catrina Soto said, she works at Veterinary Specialist of North Texas.
She says it puts your pet at risk for melanoma as well as other skin issues.
"It can start to flake a little bit or get more skin irritations, like hot spots, we are opening up that window just a little bit more,” Soto said.
The best method is also the most simple, both agree, brushing out their undercoat help make your pet more comfortable and safe.
Soto also says be mindful that some dogs who are shaved won't grow their fur back the proper way.
Some alternatives to keep dogs cool include giving them a good trim, having a small pool for them to play in or avoiding having them outside during the hottest part of the day.