Shaving your pet (usually dogs but some shave or consider shaving cats) is a controversial subject among pet owners, groomers, and even veterinarians. Many breed-specific organizations and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recommend against shaving, the ASPCA for these reasons:
• Your pet's coat is to its body what insulation is to your home, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer.
• An animal's coat protects against sunburn and skin cancer. Pets with thin, white or light-colored coats are especially vulnerable to sun damage.
• There are better practices than shaving, such as trimming and brushing, especially during warm weather.
To dig into the matter, visit ASPCA.org, where you’ll find a full-length article on shaving, as well as pages of reader comments for and against.
Dr. Becker of Healthypets.mercola.com also writes on the subject, including this outtake:
Consider Your Dog's Personality When Deciding Whether to Shave
Groomers, animal welfare workers, veterinarians like me, and many pet guardians have seen two very different scenarios play out after a dog has been shaved. The first involves a dog who has been shaved for a good reason — for example, a raging skin infection — who reacts badly to having all her hair removed. Collies, in particular, often behave as though someone has stripped away their superpowers. They become depressed, upset, and even sad.
The flipside is a dog that enjoys having his coat removed. After being shaved, these dogs behave as though they've been set free from hair bondage! They act happier and friskier. As the groomer wields her razor, the dog comes alive, which is a really interesting phenomenon! However, it's important to note that these dogs aren't happy because they're cooler. They simply prefer short hair just as many humans do.
Becker also discusses how a dog’s lifestyle pertains to the question ‘to shave or not to shave.’ Learn more at Healthypets.mercola.com.