Keeping our pets comfortable throughout seasonal changes can be difficult, especially since their needs are often so different from our own. One way we can keep our pets comfortable throughout the year is by getting them properly groomed. Grooming is extra important for long-haired dogs, who can get snow stuck in their fur in the winter and easily overheat and become quite messy in the summer.
Here are some summer grooming tips for your long-haired dog so they can stay comfortable.
Most long-haired dog owners know how important brushing is. That importance skyrockets during the summer because it helps prevent matting, which can trap humidity close to your dog’s skin. Brushing also gives you the opportunity to check that your dog is flea- and tick-free and that they’re not experiencing any allergies or skin infections.
If your dog is uncomfortable with brushing, allow them to smell your tool(s) before you get started. Give yourself plenty of time to work through their fur, allowing extra time for dogs with multiple coats. Let your dog move to different positions so they can stay comfortable through the brushing experience. If you get to a particularly sensitive spot that they don’t like, calmly keep them in place and then offer positive reinforcement for their cooperation.
In addition to regular brushing, your long-haired dog needs regular baths. In the summer, you should bathe your dog (or have your dog bathed professionally) about once a month, wiping off dirt with a damp towel in between to preserve the oils that protect their coat. Make sure to brush them before the bath to get out any loose hair and dirt.
If you’re bathing your dog yourself, start by wiping down their face with a damp cloth, and then wet the rest of their body with a cup of water or sprayer. This will prevent water from getting in their face and ears, which can be uncomfortable. Using a dog ear cover or placing cotton balls inside your dog’s ears will provide an extra layer of protection. After thoroughly rinsing your dog’s fur, lather them up with dog shampoo. Rinse the shampoo out to prevent it from getting trapped close to their skin and causing irritation. A light conditioner made specifically for your dog’s coat type is also helpful in keeping matted fur at bay.
There’s only so much that brushing and bathing can do for your long-haired furry friend. Taking them for a professional haircut every two to three months is one of the best ways to manage their fur and keep them cool during the hot summer months. Make sure you take them to a groomer who chooses the right dog grooming shears so that your dog leaves feeling light and comfortable.
Regular brushing, bathing, and haircuts are great summer grooming habits for your long-haired dog. By maintaining these habits through the summer, you’ll help your long-haired furry friend stay comfortable in the heat and have a healthy coat when cooler weather comes.