Tip of the Month

5/31/2011 To Trim or Not to TrimÖ. That Is The Question

Each summer dog owners contemplate giving their pet a short haircut so they wonít have to suffer in the heat.
Even dogs with a long coat can be comfortable in the heat. The hair on a well-groomed dog will actually keep him cool. In most cases a dogs coat is used to regulate his body temperature. The coat acts as insulation against the heat or the cold.

Dogs with an undercoat will shed this layer once the temperature starts to rise. The outer coat will protect him against the heat and the sun. Dogs with an undercoat should be brushed daily to help with the shedding process.

A matted coat will trap heat and moisture, causing redness, irritation and odors. This is when a shave or clip may be beneficial. If the dog groomer can brush the mats out and the owner can maintain a healthy coat, a shave or clip is not necessary. When hair becomes severely matted, even a professional groomer wonít be able to brush out the mats and a shave may become a necessity.

Keeping your petís coat trimmed year round is always the best option. Most dogs need a haircut every two to three months. Fluffy dogs like Poodles and Bichons, probably need attention every month. The best way to determine how often to clip you groom your pet is to speak with an ABC Certified professional groomer about your pet and the goals you have for comfortable living.

It is important to remember that if your dog is shaved without his coat, your pet will need extra protection from the sun, flies and other parasites. Exposed skin is sensitive to the sun. Sunburn is a very likely possibility if you are not careful. Severe sunburn can lead to several skin disorders. Please remember to apply sunscreen to your petís skin when he is exposed to the elements.

No matter what length you decide is best for you and your dog, make sure there is always access to cool water in the heat of the summer.

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