5 Summer Dog Grooming Tips
When the weather is hot, your dog’s fur coat can be a bit much. Your dog has his own tactic for dealing with this – shedding – but you can help out to keep him more comfortable and keep the dog hair situation around the house under control. Summer dog grooming involves more than just brushing more often. The warm weather comes with its own challenges, so here are five grooming tips to keep your dog comfortable and healthy.
1. Use the Right Tools for Your Dog’s Coat
When you go into any pet store to buy a brush for your dog, you will find quite an array of options. It is not always obvious which one is best for which dogs. A soft bristle brush is excellent for dogs with a short, sleek coat but won’t do much for other dogs. However, if your dog dislikes being groomed, a soft brush and a supply of Leader Train Me treats can convince him being brushed is actually pretty great. Rubber bristle brushes are also good for dogs who are nervous of being groomed and those with thinner coats such as chihuahuas or greyhounds.
Some dogs such as German Shepherds have a double coat. While any brush will spruce up the topcoat, the undercoat requires an undercoat rake. It also requires a lot of time and patience for daily brushing. Dogs with thick, wiry coats can benefit from a slicker brush, but take care to use it gently. A regular wire pin bristle brush is just right for many dogs, including those with longer hair. Check for matts on long-haired dogs before you brush so you can gently detangle them with your fingers or in more severe cases, trim them out with a scissors.
2. Summertime Is Bath Time
In the warm weather, your dog is probably outside more. She might even be swimming in canals, lakes or streams. And all that outdoor fun can be pretty dirty. That means she needs a bath more often. Just because it is warm does not mean you can just blast her with a garden hose outside though. It isn’t often that warm! While some dogs will love that approach and have the time of their lives, others will get frightened.
To get your dog clean, it is best to bathe them inside and dry them afterwards. Dogs being dogs are inclined to seek out the grossest spot in the garden for a good roll as soon as you let them out. Be sure to wash your dog with dog shampoo – never human shampoo – and rinse it completely out of their fur. You can take your dog to a professional groomer for a bath or you can do it at home, in which case you might as well don your swimming togs and expect to get wet along with your best friend.
3. Get the Proper Cut for Your Dog’s Breed
Some dog breeds such as poodles and Scottish terriers have classic, almost iconic haircuts. Some of these cuts have roots in the breed’s historic purpose. Poodles were once retrievers. Their distinctive cut began as to trim unnecessary fur so it didn’t weight them down when wet and so they had a good range of motion, but some parts were left long to protect them from cold water.
Whether you have a purebred poodle or a mysterious mixed breed, getting a good haircut from an experienced groomer can help keep them cool in the summer while also ensuring they have enough fur left to protect them from sunburn. Different dog breeds and types have different needs depending on their type of fur and other traits. While you can snip out matts and tidy them up a bit at home, getting a professional cut is highly recommended to keep your dog looking and feeling great.
4. Check and Protect against Parasites
When you are grooming your dog, take the opportunity to check him over carefully for fleas and ticks. Feel his legs and belly carefully for any strange bumps that could be a tick burrowed in. Use a fine-toothed comb to check for fleas. If you find dark flecks in your dog’s fur, that is a sign of fleas. Of course prevention is better than cure. Using flea and tick control is important, but you should still check your dog. If your dog has been out in long grass, it is extra likely he’s encountered ticks.
5. Summer Ear Care
Dogs with ears that hang down sometimes need some extra help to keep their ears healthy in warm weather. Those adorable floppy ears tend to prevent good air circulation, and that can create the kind of environment where fungal infections thrive. When you groom your dog, flip her ears up and have a good look. Talk to your vet about the best tactics to prevent ear infections for your specific dog. In general, keep long hair well combed under and around the ears. Use ear cleaner to swab out the ear canal regularly. If your dog has been in water, make sure to dry her ears. Some breeds need to have hair inside the ear plucked out, but don’t try this unless your vet recommends it for your dog.
Not all dogs will appreciate your efforts. While some being brushed as relaxing as a good massage, others fear the brush or struggle to sit still for long. For those dogs who need some extra encouragement to relax for grooming time, Leader Train Me treats are ideal. They are low in calories, so you can give your dog plenty of them without worrying. And they are made with quality, wholesome ingredients so they are a healthy option. Once your dog starts to associate grooming with treats and time with you, he’ll look forward to it.