With the dog days of summer approaching, you might be wondering what to do about changing up your dog’s grooming routine. Winter’s focus was on keeping their skin moisturized and protected from the harsh cold air. Spring was the season of blown coats, brushing, and allergy flares. Summer brings the heat and the bugs… not to mention that summer shedding that leaves hair everywhere.
What should we do to keep our dogs looking dapper and feeling cool and comfortable while we enjoy our summer outings? Is it really acceptable to shave your dog? Do they need more baths, or does swimming in the pool count? We’ve got the advice you’re looking for!
We’re here for you with 7 dog grooming tips for summer. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to keep your dog looking and feeling good, so you can enjoy an easy breezy summer.
Fido Fizzies Top Summer Dog Grooming Tips
1) More Brushing- Your dog’s fur acts as natural insulation, helping to keep her cool since she doesn’t have sweat glands. Frequent brushing keeps the air circulating to your dog’s skin by removing the loose, dead hair that can get trapped. If your dog has been taking advantage of the weather and rolling around outside, or if you’ve taken her swimming, she may also be developing knots in her coat. Thorough brushing will keep those knots from turning into mats.
Matted hair is more than inconvenient. It traps moisture next to the skin and keeps air from properly circulating through the hair, making it difficult for your dog to cool down. Mats can also lead to painful skin infections if not addressed quickly. Make sure you use the right brush for your dog’s hair type to get the best results.
2) Check For Bugs Frequently- While you're brushing your dog, take the time to carefully go through her fur and look for hitchhikers. Fleas and ticks are out in full force. Ticks are nasty little disease spreaders, it only takes one flea to start an infestation, and flea allergy dermatitis is a miserable experience for any dog. Fleas also carry tapeworms and can pass them along to your dog.
If you find a tick attached to your dog, remove it, being sure not to leave the head in the skin. Keep it to take to your dog’s vet so it can be tested for diseases. If it was carrying something, you need to get your dog treated ASAP.
To help keep prevent pests from making themselves at home on your dog, pop an I Hate Bugs Dog Bath Bomb into your dog’s bath water. Made with geranium, cedar, and lemongrass essential oils, this bomb packs a punch and is sure to scare away fleas and ticks.
3) Stay On Top Of Nail Trims- Don’t slack on nail trims just because your dog is outside more. Keep those nails neatly trimmed to prevent cracking and breaking.
4) Check Those Paw Pads- Hot pavement can really do a number on your dog’s feet. Make it a habit to check your dog’s paws when you do nail trims. Look for signs of burning, cracking, and blistering. It’s not just the pavement you need to protect your dog’s paws from. If you make it a practice to walk in the grass so you don’t bake your pup's toes, your dog could develop irritated paws if they have a grass allergy or could develop cuts from hidden sticks and small rocks. Make sure you keep those paw pads moisturized and clean. A product like Fido Fizzies Paw Soak will keep your dog’s paws soft and clean.
5) Stay on Top Of Those Baths- Warm summer weather means more outdoor time for your pup. Whether it’s playing at the dog park, splashing through a wading pool in your yard, or a day at the lake, brushing a few times a week will keep down some of the dust, but your dog will definitely need to stay on a bath schedule to keep dirt and debris at bay. No, swimming in the pool does not count as a bath. In fact, the chlorine can irritate and dry out your dog’s skin if it is not rinsed off.
Unless your dog is very dirty or has been swimming in chlorinated water, sticking with a bath once a month is enough to keep her feeling and smelling fresh. If your dog has been having lots of fun in the sun, and dirt, toss a Dirty Dog Bath Bomb into her bath water to help gently remove the crud and nourish her skin and coat.
6) Clean the Ears- Cleaning your dog’s ears is important in every season, but summer time sees an increase in ear infections. In the summer, ear cleanings are especially important if you take your dog swimming or if they suffer from seasonal allergies.
You need to check the ears carefully for any discharge or inflammation and see if you notice any odors. Make sure you gently clean them with ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball. This will help remove any pollen or debris that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Make sure any long hairs aren’t getting into your dog’s ear canal by carefully trimming them. If you notice swelling or discharge, call the vet so you can get the right treatment for your dog.
7) Consider a Summer Cut- Do not shave your dog… especially a double coated breed. Dogs coats are designed to help them control their body temperature and provide insulation in hot and cold weather. Shaving leaves your dog vulnerable to sunburn and can contribute to heat stroke. However, when temperatures really soar, the extra hair makes it harder for dogs to lower their body temperature.
A summer cut can help keep your dog cool while leaving the insulating layer they need and keeping them protected from the sun. You might want to visit an experienced groomer so you can see what a good summer cut looks like before attempting it on your own.
With just a few adjustments to your grooming routine, you can totally navigate the warm summer months and keep your dog fresh, healthy, and happy all summer long!