Summer is fast approaching and everyone is excited, including your dog! Summer is the season to enjoy the outdoors, soak up the sun, and have some fun together. However, keep in mind that hot weather also poses some potential issues for your furry friend. Dogs can really feel the heat, so it’s essential to keep them cool at all times. One way to do this is through regular dog grooming.
Besides helping your pup stay clean and fresh for the summer days, grooming has other benefits to consider. Below are some of the essential grooming tips to keep your dog healthy, happy, and stylish during these warm summer months!
Bathing your pooch
If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, you’ll definitely need to keep on top of your dog’s hygiene with bathing. Bathing will help get rid of dirt, sweat, fleas, and bad odors. However, bathing your dog is not the easiest task in the world, especially if your dog is nervous. Here are some useful tips you can apply for a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Choose the right location: Select a place that is safe and comfortable for your pup. If you have a small dog, the kitchen sink may be ideal. However, if you have a big dog, you’ll need to choose a larger space such as the bathtub or the shower.
- Use the right shampoo: The wrong shampoo can make their skin dry and uncomfortable. Choose a mild dog shampoo that is easy to rinse and has the essential ingredients to clean and remove unwanted odors effectively. It’s important to remember that dogs and humans skin have different pH levels, so you want to use a dog-specific shampoo, and not a human one.
- Start from the bottom up: Starting from the bottom of their legs and working your way up their body can prevent the soap from dripping into their eyes. You can use a damp cloth to wipe their face to help reduce the risks of water getting in the ear or the eyes.
- Protect the ears: Letting water inside your pooch’s ear can be irritating and can cause infections. Be careful where you spray the water. If they keep shaking their head, it means that water is getting into their ears.
Remember, you shouldn’t bathe your dog too often. You only want to bathe them at a maximum, every few weeks. However if they are very dirty or smelly – then you should wash them to prevent skin irritations.
Remove undercoat and trim their fur
Dogs’ fur acts as an insulator, and in summer, it is very easy for them to overheat. Therefore, it’s crucial that you remove all the dead fur which is trapping in heat. If you have a double-coated breed, you need to be particularly aware of their fur. Dogs like Spitz’s’, German Shepherds, and Huskies should all have their undercoat removed during summer. The process of removing undercoat is very involved and time-consuming – so be sure to make time for the treatment.
For dogs with curly/long hair, consider a shorter clip than usual. Having shorter hair also makes it easier to maintain especially if your dog loves to go for bushwalks! When getting their fur trimmed, be sure to request a little bit of length, you don’t want their fur too short as it can increase their risk of sunburn.
If you have trouble brushing or cutting your pup’s hair, you can always bring them to a professional dog grooming salon!
Regular brushing is important all year-round, but particularly in summer. Brushing is crucial in removing mats, which can trap even more moisture and are uncomfortable for your dog.
Brushing the coat will also help remove excess hair, which can improve air circulation on the skin and help them feel cool. It’s essential that you use the right tools for brushing. The tools you need depends on your dog’s coat. For double-coated breeds, you’ll want something like the Furminator, which easily grabs onto loose undercoat. But if you have a curly-haired breed, you might want to use a brush or comb that’s a bit more wider-toothed.
Brushing your dog’s coat will also distribute the oils throughout their hair follicles, and what does this mean? A shiny coat!
Summer will involve a lot of playtime and running in the outdoors. Overgrown nails however can be a real health hazard. When dogs’ nails are long, they may have to change their paw’s posture when walking, and this can cause further health complications. Trimming their nails will help them feel more comfortable.
Also, properly trimmed nails can reduce the severity of scratching. Sharp and long nails can not only cause them skin irritation, but it could cause injury to you if they like to jump up.
Trimming nails isn’t normally a time-consuming process, but it can be tricky, especially for new dog owners. When trimming their nails, look for the blood vessel, commonly known as the ‘quick’. You want to trim their nails as close to this as possible, without cutting into it. If the quick is cut, this can be very painful for your dog and can cause them anxiety around paw touching in the future.
Because of the skill needed, we recommend bringing your dog to a professional groomer to have their nails trimmed.
We’re all excited for the long, sunny days, but remember your dog and their grooming routine. Keep up with bathing and brushing, and if you’re unsure on anything, ask your local groomer. If you are thinking of getting them professionally groomed, be sure to book well in advance! During the summer months, all dog groomers are running of-their-feet!