How regular grooming can keep your dog cool in the warmer weather.
So many of the dogs we groom and care for at The Spotted Dog have moved here from milder climes and the question often arises as to how best grooming can help keep our furry loved ones cool in the much warmer climate of the Eastern Algarve.
It’s often tempting to think that a shorn or even shaved coat will keep them cool, but it’s rarely the best option. In some ways a dog’s fur / coat is like a thermos; it keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter, so a shaved coat doesn’t necessarily mean a cooler dog. In fact, cutting them too short can have a detrimental effect.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that dogs don’t actually stay cool the same way as us HOOMANS! Unlike us, dogs don’t sweat through their skin, rather they sweat through the pads of their paws and mainly keep themselves cool by panting.
In addition to offering a kind of built-in air conditioning, your dog's coat offers protection against sun damage. Your dog can get sunburned just like you so any place on their body with too short or too little hair is susceptible to sunburn.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for keeping your dog cool and helping them adjust to a warmer climate.
DO keep long-haired dogs clipped. This will help cut down on the time you spend brushing, and prevent knots and mats. The majority of dogs only need a trim every six to eight weeks but dogs with particularly curly or long coats probably need to visit a groomer more often.
DON’T shave your dog down to the skin. This can lead to sunburn and cause the coats of certain breeds to grow back all wrong.
DO bathe your dog if they become dirty or smelly. Use a gentle shampoo formulated for dogs (no HOOMAN! shampoos please!). The bath should be lukewarm, since hot water can burn or dry out the skin. Make sure to avoid the head and eyes, rinse well, and towel off afterwards.
DON’T bathe your dog too often. Frequent bathing can strip away essential oils, leading to itchy skin and a brittle coat.
DO check your dog’s ears, eyes, coat, skin and paw pads regularly.
DON’T forget to administer good quality flea and tick preventative. These pests are not only an irritant and make your dog anxious, they can cause serious health issues.
There are of course many other ways of keeping our dogs cool during the warmer weather such as providing them frozen treats; a frozen plastic bottle of water in their beds; cooling mats and collars, a little paddling pool (!); a damp cool towel to rest upon, and only walking during the cooler parts of the day and ensuring they have a healthy supply of fresh cool water at all times.
By having your pet professional groomed on a regular basis, and brushing them between grooming’s, you can optimise your pet’s physical and mental health, and help keep them cool as temperatures increase.
More information on the benefits of professional dog grooming are available on our website at https://www.thespotteddog.net/.