Dog Grooming for the Summer

It’s finally summer. School is out, backyard parties are in full swing, the pool is open and vacations are being planned. But the best part is there are a few long lazy summer days in our near future. For those of us who are pet parents, summer becomes a fun time. You might be selecting a summer wardrobe, but it is also the perfect time to get your dog ready for hot summer days. Find your local dog grooming salon and get your four-legged best friend ready for the season!

Every dog is different and they all have their own particular amount of fur. Malamutes are completely different than Chihuahuas. If your pooch is on the fluffy side, there are dog grooming tips and ways to get your pooch ready for a more comfortable summer.

Short hair benefits

For some pet owners, the summer months are when they keep their dog’s coat as short and closely cut as possible. But according to Mari Rozanski, of Plush Pups Boutique and Grooming in Huntingdon Valley, PA, in a 2018 PedtMD article,  pet owners make all sorts of different decisions.

Rozanski has been grooming dogs for over 25 years and says, “I have customers who spend a lot of time outdoors—gardening, the beach, etc.—and their dogs join in on the fun. In these cases, a shorter than usual cut would be good, mostly because the owner will be able to better maintain a shorter cut, and it will be easier to keep the dog clean and to check for fleas and ticks.”

Rozanski says that as a rule, it is best to consider what activities your dog will be involved in over the summer months. If your dog will be in and out of a swimming pool, a trip to the dog grooming services near you and a short cut might be just the thing - and not just for helping Rover stay cool.

“For dogs who spend time poolside, a shorter cut is good,” Rozanski said. “Pool water and chemicals can wreak havoc on a dog’s coat, making it easier to mat, and if the coat doesn’t dry completely, it can be smelly. Pool chemicals should be rinsed from the dog’s coat as they can be harmful to the skin.” It is always best to thoroughly dry your dog, whether he has been swimming or not. A short cut will make this much easier.

Dog ID Collar.com has the best, most comfortable embroidered dog collars that your pet will be sure to love along with the new haircut from your favorite dog groomer.

Doggie sunscreen

Overexposure to the sun is dangerous for our pets just as it is for us. There are dangers and, as pet owners, we have to be aware of them. A dog can become sunburned, especially on their groin where they don’t have much hair anyway. Thin coated dogs (or dogs who just visited the dog groomer) are at a higher risk of getting burned in the sun. Sometimes overexposure can result in health issues, including tumors.

Pet owners must take precautions if their dog will be spending time on the sun. Make sure your dog is spending enough time in the shade, cooling off. There are also dog sunscreen products for sale, as well as T-shirts designed especially for our pets. Even if you do not purchase pet clothing, at least get light-colored clothing (preferably white). Dark colors will attract heat, instead of reflecting it.

Sunscreen is, of course, a good idea for dogs in much the same way as it is for dog owners. But it is crucial to use caution when buying sunscreen. Some products contain a chemical called zinc oxide and can be harmful to some dogs if they try ingesting it. Pay attention to whether or not your pet is trying to lick the sunscreen away from his skin, watch for nausea diarrhea, vomiting mouth irritation and yellow eyes. If these symptoms occur, your dog is having a negative reaction to zinc oxide. In this instance, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Very effective dog sunscreen, however, is available online and at pet stores. If your dog develops a rough and crusty nose through the summertime, purchase snout ointment from your local pet supply shop.

Further caution should be given to more serious skin conditions like discoid lupus erythematosus which comes from overexposure to the sun. Again, if conditions don’t improve, ask your veterinarian for advice.

Dog grooming appointment should be booked before the summer begins.

It is great if you plan to cut your dog’s hair for summer, but if you want to keep him comfortable all year, regular dog grooming should be an all-year practice.

“There are owners who only bring their dog to the groomer when summer arrives,” said Rozanski. “In some cases, the coat has been neglected and must be shaved because it is filthy and matted. I call this cut a ‘smoothie.”

Rozanski continued. “Usually, this is what the owner wants anyway to get them through another year. You don’t know what skin problems lie beneath this neglected coat, so great care must be taken by the groomer. A 7F blade (1/8” cut), or a 10 blade (1/16” cut) is usually necessary in these cases, followed by a soothing bath, such as oatmeal or aloe based formula for dogs.”

Dog grooming tip - keep your pet groomed all year round. Consistent dog grooming can prevent a super short cut once summer comes. Good dog grooming promotes better skin health no matter the season.

Which cut should your dog have during the summer?

There are some alternatives to keeping your dog’s hair cut short. Puppy, teddy and panda dog grooming styles are cute and commonly desired in the summer. These types of cuts can be anywhere from ¼” to 2-¼” and the dog stays relatively comfortable in the heat.

Some dog owners like to keep the dog’s body hair short, while he wags his tail to please his master. Poodles used to have the biggest selection of summer haircuts, but now most breeds have an identifiable summer do. The best accessory to the new season’s do is an embroidered dog collar and leash set from Dog ID Collar.com.  

“There is a relatively new style of dog grooming, which has no rules as far as breed standards,” Rozanski said. “This is called Asian Freestyle, and this style makes the dogs look like stuffed toys. Groomers everywhere are attending seminars to learn this style, as it is perfect for many of the smaller breeds such as the Toy Poodle, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and others.”

Dog grooming at home?

You may be thinking you can cut your dog’s hair yourself, but most dog groomers don’t recommend it. Do-it-yourself dog grooming can go very wrong. Dog owners might think they know how to groom your dog. They might like spending this time with their pet, but unless they have the skills and proper equipment, it typically ends up in disaster. Electric trimmers typically are sold with a #10 blade. In addition to being very sharp, they also become extremely hot when in use. Since dogs don’t always stand still during dog grooming, cutting and burning your dog is a very real danger. Cutting an ear, burning their skin or poking them with scissors is avoidable by letting the nearest professional dog groomer give the doggie haircut.

Consider these three things when grooming and accessorizing your pet for summer: Comfort, Style, and Activity Level. Regular dog grooming and a comfortable new, embroidered dog collar is exactly how to get your furry best friend ready for the season! Also, do not forget to take precautions against sun exposure and heat. Most of all, have a great summer playing with your dog.