Top 5 Summer Grooming Tips for Dogs
A master groomer's summer do’s for your dog
We asked Kendra Otto, master groomer and educator for Andis grooming company (they’ve been making quality grooming tools for over 90 years!), for the low-down on how to prep our dogs for beach season. Here are her top 5 tips…
#1 Clean your dog’s ears (especially if your dog loves swimming!)
Your dog loves swimming in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Unfortunately, the bacteria found in those natural water resources love your dog right back. Make sure to rinse off your dog after swimming and clean his ears to prevent bacterial infections. To properly clean your dog’s ears, you should buy a quality dog-ear cleaner. [We like the Canine Ear Blend from Endless Mt. Oil. Its proprietary blend of aloe, coconut, peppermint, and lavender oils cleans and promotes healing, gets rid of waxy buildup, stops itching, and acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. ($30, essentialoils4pets.com)—Ed.] Make sure to use a large amount, as dog’s ear canals are quite long. Hold the flap of the ear upright and point the tube downward to fill the ear with the cleaner. Massage the cleaner into the base of your dog’s ear for approximately 20 seconds then let your dog shake it out.
If your dog is swimming in chlorinated water, it’s a good idea to add coconut oil (we like Cocotherapy, cocotherapy.com) or fish oil into their food as a supplement that will replenish the moisture that is stripped away from their skin by the chlorine.
#2 Keep pad hair short
No matter the age of your dogs, they need their hair between the pads of their feet kept short. Keeping their pad hair short will keep them from bringing an outside mess into the house and, most importantly, keep them from falling and injuring themselves on slippery floors.
#3 Don’t shave double-coated breeds
Some dog breeds, such as Retrievers and Pomeranians, have a double coat (a soft undercoat and a coarser topcoat), which greatly increases shedding as the warmer months approach. You might be tempted to shave your dog, but this beautiful, warm-looking double coat counter-intuitively allows your dog to regulate her body temperature—so don’t shave it! Instead, give your dog a haircut using a longer comb attachment with your clipper or thin your dog’s coat using a de-shedding tool like the Andis Deshedder. Pro tip: use a slicker brush and metal comb before and after the haircut to ensure your dog’s coat grows back healthy.
#4 Keep toenails short
Your dogs should be walking on their paw pads and not their toenails! When your dog walks on long toenails, it increases the possibility of a nail breaking off or catching on something and getting pulled out. Toenails should be clipped or filed every one to three weeks to prevent premature arthritis in your dog’s joints.
#5 Maintain your dog’s coat (brush that hair!)
Maintaining your dog’s coat is a vital part of keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy. The key to keeping your dog free from skin problems caused or exacerbated by knots and tangles is to brush, de-shed, rake, and comb your dog regularly. It is especially important to make sure you are brushing your dog on a regular basis if he is being bathed frequently or loves swimming. If you find yourself and/or your furniture covered in dog hair post-grooming-session, a quick swipe of the amazing Lilly Brush ($13), an easy to use fur-removing brush designed to seamlessly clean fabrics, will make sure you’re not wearing your dog.