When the weather is really hot, most of us feel a lot of sympathy towards our canine companions, who cannot simply strip off another layer in order to cool down and who are lumbered with an often thick, heavy fur coat all through the year, whether they want to be or not!
This means that as well as looking at other sensible ways to keep dogs cool such as exercising when the weather cools down, keeping your dog in the shade and ensuring that they have free access to water, many of us think about clipping our dogs’ fur off, or otherwise looking at ways to reduce their coats to cool them down during the hot weather.
In this article, we will share six top tips for grooming your dog in the summer, including whether or not you should shave or clip your dog’s coat off. Read on to learn more.
First of all, the dogs that we tend to feel most sorry for in the summer are those with long, thick coats, often with double layers, such as the German shepherd and the Siberian husky. Such coats are of course largely designed to keep dogs like these warm and well insulated during the colder weather, but it also performs an important role in terms of helping to provide protection from the sun in the summer too, and can actually help to keep them cool when it’s really hot.
Whatever breed or type of dog you own and however thick or otherwise their fur is, it is wise to groom them at least every other day during the summer, to remove loose hair that will help to keep your dog cool and also, stop them shedding all over the house.
This is even more important for dogs that have coats that don’t shed very much, such as the poodle and hybrid breeds with poodle ancestry, such as the Labradoodle and Cockapoo. These dogs still shed hair, but it tends to get trapped in the rest of their coat, which can lead to matts and knots if left unchecked.
Whether or not to clip your dog off during the summer is something that you should decide on a case by case basis, depending on your dog’s lifestyle, their breed and their coat. Some breeds such as the Border terrier can look quite neat when clipped off and also, grow their coats back in good time for the winter, whilst for other breeds, clipping will both make them look and feel a bit strange, and affect the way that their coat grows back it in the future.
All dogs need a bath now and then to keep them from becoming pongy and generally, make them more comfortable by keeping their skin and coat clean. Summer is a good time to do this, for a lot of reasons-you can bath your dog outside, and it helps to remove shed hair from the coat as well as cooling them off.
However, remember that bathing still needs to be done properly-hosing your dog down and half-heartedly shampooing them at the same time is not enough! Also, water from the hose may be too cold, even if the weather is very hot, and can prove a shock to their system.
Grass seeds and other small pieces of organic debris that your dog might come into contact with when they are out and about are much more prolific during the summer, when all of the plants, grass and trees are in full growth and shedding seeds for the next year.
Small blades of grass and particularly small, hard debris like grass seeds can work themselves into all sorts of places, such as inside of your dog’s ears, and even under the skin where their paws meet their claws, which can be both annoying and potentially painful.
Check your dog over daily during the summer with a special eye out for these things, and remove any stray particles promptly.
During the summer, you may notice that your own hair and nails grow more quickly than usual, and the same is true for your dog. Additionally, your dog may well be walking on grass and softer surfaces more than usual, which means that their claws will not wear down as quickly as if you were walking them on the roads.
Keep a check on the length of your dog’s claws, and trim or file them off as needed during the summer, or ask your dog groomer to do this for you when you take them in for their bath.