For those of us who adore our furry friends, one summer pet safety concern is the need for grooming. Summer pet grooming (i.e., short or cropped cuts) is thought to be the answer to keeping your dog or cat cool when temps start to rise. But how short is too short, and what type of grooming is truly necessary?
6 Summer Pet Grooming Tips
- Breed matters. When it comes to summer cuts, it’s important to consider the breed of your dog. For example, certain breeds (such as Huskies) have adapted to colder climates and should not be given a close cut or shave that could damage the coat. Dogs with very short fur, such as smooth-coated Chihuahuas, likely won’t need any cut. Instead of taking a chance by guessing, consult a professional groomer or the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital.
- To shave or not to shave? The short answer is no. Shaving a cat or dog may seem like a great way to cool down, but it can actually put your pet at risk for sunburn and heat-related stress. A pet’s coat is designed to whisk away heat and deflect direct light to prevent overheating and sunburn. In addition, shaving can cause ingrown or embedded hairs, which can result in dermatological problems and infections.
- Observe the ½ inch – 1 inch rule. Most pets are kept cool and tidy by keeping the fur trimmed to ½”-1” during the summer months. This is especially true if you are a DIY groomer and want to avoid cutting too short or burning your pet with the clipper blades (they get hot during extended use).
- Provide regular baths. This is an especially important summer pet grooming tip. Our companions spend a lot of time outside, so try bathing at least once a month using a soothing and conditioning pet shampoo. This will keep them clean while also providing an opportunity to inspect the skin for fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
- Brushing is a must. Brushing will help you maintain your pet’s coat and skin by removing mats and tangles and stimulating natural oils to prevent dryness. Plus, it’s a great way to unwind with your fur friend after a long day.
- Use a pet formulated sunscreen. If you plan to spend time outdoors with your pet, protect the skin by purchasing a lightweight sun shirt with UV protection. Also consider applying a pet safe sunscreen (never use human sunscreen). Be especially careful with dogs who have very short and light colored fur since they are at an increased risk for burning.
We hope you and your pet enjoy all the awesome activities nature has to offer this time of year. Just remember to keep your companion cool, clean, and sunburn free. For more information about summer pet grooming, please contact the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital.