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How to Cut Your Dog's Hair

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Give your dog a summer cut

HEAVY-COATED dogs will not appreciate the spikes in the mercury that are expected this summer. Along with them, pets that take to swimming or running through the woods in search of burrs can benefit from wearing lighter coats in the summer. If a shedding rake is not enough to keep your pet well-groomed and comfortable, clipping may be necessary, but there are several guidelines and cautions to be observed.

Oster A5 Turbo Clipper Choose a quality-brand clipper, such as the Oster A5 Turbo. Add the blades and attachment combs, suited to your dog's particular coat, to achieve an even and attractive cut. Use appropriate tools to remove tangles and mats before you use the clippers. While too much hair on any breed can cause retention of body heat, leave at least 1" of coat to insulate the animal from the heat of the sun and to shield his skin from sunburn. This is particularly critical for longhaired breeds.

It is best to introduce the clipper to your dog when he is young. Avoid models that have a loud, irritating buzz. Use sharp blades to prevent pulling. A clipper coolant or lubricant, such as Cool Care Plus, keeps the blades at a comfortable temperature, preventing burns to the dog's skin. It is wise to begin clipping on an inconspicuous area to learn the action of the clipper. Then make the needed adjustments to blades and attachment combs and proceed with confidence to give your dog a cool, trim look for summer!

DANGERS of summertime heat
Short hair is one of several things you can do to help keep your dog more comfortable this summer. However, although short hair is nice, it's not enough when it comes to hot weather. Any pet that cannot cool himself off is at risk for heatstroke. Following these guidelines can help prevent serious problems.
Keep pets with predisposing conditions like heart disease, obesity, older age, or breathing problems cool and in the shade. Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful.

Provide access to fresh water at all times.

Do not leave your pet in a hot parked car even if you're in the shade or will only be gone a short time. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure outside dogs have access to shade.

On a hot day, restrict exercise and don't take your dog jogging with you. Too much exercise     when the weather is very hot can be     dangerous.

Do not muzzle your dog.

Avoid places like the beach and especially concrete or asphalt areas where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.

Wetting down your dog with cool water or allowing him to swim can help maintain a normal body temperature.

Move your dog to a cool area of the house. Air conditioning is one of the best ways to keep a dog cool, but is not always dependable. To provide a cooler environment, freeze water in soda bottles, or place ice and a small amount of water in several resealable food storage bags, then wrap them in a towel or tube sock. Place them on the floor for the dog to lay on.


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