How To Groom Your Dog for Summer

How To Groom Your Dog for Summer

It’s nearly spring, which means the days are longer, the sun feels brighter, and the air is getting warmer. If you’re starting to think about grooming your dog for summer, you may be wondering the best way to do that to keep them as cool and comfortable as possible.

It may seem like shaving your dog or cutting their hair as short as possible would be the best way to keep them cool in the hot summer months. But this isn’t really the case. Before making any decision to groom your dog, it’s important that you consider your dog’s fur or hair type, how they keep cool naturally, and where they’ll spend most of their summer hours.

Should I Shave My Dog in Summer?

Dogs come with many different fur types, and that’s not just based on what they look like. Some dogs have hair, while some have fur. Hair grows in a single layer, similar to human hair. Fur, however, comes in two layers that grow slightly differently along the dog’s body. 


Some dogs, such as Australian Shepherds, Labradors, Pomeranians, and Siberian Huskies, have two coats of fur to keep them insulated during cold weather. It may be tempting to shave these dogs to cool them off during winter. 


However, in many cases, a dog’s double coat actually acts as insulation. Dogs can trap heat in between their layers of fur to help them keep cooler in their skin. Since dogs can’t sweat like humans, these types of natural barriers are crucial to help dogs maintain their body temperature in the summer.


In addition, cutting your dog’s hair too short could lead them to be more susceptible to heatstroke or sunburn. If you want to help your dog stay safe from the strength of the sun, you’ll need to leave them plenty of fur.


Some dogs who grow hair may prefer a shave, at least to about 1 inch of fur. Poodles, for example, who require lots of extra grooming, may find life easier in summer with less hair—and so may their owners! 

In the end, shaving your dog’s hair in summer is usually not necessary. But if your vet recommends it, you can shave certain dogs to help them stay more comfortable on warm days.

How To Groom Your Dog for Summer

You still want to keep your dog cool in summer, and good grooming can help. Here are a few ways you can groom your dog during the summer months to help them feel cooler and more comfortable and enjoy the sun more.

Offer Regular Baths

Dogs don’t need to bathe nearly as much as humans. But they do still need the occasional wash to maintain fur health. If you want to bathe your dog, be sure you do it the right way. 


First, once or twice a month is plenty. When you’re ready to give your dog their semi-regular bath, make sure you do so on a non-slip surface. You can place a towel or mat in your bathroom if you want, or you may prefer to bathe your dog in the yard instead where the grass will provide a fairly non-slippery surface for your dog to get out on.


Use dog shampoo as human shampoo can hurt your pup. You don’t want to use too much (or, again, bathe your dog too often) as this can lead to buildup and irritate your dog’s skin. With a damp cloth and warm, lukewarm, or cool water, wash your dog from the neck down, avoiding getting water in their ears or eyes.


Once you’ve shampooed your dog, make sure you rinse them multiple times to get rid of all that shampoo buildup. That way, the shampoo chemicals don’t rest on the skin causing irritation or chemical burns. 


If your dog is incredibly uncomfortable during baths, try offering treats to help them remain calm.

Trim Your Dog’s Coat

While you won’t want to shave your dog completely, a little trim may help your dog’s hair remain more manageable during summer. That way, they can avoid matting, as mats can cause moisture buildup and make dogs more uncomfortable or warm. 


You may want to take your pup to a professional for trimming. Otherwise, you’ll have to help them get used to your trimming tool. If you use an electric or battery-operated tool, you may want to introduce it to your pup slowly to ensure they don’t get too bothered by the noise and vibration. To trim around your dog’s face, tail, and feet, you need only use a pair of scissors. 


To keep your dog comfortable, offer treats and go slowly. If your dog seems especially anxious, give them a break. You don’t want them to hurt themselves or you by panicking during a trimming process.

Provide Regular Nail Trimming

Dog nails are generally longer than human nails, but that doesn’t mean you should let them grow as long as they can. Provide nail trimming throughout the year, including when your dog will be outside playing during warmer months. 


To trim your dog’s nails, be sure you can keep them quiet. Again, treats may help here to ensure your dog associates nail trimming with something positive and doesn’t panic. Also, keep styptic powder on hand in case you cut too close to the quick, the tenderest spot of your dog’s nail, and cause bleeding.


On white nails, avoid cutting close to the pink spot that marks the beginning of the quick. The quick is harder to see on black nails, so you’ll need to go slowly until you see a solid black dot on the tip of the nail.

Brush Hair Often

As mentioned, matting in dog hair can trap moisture and make your dog feel warmer and more uncomfortable than usual. It’s important that you brush your dog’s fur regularly to ensure they remain comfortable.

Try to brush them at least once a week to get out tangles and mats as well as check for ticks or other skin irritations. If you keep a close eye on your dog, you should easily be able to tell if they’re in need of some extra cooling support or a fur trim.

Keep Your Pup Cool

If your dog is an indoor dog, it should be easy enough to keep them cool with air conditioning or fans. If your dog spends more time outdoors, you may want to consider providing cooling mats or raised beds along with shade.


Most of all, it’s important that your dog has plenty of shade and water in summer. No matter how long their coat, every dog needs the chance to lay down in a cool spot and must remain hydrated to stay safe. 

If you need help providing a safe, clean yard for your dog to enjoy this summer, our team would be happy to help! It’s our mantra: dogs poop, we scoop. If you want us to clean up your yard, be sure and check out our services so we can give your dog a happier, healthier place to play this summer!