Tuft Insider tips: Essential Summer grooming tips & advice from the pros

June 27, 2024 2:25 pm

What Cuts Should You Ask Your Groomer for During the Summer?

Even though it’s a typical British summer, we do get a ray of sunshine every now and then, and when it comes, it comes with a vengeance. We love the sun during the day, but the night can be unbearable! Windows open, fans on full blast, and duvets everywhere. At least we can try to control the temperature a little, but our poor pets can’t. The best we can do is keep them inside when it’s too hot, prepare some cooling equipment, and most importantly, do something about their coat. Whether you’re a new groomer or a curious pet parent, Tuft is here to give some important tips and advice.

Summer Advice From Professional Dog Groomers

Don’t go for 7f cuts.

Shaving dogs makes them hotter, not cooler. What? That’s strange—more fur means more heat, right? Well, Julian Raymond-Sandy explains, “It’s important to point out that shaving dogs down will make them hotter, not cooler, as fur protects from UV and regulates their core heat.” This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be groomed. They absolutely need a proper groom, but it’s no different from what you would usually get. Just get a regular groom for wool coat breeds like Poodles, Bichon Frises, Cockapoos, Cavapoos, and Labradoodles. Or maybe opt for a slightly shorter teddy cut.

By keeping your dog’s coat well-groomed, you help them stay comfortable and cool during the summer months. So, make sure to schedule a regular grooming session and discuss the best options with your groomer.

Trim for Ticks

Dogs can get sunburned too! While it might seem counterintuitive, cutting a dog’s fur too short can actually make them more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Instead, focus on trimming specific areas to protect them from summer bugs like ticks and fleas. Lucy Baker, owner and groomer at Shaggy & Chic Pet Grooming, advises, “It’s a good idea to cut around their ears and make them a bit shorter in the summer because of ticks and fleas, but the rest of the coat shouldn’t be too short to protect their skin.”

Trimming around the ears, paws, and belly can help reduce the risk of tick and flea infestations, while still providing enough coverage to protect the dog’s skin from sunburn. Regular checks and maintaining a proper grooming schedule will keep the dogs comfortable and bug-free.

Don’t Walk, Drive

During the summer, the heat can be brutal for dogs, especially when walking to and from the salon. Encourage your clients to drive their dogs to the salon instead. If it’s hot outside, walking can make dogs hot, bothered, and stressed. By driving, they can stay cool and comfortable in a climate-controlled car.

Explain to your clients that a quick drive can prevent heatstroke and paw burns, which are common in dogs walking on hot pavements. This small adjustment can make a significant difference in the dog’s overall experience and health during the summer months.

Drink at Home

Hydration is crucial for dogs, especially in the summer. Remind your customers to ensure their dogs drink water at home before coming to the salon. Some dogs are too stressed to drink in a strange place, or they might simply prefer their own bowl. A quick drink before they leave home can help keep them hydrated and happy.

Explain that a well-hydrated dog is less likely to experience stress and heat-related issues during their grooming session. Encourage clients to make it a habit to offer water before heading out to the salon. This simple tip can help maintain the dog’s well-being and make the grooming experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

Refuse Dogs if It Gets Too Hot

Lucy Baker, owner and groomer at Shaggy & Chic, emphasizes the importance of keeping your salon cool and refusing dogs if it becomes too hot. She explains that during extremely hot weather, like a 40-degree day, a dog might already be suffering from heat stroke without you realizing it, and could collapse on the grooming table. Lucy recalls having to make this tough decision a few years ago when the summer reached extreme temperatures. She stresses that heat stroke is very dangerous and not worth the risk to you or the dog.

Tuft’s Recommended Summer Cuts for Groomers

  • Double-Coated Breeds (like Golden Retrievers, Huskies):
    For double-coated breeds, it’s crucial not to shave their coats as it can disrupt their natural insulation and protection from the heat. Instead, opt for a deshedding treatment. This process involves removing the loose undercoat without affecting the topcoat, which helps in maintaining their natural insulation. The topcoat acts as a barrier against both heat and UV rays, keeping the dog cool and protected. Regular grooming and deshedding can significantly reduce the amount of fur your clients’ dogs shed, making them more comfortable during the summer months.
  • Single-Coated Breeds (like Poodles, Shih Tzus):
    Single-coated breeds can benefit from a shorter cut, but it’s important to avoid cutting the fur too short. A slightly shorter teddy bear cut is ideal for the summer, as it helps keep the dog cool while maintaining enough length to protect their skin from the sun. These breeds often have fur that can easily mat, so regular trims and maintenance are essential. Educate your clients on the importance of not going too short to prevent sunburn and ensure their pets stay comfortable and stylish.
  • Terriers and Wire-Haired Breeds:
    Terriers and wire-haired breeds have unique coat textures that require specific grooming techniques. Regular stripping or trimming is essential to maintain the coat’s natural texture and function. Stripping involves removing the dead hair from the coat to allow new growth, which helps in keeping the dog cool and comfortable. Trimming can also be used to manage the length and prevent matting. Ensure your clients understand the importance of these techniques in maintaining their dog’s health and comfort during the hot summer months.

Additional Grooming Tips for the Summer

Don’t forget to recommend these to your customers. Here are some year-round grooming tips, but they are especially important during the summer. These reminders come from Tuft and the Tuft Pet Grooming Ambassadors, and it can be easy to forget to mention:

  1. Regular Brushing: Do your clients brush their dogs enough? Frequent brushing removes loose fur and prevents matting, which can trap heat and cause discomfort. Aim to brush dogs at least weekly, but daily or three times a week is even better during the summer. 
  1. Bathing: Regular bathing is a must to keep dogs healthy, especially with ticks and fleas being more active in the summer. Use a mild dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation. 
  1. Paw Care: Hot pavements can burn paw pads. Keep them trimmed and moisturized with a pet-safe balm. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for the dog. Protect their feet from damage on hot surfaces.
  1. Ear and Eye Care: Summer can bring allergies and irritants. Regularly check and clean dogs’ ears and eyes to prevent infections.

Front-Line Caregivers

Remember, as a pet groomer, you are a front-line caregiver. Your thorough grooming can help identify potential health issues early. Keep these tips in mind to ensure the pets you care for have a comfortable and happy summer. Embrace these tips and make sure your furry clients enjoy their summer to the fullest!

Do you have any top tips we could add to this blog?