The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Dog Grooming

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Dog Grooming

Summer has arrived! And with it comes long walks, romps on the beach, pitching a tent in the woods and any number of other exciting doggie-friendly adventures.

But all those outdoor escapades also bring along some specific grooming challenges. Making sure your dog properly groomed during the sunny season not only keeps him looking great, it also helps protect his skin, coat, eyes and ears from summer hazards.

Check out these summertime grooming do’s and don’ts for a happy, healthy, fun-in-the-sun pooch.

DO keep long-haired dogs clipped for extra ease. A summer cut will help cut down on the time you spend brushing, as well as prevent knots and mats from forming. The majority of dogs only need a trim every six to nine weeks. But dogs with curly or extra-long coats probably need to visit the groomer more often.

DON’T shave your dog down to the skin. It may be tempting to think that a close shave will help your dog stay cooler; but dogs’ coats are actually great at keeping them cool in summer, as well as warm in the winter. Shaving your dog can lead to sunburn and can cause the coats of certain breeds to grow back wrong.

DO bathe your dog whenever he becomes noticeably dirty or smelly. Use a gentle shampoo formulated specifically for dogs (no human suds, please). The bath should be cool or lukewarm, since hot water could burn or dry out the skin. Make sure to avoid the head and eyes, rinse well, and towel off thoroughly afterwards.

DON’T bathe your dog too often. Try to avoid plunking your pup in the tub more than every few weeks. Frequent bathing can strip away essential oils, leading to itchy skin and a brittle coat. For in-between-bath touch-ups, use a damp towel or a commercial grooming cloth to lightly wipe off any grime.

DO check your dog’s ears, eyes, coat, skin and paw pads regularly. All the extra activity during the summer can make your pooch more susceptible to cuts, scrapes, burrs and creepy critters like fleas and ticks. Be especially vigilant about foxtails, a grass-like weed that has a barbed seed head. It can work its way into almost any part of your dog’s body and cause problems.

DON’T forget to administer flea and tick preventative. These pesky pests are not only an irritant (especially when they end up in your house), they can cause serious health issues for your dog. Fleas can bring about extreme allergic reactions in some pups. And ticks carry all kinds of diseases including lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis.

Now, DO go out there and have the best summer ever with your four-legged friend!