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 when the ground is cooler. A good way to gauge 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 five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s bare feet.
Paw wax can be applied to your dog’s paw pads to prevent them from drying and cracking in the summertime. This product can also keep your dog’s feet protected from hot sand on the beach and jagged rocks on hikes. If your dog overheats, wiping their paw pads with a cold, damp cloth will also help cool them down.
Fleas and ticks thrive in the summertime, so you should be hyper vigilant of these parasites grabbing onto your furry friend. Check for ticks after going for walks in wooded or grassy areas, especially around your dog’s head and ears. It’s important to remove ticks from your dog as soon as possible because they 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 watch out 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 repel and kill these parasites.
Doing more outdoor activities might make you want to bathe your dog more often, but it’s important to stick to their regular bathing schedule so you don’t end up irritating your dog’s skin. Consider taking 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 them 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. Use a dematting brush to get rid of those pesky tangles and help your dog feel clean and refreshed.
Good ear care is a crucial element of dog care in summer. Humidity and heat can make your dog’s ears a smorgasbord of yeast and bacteria, and if your dog loves to swim, they could be at even greater risk for ear infections. Make a point to clean your dog’s ears weekly and gently wipe them with a cotton ball after each swim.
Watch your dog diligently when they’re outside give them a good look over afterwards. Following summer dog grooming tips and stocking up on proper equipment will help you and your pooch safely enjoy the warm weather together!
Four Paws®, Magic Coat®, and Wee-Wee® products are available at major pet stores everywhere in the U.S. Please check with your local retailer for product availability near you.