With the season changing and warmer weather becoming more frequent, it’s important to make sure our long-haired pets remain cool and comfortable right through the hot summer months. Extreme heat can pose a real threat to cats and dogs, just as it can to humans. Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, it’s up to you to make sure your pet is safe during warm weather conditions.
It is always a good idea to keep your pet properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If your dog has very long fur, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather; therefore it is imperative that you keep his coat clear of mats and debree and combed frequently to keep it thin and comfortable for him. Longhaired dogs can quickly overheat in high temperatures. Many people don't realize that longhaired cats are also easily overheated, even if they stay indoors.
Longhaired Grooming Tips:
- Regular brushing with a special comb designed to remove the shedding winter undercoat will make it easier for your dog to better regulate body temperature during hot weather.
- Frequent brushing will thin the coat and help reduce and prevent matted fur. Brushing once-a-week will also reduce the size of the knots when they do occur .
- Regular clipping of long hair will help keep your dog cool. Longhaired cats can benefit from a summer clipping too. Be aware that longhaired breeds DO NOT need to be shaved to be comfortable in hot weather. The guard hairs on the top layer of fur which do not shed, are designed to protect the skin from the sun's rays.
- Keep in mind when clipping your pet, not to clip the hair too short. Breeds with longhaired coats could burn very easily.
- Trimming the long hair around paws and hindquarters is helpful for keeping those areas clean and free of foreign objects and feces. This is important during warm weather months, when outdoor activity increases.
- Remember not to trim longhaired coats too short as it could permanently damage the coat and its ability to insulate the animal in colder temperatures.
- Because warm weather means an increase in insect activity, an un matted, shorter coat will help make it easier to find and treat insect bites and stings when they occur.
- It is a good idea to check your dog's coat regularly for insects and debree, especially after extended periods of time outdoors.
- When checking for Insects during warm weather months, be alert to increased flea and tick activity, as spring and summer is when they are most active. It is always a good idea to make sure your dog and cat are getting their monthly flea and tick preventative.
- Mosquitoes are also present in increased numbers during this time of year, so watch for those types of bites too. Your dog also needs to stay current on heart worm preventative, as mosquito bites can cause heart worms.
- Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee or wasp stings.
- Regular bathing is important if your dog or cat spends a lot of time rolling around in your grass. Pesticides, dirt and some greenery can leave a residue on your pet's fur which could cause skin irritation.
- Be cautious with pets that have much of their fur trimmed off, such as poodles. Poodles and other breeds with short cuts can easily get sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs.
Good grooming is necessary all year long, and should be a regular routine with your pet, no matter season of the year or the length of his fur. However, the hotter temperatures and increased outdoor activity does require extra care. It may seem like a lot of added work, but neglecting your pet's grooming not only makes him uncomfortable, it may put his health at risk.