Temperatures are steadily increasing, which leaves many pet parents wondering how they can make summer for dogs with heavy coats more comfortable. Some may understandably think that shaving their dog is the best way to keep them cool, but for dogs with heavy coats, this can do more damage than good.
While their heavy coats are built to keep them warm in cold weather, they also protect their sensitive skin from the sun and allow them to regulate their temperature more easily. But, this doesn’t mean that they couldn’t benefit from a little extra help staying cool during the summer months!
Dogs with heavy coats have something called “double coats”, meaning they have a soft, fluffy undercoat and tough top coat. These work together to insulate your pup to they stay warm in inclement weather, but in the summer months, they can trap too much heat.
The top coat sheds throughout the year, but the undercoat is only shed seasonally and requires regular grooming to help remove it effectively. In the spring and summer, you’ll want to groom your dog every few days with a special raking tool, like the Maxpower Planet Pet Grooming Brush that will help remove the undercoat. Once removed, your pet will be better able to regular their heat on warmer days.
When it comes to keeping dogs with heavy coats cool in the summer, home grooming is only half the battle. You’ll also want to book an appointment with a professional groomer every four weeks. The raking you do at home, followed by a bath and a high-powered blow dryer at the groomers, will help the soft undercoat separate from the coarse top coat. This will allow the groomer to thin out the undercoat more easily.
There will be days in the summer when it’s simply too warm for your pet to safely exercise outside. To ensure that your pup doesn’t miss out on their exercise these days, it’s helpful to have ideas of alternative exercise options prepared in advance. Some ideas include:
In addition to proper grooming and adjusting their exercise routine, there are a number of products on the market designed to keep pets cool.
The final, and possibly the most important, way that you can prepare for summer with a heavy-coated pup is to learn the signs of heatstroke in dogs. When out and about in the summer, keep an eye out to make sure that your dog doesn’t start to display any of these behaviors:
If they start to display any of these signs, immediately take them to a shaded area and pour cool – but not cold – water over them, and offer them small amounts of water to drink. As soon as their breathing returns to normal, bring them to the vet immediately for a full check-up.
Taking the time to prepare your heavy-coated dog for summer will ensure that it’s an enjoyable season for all. If you have additional questions or concerns about your pet’s health in the upcoming warm weather, speak to your veterinarian.