The Importance of Grooming Your Dog in The Summer
Summer is here and as you make plans to spend time out in the sun with your dog don’t forget to schedule time for regular grooming. All dogs regardless of breed, size, and coat type benefit from grooming year-round. Grooming your dog in the summer helps your dog to look and feel their best. Summer grooming can even help your dog to stay cool and prevent injuries.
During the summer months, it’s more important than ever to not slack on brushing your dog. Brushing is the easiest way to help keep your dog’s fur and skin in good condition. Even dogs with very short coats benefit from regular weekly brushing to remove dust, dirt, and dead hairs. Regular brushing for longer-coated dogs is helpful for removing sticks and other debris your dog might have picked up while playing outside. Brushing is also the best way to remove the undercoat that is being shed which can help your dog to naturally stay cooler during the warm weather. While brushing be sure to closely check your dog’s body for fleas and ticks which in many parts of the country are very common during the summer months. Finding ticks and fleas early can help prevent skin irritation and illness.
During the summer don’t forget to make sure your dog is still getting regular baths. Baths can help keep your dog’s fur and skin clean and free from debris picked up while walking and playing outside. Baths can also help reduce the chance of irritation from environmental allergens and keep your dog from getting stinky after hiking and swimming. When bathing your dog in the summer pay special attention to make sure that your dog is thoroughly dried when they get out of the tub because staying wet in warm and humid weather can lead to skin irritations and infections.
Dogs need regular nail trims year-round including during the summer months. It’s best for dogs to have neat and short nails. When dogs have longer nails it can impact their orthopedic health and make it difficult for them to comfortably walk, run, and play. Long nails can also get caught and ripped which is painful and can cause injuries for dogs. Not to mention, if your dog has a baby pool to enjoy in the summer, longer nails can pop or damage the pool.
Ear infections are unfortunately very common with dogs in the summer who spend a lot of time swimming and playing in the water. Especially for dogs with droopy ears the warm weather and summer humidity can cause an increase in bacteria build-up which leads to ear infections. Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears as part of your grooming routine during the summer months can help keep ears clean and prevent infections. Making a point to regularly check your dog’s ears while cleaning will help you notice if they are dirty, red, or seem irritated at which point it’s important to schedule a veterinary appointment.
Think Twice Before Shaving:
How you choose to groom or have your dog groomed is a very personal decision based on your preferences and your individual dog’s comfort. If you want to help your dog stay cool this summer you might be thinking about shaving them, but that isn’t always the best idea. For double-coated dogs keeping all their fur can help keep them cooler. The double-coated fur on breeds like Border Collies, Pomeranians, Huskies, Australian Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds helps keep them insulated from warm temperatures by trapping cool temperatures close to the skin. If you shave the fur of double-coated breeds they may be warmer with a shorter haircut. If you do decide to shave your dog or give them a summer cut, be cautious about bringing your dog out into the sun as they are more susceptible to sunburns as well as overheating.