Super Smiley’s Top 10 Summer Grooming Tips

Super Smiley, blog dog here, with our Top 10 summer grooming tips!

I have short hair, and my girlfriend, Angel, our beautiful German shepherd has a thick, luxurious coat, so I’ve seen it all, and from where we dogs stand, there are a few simple grooming basics that can help keep us all happier and cooler for the summer.

  1. First and foremost, keep us brushed to keep our coats clean, mat-free and to remove the dead hair. Regular bushing helps with all this and stimulates circulation like a massage. And on longhaired dogs, brushing curries out the undercoat, which is very important in helping to keep them cool. This actually helps allow for better air circulation within the coat itself. I love being brushed once a day so that’s my recommended schedule.
  2. Don’t shave him down. This is sometimes counterintuitive to humans, but coats on cats and dogs actually act like a house’s insulation keeping the temperature more constant on the pet. It’s like the insulated walls on a house that keep the air conditioning in and the heat out. Dogs naturally cool themselves by panting. Cats lick their paws, and as the saliva evaporates, it cools the cats, like humans sweating. Their natural coats actually help too. If you feel you have to shave some of it off, leave at least two inches and have it done by a professional who specializes in summer trims.
  3. Another reason to leave our coats intact is because our coats act like natural sunscreen. So, on our bare areas like noses and ear tips, apply some dog sunscreen on us. But be sure it’s especially made for dogs so it isn’t toxic to our dog systems.
  4. In the summer, we may be out running around with you more, so be sure to keep our nails trimmed so they don’t get caught on things and injured. A suggestion is to trim more often and cut less off each time. This may help shorten the quick so our nails can stay shorter and less vulnerable.
  5. Be sure to check between our toes for briars and brambles after walks or romps in the yard. If a briar is left undiscovered, it could embed and cause a painful (and expensive) infection.
  6. Extra baths may help cut down on parasites like fleas and ticks. Turn this dog wash time into a fun game with playtime in the wet grass with the hose. Or, if he likes splashing around in shallow water, throw his ball into a plastic baby pool to get the bath time going.
  7. If your dog swims you can clean his ears out with ear wash to avoid “swimmer’s ear,” and be sure to especially wipe down the folds in his ear skin and watch that area for signs of irritation or infection.
  8. Check for hot spots. Hot spots are painful, red, oozing sore areas made worse by licking and scratching. They can be started by an insect bite or an allergy or just from your dog over-licking an area. Treatment includes first, clearing any infection and second, removing the irritant, which could be environmental from fleas or allergies or from behavioral issues like licking from boredom or anxiety.

Good job Super Smiley! Megan here now, and I’ve got the last two “grooming” tips covered with a lifestyle spin and a bonus #11.

  1. Keep their bedding “groomed” too. Even with great flea control on your pet, he may carry new fleas from your yard into your home where they may take up housekeeping in your dog’s bed or in your carpet. So wash his bedding at least once a week and vacuum as often as you can.
  2. Wardrobe! When you are out and about in the heat, try letting your dog sport a wet bandanna. Make sure it’s wet with cool water, and check it often to make sure it stays cool and doesn’t dry out. If it gets warm or dry, it will just act like a little heater around your dog’s neck. So keep it cool!
  3. Keep ‘em in the shade in the grass, off the pavement and well hydrated. Make sure they have cool clean water available all the time, and if you are out on an adventure, offer them water at least once an hour.

All this grooming for the summer heat is really pretty simple. It will help keep them cool and comfortable and will add to your bonding time, which is really what it’s all about.

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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