Summertime brings with it fun outdoor adventures, which can also mean an increased need for grooming your dog. The hot weather also brings higher temperatures and more parasites. But, your summer dog grooming routine doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are some tips and tricks to help make grooming your dog this summer a breeze.
Bathing and brushing
It’s important to keep your dog’s coat clean and free of mats with a regular bathing routine. Summer outings can expose your dog to more dirt and grime, as well as more opportunities to get burrs and other objects stuck in their fur. Make sure to bathe your dog after any muddy or dusty outings, and inspect their coat for any foreign bodies. If you have to bathe your dog more frequently than usual, oatmeal or aloe-based shampoos can help reduce dry skin.
Brushing daily can also help reduce the chances of a mat or foreign body getting stuck, as well as remove excess dirt from the coat. It’s also important for double-coated breeds that may shed more in the summer temperatures. Brushing is a great way to bond with your dog while checking for any parasites, cuts and scrapes, or other skin issues.
Summer coat trimming
Not every dog needs a summer trim, but breeds with longer coats may benefit from a haircut. Speaking with a groomer versed in your dog’s breed can help determine if they should be trimmed regularly, or if their coat should be left alone and other cooling methods used instead.
If your dog has a mat or something stuck in their fur that needs to be removed, you can trim some of the coat at home. Gently clip as close to the problem as possible, and then use a sticker or bristle brush to brush out any remaining tangles or items stuck in the fur. A detangling spray can also be used to help loosen up any mats and reduce the need for excessive trimming.
The summer months can also see an increase in ear issues. Dogs that enjoy swimming or traversing brush-filled areas may be at greater risk. It’s important to inspect your dog’s ears after an outing, especially with droopy-eared breeds that can get water and debris stuck underneath. Signs of an ear infection include shaking the head, pawing at the ears, pain or redness, and discharge from the ears. An over-the-counter ear cleaner can help after outings, but any serious infections should be seen by a vet.
Flea and tick prevention
As the weather warms, many parasites emerge from hibernation and become active again. Flea eggs in the environment will hatch, and ticks are eager for a blood meal after the long winter months. It’s important to have flea and tick preventives as part of your summer dog grooming routine. This will ensure they don’t get bitten while you’re out on an adventure. Preventives come in a variety of forms. These include monthly oral or topical treatments, collars, and sprays that can help reduce the number of parasites in the environment.
Signs of fleas can include excessive scratching or biting at the skin. You may also see flea “dirt” specks where the coat meets the skin, and redness or irritation where a bite has occurred. Ticks often appear as large or growing black specks buried just beneath the skin and may cause irritation or redness.
While fleas can easily be removed with a flea shampoo and fine-toothed comb, a tick should be more carefully removed. It’s important to use tick-removal tweezers. They can remove the tick without overly squeezing the body or getting the head stuck beneath the skin. Gently press it against the tick where it meets your dog’s skin. Then, carefully squeeze and pull upward with even pressure.
More summer dog grooming tips
While the changing seasons can bring new grooming challenges, it doesn’t have to be difficult. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by summer dog grooming, call in the professionals! Read up on how to pick the perfect dog groomer for your pup, so you can enjoy a better summer.