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Animal expert mulls over dog clipping dilemma

Posted by: Pablo Smithson  Date: 28/06/2013   Category: Latest News

The main issue with clipping a northern dog breed’s hair relates to their appearance, says an animal expert, although there are other points to consider.

Pete Wedderburn, who has been a qualified vet for more than 25 years, wrote in response to a reader letter on telegraph.co.uk that some people believe the thick coat of huskies, malamutes and other similar breeds keeps them cool in hot weather as well as warm in cold weather.

There is also a suggestion that it protects them from sun burn, but Wedderburn rejects all of these arguments, saying that using dog grooming equipment to achieve a 2cm coat will keep the dog cool and free from sunburn.

The columnist said: “The main source of contention is the effect of clipping on the dog’s appearance: it can take up to two years for the full coat to grow back in, and the dog can look odd for this period.”

Mr Wedderburn’s advice came in response to a reader known referred to only as LS from Belfast, who was worried that her Alaskan malamute was uncomfortable under its heavy coat in warm weather.

A similar topic was covered by John Davis on sltrib.com earlier this summer, with the reporter speaking with a former full-time groomer, Susan Jenkins. She generally advises shaving dogs in summer if they are single-coated (for example, poodles) but is not keen on shaving double-coated breeds.