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Pet Grooming For Hot Weather

With summer temperatures on the rise, many pet owners are looking for ways to keep their companions cool. Whether you’re employing the help of a professional grooming service or taking a DIY approach, keep these tips in mind when grooming your pet for the hot weather.

For Dogs

During the summer, dogs have many mechanisms for keeping cool including panting, sweating, and shedding, but they can still be susceptible to the hot temperatures. Heat stroke can be especially dangerous for dogs when their internal body temperature rises to 106 degrees or higher. A dog’s coat acts as an insulator, which can be extremely beneficial during the winter and extremely detrimental during the summer. With this in mind, many dog breeds can benefit from a summer cut to help keep them cool, especially those with naturally heavy coats.

Dog breeds that typically require regular cuts for coat maintenance (hypoallergenic breeds (poodles and doodles), Yorkshire terriers, Newfoundlands, some Spaniels, and others) can benefit from going shorter in the summer while short-haired breeds (Boxers, hounds) may not need a trim. For double-coated dogs (Huskies, retrievers) a summer cut can help reduce shedding and allow heat to escape providing extra relief, but be mindful to not cut down to their undercoat.

Remember - a trim or cut is not a shave. A dog’s coat offers protection from the sun and UV rays and can prevent sunburn and skin cancer and a dog’s coat should not be shaved too close to the skin.

Regardless of the breed of dog in your life, your furry friend can benefit from additional brushing during the long summer months. Using the right brush can help keep their coat clean, smooth, and tangle-free, and removing the excess fur helps the natural shedding process.

For Cats

A cat’s coat serves a similar function to their canine counterparts. While thick fur is beneficial for long, cold winters, the summertime can be uncomfortable, particularly for cat breeds with longer coats. While not as susceptible to heat stroke as dogs, cats too can benefit from an altered grooming regime during the hot weather. If you’re considering a trim for your cat, it can be wise to employ a professional who can help determine the appropriate length and effectively remove excess fur without harming your feline friend.

Just like with dogs, it is also not generally recommended to shave a cat close to the skin. Their fur does help protect them from the harmful effects of the sun as well as painful or irritating bites from insects and pests so be sure to leave enough fur for their natural coat to do its job.

Many cats, regardless of hair length shed their winter coats when the temperatures rise and can benefit from additional brushing to help remove excess hair and reduce hairballs. Owners should pay particular attention to any areas of the fur that may have become matted, since mats can make it more difficult for heat to escape during the summer months. 

Flea and tick populations also increase during the summer months, so pay attention to scratching or biting that may indicate your pet is suffering from these irritating critters. Flea baths can do double duty in removing pesky fleas and cooling down your pet’s skin while flea combs are effective in removing adults from your pets’ fur.

Always consult your veterinarian with any questions regarding your pets’ specific needs. Stop by your local Southern States to find the right grooming supplies to keep your pet healthy, happy, and cool this summer.

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