"Should I shave my Pyr for the summer?"
You should NEVER shave your Pyr unless it is absolutely necessary.
Heat Stroke can occur to any mammal exposed to direct sunlight and heat for too long a period of time. As a long-coated breed, Pyrs are no exception.
Pyrs have double coats - a top longer layer and a shorter undercoat (which accounts for the white fluff that is probably floating around your house and yard). The undercoat is what keeps them warm in the winter. The top coat actually keeps them cooler (think of people living in the desert, long sleeves of thin fabric).
Shaving your Pyr can actually increase their risk of heat stroke because they will no longer have the insulation of their coat to protect them from the heat.
Additionally, your dog can get sunburnt, which can be a much bigger issue for some dogs than simply getting overheated.
Summer Grooming Tips:
- Undercoat Rake - if you have never used one of these on your Pyr, it is a must have! You will be surprised at the amont of fur this can take off in just one 30 minute grooming session.
- Slicker Brush - used mainly for the top coat after you have used the undercoat rake.
You can get both of these at any pet store and they are both relatively inexpensive!
- Brushing your pup once a week for about 30 minutes should keep the shedding relatively at bay
"If I shouldn't shave my Pyr, then how do I help keep them cool in the summer heat?"
Remember that dogs don't have sweat glands all over their body like people do, they only have them on their feet. They rely on panting to cool down their bodies, which is not as affective as sweating, making them much more susceptible to heat stroke.
- Some dogs really enjoy playing in a kiddie splash pool of water, which is a great way to cool off your dog since their sweat glands are in the pads of their feet.
- Provide plenty of fresh cool drinking water! Remember not to leave your dog's water bowl in the sun or it will heat up--imagine drinking a cup of hot tea in the summer sun, yuck!
- Always provide your pup with a shady spot! They need a place to escape from the beating heat of the sun, so make sure there is a shady place for them to go. And remember, that as the sun shifts so does the shade and trees may not provide proper shade all day long.
- "My Pyr, Romeo, likes ice cubes. Dumped a bunch in the water bowl one time and he'd bob for ice cubes, chew 'em, then go back for another. So now I leave a bowl of just ice cubes out next to the water." - David
Also remember to NEVER leave your pup in parked car on a hot day!! This is one of the number one causes of heat stroke in dogs. Even with the windows cracked on a day, while it may feel comfortable outside, the inside of your car can heat up to over in minutes! As you can imagine, with that thick fur coat on, your dog's body temperature rises very quickly.
Please email us if you have any questions that we can answer! Or if you have questions or comments that you think might benefits others, leave a comment below and we will respond as quickly as possible!
Have a wonderful summer and keep those furbabies cool!