Lots of people bring their dogs to groomers for a summer cut. While this might be a good idea, remember the dog's coat is the only thing that protects it from the sun, bugs and brush. You may not realize this but dogs can get sunburned just like we can. Dogs that love to run in the bush, a short cut may not be advisable. For dogs that have a very thick coat, an alternative to a summer cut is to thin it out using a high velocity dryer. If you don't have access to this, you can use a blow dryer set to cool or if you have a vacuum cleaner where you can remove the hose and attach it to the exhaust, you can use that too. All you need to do is blow the dog's dry coat against the grain. Of course, if your dog is noise sensitive, you should spend some time getting him use to this procedure. A word of caution - dogs that are double coated, the undercoat helps dogs regulate their temperature both in the hot and the cold.
I know that many of you are off to the cottage. There's no better way of cooling off than a dip in the lake. Many of our pooches love to play in the water too. Do you worry that your dog's coat might not dry quickly? I definitely am with you on this ... here's what I found to be very useful. It's a synthetic chamois. That Sham Wow guy was right about the many uses and you can get these everywhere these days. Rather than just wiping the dog's coat, gently squeeze it with the chamois. You be amazed at how much water is absorbed by the towel.
The final tip I have isn't limited to summer fun and probably should be kept with your first aid kit/notes. There are times when our pups bump into stuff or hurt themselves when rough housing around. This is a given. Sometimes, they will limp about for a bit ... if you feel their body, you might even feel some heat emanating. When this happens, I usually ice my dog. I use either a flexible ice pack that are readily available at most drug stores or I will give my pup an ice massage. For the ice massage, I fill a dixie cup with water and leave it in the freezer so that I always have it on hand. When I need to use it, I just peel back the paper and massage the area in a circular motion.
Until next time, have a safe and happy summer. I hope to see you all at camp in Se