You’re a good dog parent. You never leave your dog in a hot car on a hot day. You give your dog access to plenty of shade and water. And you never exercise your pet in the peak heat of the afternoon.
But outside of the obviously dangerous, and the out-of-the-box fun for your pet, the most effective and regularly overlooked way to take care of your pet and beat the summer heat is by paying attention to your dog’s grooming needs.
By keeping your dog properly groomed throughout the summer you can keep dangerous dog problems at bay and keep your pet cool and comfortable. Because heat stroke and foot blisters are nothing to shake our heads at, we’ve included 5 ways you can pay attention to your pet’s grooming needs and get them ready to face the summer heat.
1. Achieve Proper Coat Length For Your Dog
While keeping a shorter coat on your dog might seem like the most logical way to keep your dog from overheating, cutting down the length of your dog’s coat too much can actually cause certain dogs to get sunburned (especially if they have a pink skin tone). A balance needs to be struck between not too long and not too short. A professional dog groomer can lend the experience necessary to achieve the length of coat that will keep your dog cool while protecting them from a painful sunburn.
2. Perform A Thorough De-Shedding On Your Dog
It’s natural for a dog with a thick, double coat to shed. It’s nature's way of keeping your dog cool. But regular shedding can become problematic for a dog mom or dad looking to keep their house in order. Once we’ve reached our threshold for dealing with our pets shedding we might be tempted to just shave it off and be done with it but this is truly a knee jerk reaction. Shaving your double coated dog is not always the best answer. Not all double coated dogs should be shaved. Talk to your groomer about a thorough de-shedding process. A de-shed will help loosen the undercoat and have them clean, cool and shedding less for the summer.
3. Space Out Your Dog’s Baths
Just because it’s hot, and soaking your dog with water appears to be an easy way to cool down your dog, it doesn’t mean that you should bath your dog daily or even weekly. Over bathing can bring about a whole rash of other issues for your pet. Keep in mind that your pet's skin can be very sensitive and that spacing out their baths is just as important as keeping them cool (even if they do get a little stinky from rolling in the mud or playing at the park).
4. Pay Attention To Your Pet’s Paw Pads
The pads on your pet's feet are very sensitive. Hot concrete, asphalt, rocks, gravel and sand can be painful and damaging to your pet's pads. Heat blisters, rips, and tears in the pads can all occur. Be mindful of the temperature of the ground you're walking your pet on and avoid hot surfaces that might bring harm. A good rule of thumb is the 5 second rule; place your hand on the surface you’re walking on, if you can’t hold your palm to the ground for more than 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dog to be walking on. You can protect your pets pads by having them regularly conditioned and polished by a professional dog groomer leaving them less susceptible to painful cracks caused by moisture sucking heat and protect them at home, in-between groomings, by purchasing a pad wax like Musher’s Secret Paw Protection for your pup and applying it as often as directed by the manufacturer to keep them hydrated.
5. Take Your Pet For Regular grooming
Lots of people think of dog grooming in regards to the way it makes us feel about our pets and not about the way it makes our pets feel. Enjoying the opportunity to play more outside naturally means that your pet can and will get dirty, faster. This tends to send dog moms and dads into the groomers but regular grooming is more than just for keeping our pets clean. Regular grooming can help your dog stay healthy, feeling great, and even help you cut costs on certain vet bills. Your dog will need to be groomed at least every 3 months to keep his or her skin and coat in tip top shape.