Summertime Grooming Tips For Your Dog
As temperatures warm up and the sun stays shining all day long, everyone can hardly wait to get back to camping, swimming, and all the other outdoor activities that make summer such a fun season—and your dog is likely just as excited! However, he will require a few special grooming and care tips to feel his best. Follow these simple guidelines to make both you and your dog’s summer one of the best yet:
Although summer days and long walks go hand in hand, the harsh sun can make hot sidewalks excruciating for your pup’s sensitive paw pads. The best way to avoid this problem is to take your dog for a walk either in the early morning or late evening as the ground starts to cool off. A good way to gage if it’s too hot for a walk is to place your hand on the pavement—if you cannot keep your hand there for at least 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s bare feet.
Four Paws and other pet retailers sell paw wax
that can be applied to your dog’s paw pads to prevent them from drying and cracking in the summertime. Paw wax can also keep your dog’s feet protected from hot sand on the beach and jagged rocks on hikes. If your dog is hot, wiping his paw pads with a cool, damp cloth will also help cool him down.
FLEAS AND TICKS
Fleas and ticks thrive in the summertime, so pet owners should be hyper vigilant of these parasites grabbing onto your fur kid. Check for ticks after going for walks in wooded or grassy areas, especially around your dog’s head and ears. It’s important to try to get ticks off of your dog as soon as possible, because ticks can transmit disease and embed into the skin within hours.
It is also important to be on the lookout for symptoms of fleas in your dog. Although fleas often cause itching, some dogs may not scratch at all—so it’s important to be on the lookout for fleas, eggs, and dirt-black specks of flea waste. Flea combs
can help you find and remove fleas manually, and specially formulated flea-and-tick shampoos
can help kill these parasites and repel them later on.
BRUSHING AND BATHING
Doing more outside activities might make you want to bathe your dog more often, but it’s important to stick to his regular bathing schedule so you don’t end up irritating your dog’s skin. Consider bringing bath time outside to make it a fun summer activity—just be careful of harsh water pressure and getting water in your dog’s eyes, ears, and mouth. Use a bucket of tepid water and a cup to rinse off your dog.
While logic would lead one to believe that you should shave your dog’s heavy coat to avoid overheating, a dog’s coat actually protects him from the heat and harmful UV rays. Double-coated breeds should never be trimmed; other coat types can be trimmed for the summer, but it’s best to check with your vet first. A good brushing schedule is more than enough to help keep your dog cool because it prevents excess buildup of dead hair.
Good ear care is extra important during warmer months. Humidity and heat can make your dog’s ears a smorgasbord of yeast and bacteria, and if your dog loves to swim, he could be at even greater risk for ear infections. Make a point to clean your dog’s ears weekly, and gently wipe your dog’s ears with a cotton ball after each swim.