Summertime is a Great Time to Groom Your Dog!
Summer is a great time of the year for both dogs and people. With the hot weather, dogs may shed continually throughout the summer months, and this is true for both double coat and single coat pooches.
It is a good idea to up your game when it comes to your routine grooming. After double coated dogs have completely “blown” their coat, which is the heavy shed that is typically in the early to late spring, grooming on an every other day basis can help to reduce the amount of hair left behind in the house. Single-coated dogs, especially those with short coats, can often be groomed with a grooming mitt, which is a pleasant and relaxing experience that is a great bonding activity with the dog.
To Trim or Not to Trim – That is the Question
One of the most common misconceptions about dog grooming is the issue around trimming the coat of a long-haired or double-coated dog. The issue is not around trimming as much as shaving the coat to a very short length.
Groomers agree and even recommend that trimming the coat of a long-haired or double coated dog is a good option for summer, and the ASPCA endorses this option. However, the trimming needs to be done carefully to allow the hair to continue to act as protection for the dog’s skin from sunburn and even overheating.
With double coats, the thicker, wooly layer acts as a form of insulation, helping to keep the heat from the sun away from the dog’s skin, allowing the animal to effectively manage his or her body temperature. Of course, ensuring the dog is not left in the heat of the sun, regardless of the coat length, is always an important factor.
Shaving, which is the close clipping of the coat, is not recommended for any breed of dog. Shaving removes the insulating layer and also exposes the skin, which can lead to sunburns, irritation of the skin, and potential inability to effectively regulate the body temperature.
If you are going to trim your dog, be sure to use a professional groomer. This is not a do-it-yourself project, and professional groomers can provide the necessary trim to make grooming easier while still leaving protection for the coat.
A Bath Every Now and Then
Summer grooming can also include a soothing dog bath every few weeks. Avoid bathing the dog too often as this can dry out the skin and the coat, causing scratching and irritation.
Always use a dog-friendly shampoo, there are even some products for dogs with sensitive skin that include oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut oil for moisturizing and soothing of dry or irritated skin.
In addition to a bath only as needed, be sure to use a moist cotton pad to clean dust from around the eyes and to clean the inside of the ears. Hounds or other breeds with pendant ears, such as Labs, are prone to waxy buildup that can cause irritation.
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