Summertime means dirt, grass, and swimming – the perfect recipe for a dirty dogs! Instead of getting frustrated (and having a perpetually stinky house), follow these do’s and don’ts for summer dog grooming to keep your dog looking and feeling its best.
Do bathe your dog. Everyone likes a clean dog! In the summer all those outdoor adventures can make your pet stink. If you’re like me, your dogs nap on your couch and sleep in the bed with you, and if they stink it’s no fun. My motto is clean dog, clean house, clean life. If you don’t want to deal with hair all over your bathroom, take them to a pet store with DIY dog washing facilities. It’ll cost you between $7 and $15 depending where you live – a small price to pay for a clean house!
Don’t over bathe your dog. I give my two short haired dogs baths about twice a month. Be extra cautious with dogs prone to dry skin. Bathing them too much will make dry skin worse because washing strips off the healthy natural oils on their skin.
Don’t bathe your dog within 48 hours of applying any kind of topical flea and tick preventative. These types of products work by soaking into the skin, and you can hinder the products effectiveness by bathing them too soon after applying these products.
A great alternative is to wipe your dog down with a warm wet rag to remove dirt and spritzing them with some pet cologne or pet safe leave in conditioner to leave them looking and smelling great. These little freshen ups, are a lot easier and faster than a full bath.
Do check your dog regularly for fleas and ticks. The problem with fleas is that where there is one there are many, and they multiple quickly. They are a total headache to get rid of. If they are on your dog, they are mostly likely also in your house and in your yard. You will have to treat all those areas and the dog to get rid of them.
Ticks don’t come in great numbers like fleas, but they can carry very serious and life threatening illnesses. Check your pet regularly for these parasites. They often hide on their bellies, around their ears, in their “arm” pits, and near the base of the tail. For long haired dogs, run a flea comb into the grain of the hair under good lighting to check for fleas and ticks.
Don’t go without heart worm, flea and tick prevention. All of these parasites are much easier to prevent than treat. Your pet should be protected year round, but especially in the summer months when they are spending more time outside, exposed. Talk with your veterinarian about the preventatives that are right for your pet. This will keep them healthy and happy!
Do talk with your groomer about an appropriate summer haircut. Dogs come in so many different breeds and types of coats that is impossible to say make broad statements about what kind of summer cut is best for your pet. Talk with your local groomer about what kind of haircut would be best for your particular dog and your particular lifestyle.
Don’t assume shaving is your only option. In fact, it may not even be an option for double-coated dogs like German Shepherds. If you’ve got a hairy dog, it’s easy to assume shaving is the only option to keep them cool in the summer time. However, there are many options available to keep hairy dogs from melting in the summer sun. For some dogs, a good solution could be going the “short but not shaved” route.
Other dogs may just need a de-shedding treatment, not a shave down. Properly removing the dead undercoat (that many dogs shed so heavily) will do wonders for keeping your pet cool, by allowing them to better regulate their own body temperature. If you don’t properly remove that undercoat, it’s like making your pet leave their winter coat on. Yuck! A professional deshedding treatment can make all the difference.
If you follow these summer dog grooming tips both you and your dog will stay happy and healthy this summer.
Enjoy your fun in the sun, everybody!