In December I posted about Penny's last grooming session, in which I was taken aback to discover her belly had been shaved. Yesterday we discovered another disadvantage of this practice (apart from the days of pain she endured from the apparent clipper rash). She was chasing a ball and suddenly yelped. Of course, the dreaded thought "snake bite' crossed our minds, so we were actually relieved to discover she had run into a patch of blackberries and torn her belly on the thorns.
However, it made us realise the value of belly fur. I don't think I will let her be shaved again. Browsing the Net I came across a report from the point of view of Oscar, a dog, of being clipped short over most of the body.
When Penny's belly was bleeding we realised we don't have any dog ointments here (at a holiday house) and made a resolution to make sure we always have a dog first-aid kit with us. So, it was interesting to read that Oscar's injuries from the grooming were treated successfully with Rawleigh's ointment, a human medication that we have in the house. Oscar's owners said they used Antiseptic Balm and the Medicated Ointment.I think it used to say on the Rawleigh's tin that the ointment was good for treating problems with cows' udders, so I suppose it is an all-round mammalian cure!
I'm not convinced that shaving a dog will help keep her cool, anyway. (That was the explanation given to me for Penny's lack of fur on her belly when I picked her up.)I've read many times that fur acts as a general insulation, cooling in summer and warming in winter. This opinion is expressed on a site called CanineCrib.com, in their section on grooming tips.
Having made the decision to bath Penny at home in future, maybe it's time to try to get a handle on clipping. Oscar's site has some advice on doing that and, as they say, it's only by practising that you can improve.