When summer rolls around, do you chop off all your hair for a cool and comfortable haircut? While that may help you beat the heat, shaving your pet down to the skin could actually do more harm than good. Learn how to keep your four-legged friend cool this summer with grooming tips for pets of all coats.
#1: Avoid shaving double-coated breeds
Although your thick-coated husky may seem miserable in the summer heat, avoid shaving their double coat. Pet fur acts as an insulator and is designed to keep your furry friend warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Shaving them down to the skin can interfere with their ability to regulate their body temperature. Instead, consider a summer trim for your long- or thick-coated pet.
#2: Brush your pet regularly to remove dead fur and prevent mats
The best grooming method to help your pet stay cool is to brush them regularly, regardless of their fur length. Short-haired pets can accumulate a large amount of dead fur and skin cells, which can clump together and trap heat. Long-haired pets can develop thick mats if not brushed regularly, which can cause moisture and heat to build up below the mat and lead to a skin infection. Depending on your pet’s coat type, they may need to be brushed every day to help prevent heat-related issues.
#3: Apply a pet-friendly sunscreen if needed
Some pets have such short hair that they require sunscreen when going outside or lounging on a sunny windowsill. White-furred pets are especially prone to sunburn, and white cats have been known to develop squamous cell carcinoma from too much sun exposure. If your pet has spots with hair loss or thin fur, particularly around the ears and eyes, apply a pet-safe sunscreen to protect their skin.