Lazy summer days spent enjoying the out-of-doors are great for mind and body. But if Buddy and Fluffy have spent a great deal of time in the backyard this summer, they may also have developed skin, coat and other problems that require extra attention.
Regular pet grooming is important to your pet’s good health at all times of year, but especially in summer, says Val Penstone, director of grooming for Best Friends Pet Resorts. “It’s time to undo the damage from all that summer fun.”
For your pet, summer fun can mean a tangled coat (especially if hair is long), skin irritation from parasites, and even ear problems caused by swims at the lake.
Brush and comb regularly
Penstone says that the centerpiece of your pet’s grooming routine at any time of year should be weekly brushing and combing. If your pet has long hair, brushing needs to done even more frequently. “A matted coat will trap heat and moisture, causing skin problems and discomfort. On the other hand, the hair on a well-brushed dog can provide insulation against the heat, and protection from sunburn and parasites.”
For your pet’s comfort, groomers recommend a conditioning and untangling spray before brushing. After systematically brushing though the coat, use a professional steel pinned comb to make sure all the knots and shedding hair have been removed.
If your pet is badly matted, take your pet to a qualified groomer, who can save you time and reduce your pet’s discomfort. A professional grooming will also make regular maintenance easier and more pleasant for you and your pet
Grooming for health
Following are some other steps to keep your pet comfortable and his skin and coat healthy as summer draws to a close:
Check for parasites. While you are doing your brushing and combing, inspect your pet’s skin for signs of irritation due to parasites. Parasites are at their peak now, so don’t skip your pet’s preventative treatments!
Check your pet’s ears for problems that may be triggered by summer swims. Weekly cleaning, with a solution made for ear care is a good year-round preventative measure. Massaging the solution into the ear softens wax and dirt, floating it to the exterior, where you can wipe it gently away with cotton. Ear cleaners also control the growth of organisms that thrive in the moist conditions of the ear.
Check your pet’s feet by spreading the pads and look between and under the toes. Have lawn chemicals caused contact dermatitis? Has sun-heated asphalt stuck in lumps to the feet? Are thorns and grass seed puncturing the skin? These problems should be addressed promptly for your pet’s health and comfort.
Shampoo and condition. Periodic shampoos will help remove dust, dirt, mold spores and parasites that can cause skin irritation and allergy symptoms in you and your pet. Be sure to follow the shampoo with a conditioning rinse. Towel, and separate the hair by brushing and combing to speed drying down to the skin. If you use a hair dryer, put it on the coolest setting and use caution to avoid burning your pet’s skin.