In contrast to humans, the skin of dogs and cats lacks the extensive network of blood arteries and sweat glands needed to remove body heat in hot climates. True, dogs’ footpads include sweat glands, however, these glands play a minor role in thermoregulation.
Despite lacking sweat glands, dogs and cats have an incredible capacity to evaporate vast quantities of water from their lungs and airways when they pant. This water transports body heat.
Shaving pets in preparation for summer can actually increase their susceptibility to sunburn and heat exhaustion/heat stroke. Long hair and dense undercoats provide insulation against the impacts of the sun’s rays.
Coats that are well-groomed and free of tangles permit good air circulation through the hair, which can have a cooling effect. In contrast, matted, untidy hair coats restrict airflow and do little to cool the body. In other words, during the warmer summer months, regular brushing is required.