MEMPHIS, Tenn — Many of us lean into a summer cut when the heat and humidity roll in. Professional groomers offer this reminder: Chances are your dog needs one, too.
A trip to the "doggie day spa" isn't just for looks. Grooming plays an important part in keeping dangerous health problems at bay, especially during the summer.
"I know she gets hot, here lately with it being in the 100s, she hasn't even wanted to go outside to go potty," said Lizzie Davis, whose dog is a client at "Groomingdales" in Memphis, Tennessee.
Now is not the time to take a vacation from caring for your dog's coat. In fact, the right length can help with temperatures soar, and it can also protect their skin.
"It's very important to groom your animals during the summer. A thick undercoat can make them super, super hot," said Ginger Mougin, owner of Groomingdales.
The first order of business is achieving the proper coat length. The type of coat your dog has will depend on how much should be trimmed or shaved. If you get rid of too much, you could put their sensitive skin at risk for sunburn. Talk it over with your groomer.
"All dogs have different types of hair. Some have hair, some have fur. Some have double coats and some have triple coats," Mougin said.
De-shedding is critical for breeds with double-coats, such as retrievers, huskies and Pomeranians. It helps them regulate body temperature, but shedding does increase as warmer months set in. A de-shed will help loosen the undercoat and have them clean, cool and shedding less for summer.
There is some debate about whether you can, or should, shave a dog with a double-coat. The American Kennel Club does not recommend it.
Keeping your dog's coat healthy all year round starts at home. Establishing a regular brushing routine will get rid of dead hair, lessening chances of skin problems caused or exacerbated by tangles or matting.
Mougin says the way you brush is important, too.
"You always brush from the tail to head and comb from head to tail, because if you are not lifting the hair you're not doing anything. So, brushing them backwards lets air under their hair to keep them from smelling like a dog."
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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous pets story on April 20, 2022.