Should I Shave My Labrador in the Summer?

Absolutely not…and here is why

Ah, that big, thick double coat of the Labrador Retriever! You love snuggling in it in the winter. But now it’s summer. Surely, he is roasting in that heavy fur coat!  Besides, you are tired of the constant sweeping and vacuuming from the shedding. Your first thought might be that your lab should go to the groomer to be shaved down. Wouldn’t your canine pal feel much cooler?

Labradors Have a Double Coat

What is a double coat? 

, who writes articles and blogs related to pet sitting and canines in general, suggests this, “The double coat is made up of an outer coat and an undercoat.  The outer coat is made up of longer, guard hair and the undercoat more dense,  coarse hair. The outer coat helps repel moisture and dirt. The undercoat helps keep dogs insulated.

Why not shave a dog with a double coat?

Shaving a dog with an undercoat takes away their protection.  The undercoat is the insulation the lab needs to keep cool during the summer and warm during the winter. It also protects your dog against getting sunburn from damaging UV rays.

The shedding might be a pain for you, but shaving your lab down in the summer won’t necessarily end shedding. Instead of shedding the fluffy and soft undercoat, your lab will shed short prickly hairs that are harder to clean up and hurt if they poke you.

Better alternatives to keeping your lab cool in the summer:

Grooming your Labrador Retriever is preferable to shaving their coat. A lab typically blows its coat twice per year.  Yellow labs tend to shed all the time.  Regular brushing will remove the loose hairs, which helps circulation to keep your dog cool.  Visiting the groomer during the shedding season, especially in the spring, is recommended.  A groomer can bathe your lab and blow out the undercoat.

Keep the undercoat cleaned out by using these two wonderful tools:

The Furminator (I use this “giant-sized” one which works better for Labradors)

A horse shedding blade (yes! this works better than a dog shedding brush–so be sure to use it outdoors–the hair is going to FLY!!)


Water is essential to help keep your pet hydrated and cool during the summer months. Always have fresh water available for your dog. Walk in the morning or evening to prevent your dog from overheating.  Avoid exercise and playtime outdoors during the heat of the day.  Keep your dog indoors in the air conditioning or with a fan so that they are comfortable.


Keep them cool and shed free as shared in this blog, and spend some time learning how to prevent and control shedding in this blog.


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