Posted on Aug 3rd 2021
With the summer months here, concerned dog parents may wonder, "Should I give my dog a summer cut to keep them cool?" For most of us, we shed our clothes until we're down to shorts or swimsuits when in the blaze of summer heat. But, if less is more for us when temperatures spike, does that mean the same goes for our pets, too?
Well, the answer isn't a simple yes or no. Grooming your dog depends on the breed, and if it is necessary, you want to ensure a correctly done job. That's why a professional groomer is often the best way to go. But before you head over to your local groomers at Wag N' Wash, here are a few things you should know about grooming your furry friend this summer.
The Benefits Of A Summer Cut
Grooming your dog in the summer months helps reduce heat and can make your dog more comfortable. Like humans, dogs have a natural cooling system, but the way they regulate their body temperature differs from ours. Dogs have bodily mechanisms like panting, sweating and shedding to keep themselves cool. However, dogs are more at risk of overheating than we are. Feeling overheated can quickly turn into heatstroke, which is more serious for dogs than most people think.
How A Dog's Coat Works
A dog's coat, by nature, is designed as a built-in temperature regulator. Since dog coats work as insulation, they're great for colder winter months. But when it comes to summer, this natural insulation can sometimes backfire by trapping heat close to their bodies. If your dog has a naturally heavy coat, a summer cut goes a long way. Dogs don't sweat the way people do, so their body heat needs external help to get out. Grooming will allow excess heat to escape their bodies, helping give them a little relief.
Should I Shave My Dog?
Another common question dog owners often have during the summer months is whether or not they should shave their dogs. In short, the answer is no. Veterinarians often advise against shaving dog's hair simply because their hair is not like ours. Dogs evolved to have hair on their bodies for a reason. A dog's coat consists of multiple layers of fur to protect them from the elements, including the blazing summer sun. Body hair shields your pup from the harmful UV rays, keeping the surface of their skin cooler. Without the protection of their coats during the summer months, dogs are more susceptible to sunburn, overheating, and skin cancer. Removing your dog's coat in its entirety puts your canine companion's comfort-ability and health at risk.
Regularly Brushing Your Dogs
Grooming is a critical part of keeping your dog healthy. While dogs perform some tasks to keep their fur clean and neat on their own, they still require some help from you! Regular brushing is a great way to ensure your pet is in good health. Not only does regular brushing help remove excess hair, but it also distributes the natural oils in your dog's fur. There are many apparent benefits associated with brushing your dog, from reduced shedding to a cleaner coat. But did you know regular brushing is a great way to keep your dog cool during the hot summer months? Brushing will help to remove any mats that may have developed in your dog's coat. Mats are troublesome in the summer, as they trap moisture from the humidity and can irritate your pup's skin. Regular brushing also removes the dead hairs and helps circulation on the outer layer of skin.
Proper Pooch Care Is Essential
Maintaining your dog's grooming routine is not all about looks, though that is undoubtedly one motivator. Grooming is also about keeping a close eye on the condition of your puppy's skin, ears and nails — solving minor problems before they become large ones. Like humans, dogs feel better when they are clean and healthy. In short, regularly brush your dog's fur and try to bathe them frequently, as a clean brushed coat allows for better air circulation, keeping them cool in the summer heat.
Which Breeds Benefit From A Summer Cut?
Different breeds have different grooming needs. While every dog breed is unique, some breeds naturally have more hair than others. Dogs with thick, heavy coats such as St. Bernards or Bernese Mountain Dogs will naturally retain heat. Resist shaving shorter breed dogs because not only do they not benefit from it, they risk the chances of getting burnt by the sun. A summer cut is unnecessary for dogs with naturally shorter coats, like Boxers, Pinschers, or Dalmations.
To sum things up, dog breeds that would benefit from a summer cut include:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- St. Bernards
- Bernese Mountain Dogs