How to keep your pup happy during the summer months in Floridaby Gayle Caston on 06/16/17
As the owner of a mobile dog grooming business in Stuart, Fla. where the temperatures can get quite warm at times, I am frequently asked: "How do I prepare my dog for the summer?"
Dog fur offers great natural protection from not only cold, but heat as well, if air is allowed to flow freely. And many people don't realize, but dogs can get sunburn too. So, fur is also a great barrier from harmful UV rays.
The best way to make a dog's coat effective during the summer months is to keep the fur in the best condition by regular brushing and combing. This opens up the fur follicles to allow the passage of air so their bodies are better able to adjust to changing temperatures.
The process is similar to when people wear a long sleeve shirt in the sun and remain comfortable because they allow the movement of air within the fabric. Fishing shirts do a great job of this with their vents and light material.
For the hotter seasons, I recommend my clients do the following:
- thoroughly brush out their coat.
- don't just focus on the back, but also pay attention to the feet, under the ears, tail, groin, legs and bellies. These areas tend to mat easily which can result in sores later.
- follow up a brush with a comb, starting from close to the skin and then working your way out. This helps to alleviate any tiny mats that are just forming and it further dislodges loose hair. Loose hair can become entangled with growing hair and that can cause problems as well.
- combing is very important. I tell my clients, you can brush a carpet but you can't comb it. You can brush a matted dog and think he or she is okay, but with a comb you will find those hidden mats and tangles. It is very important to get those small knots because they will eventually turn into larger mats.
The point is to create a shield of fur to protect your dog and still allow air to pass. Fur is for protection, not just looks, and it can't do its job if it is not well maintained.
Other summer tips I would suggest is to be sure to always provide plenty of fresh water. And remember, during the summer, dogs still need their exercise, so try to schedule walks early in the day, on shade-covered paths or after the sun goes down.
Sure, it gets warm in Florida in the summer. But that doesn't mean your pup has to be miserable. Give him a regular brushing and exercise and he'll be a happy camper.