The scorching heat in India takes a toll not only on humans but on animals as well, since even a grueling 50°C comes as no surprise in the summer. Hence, bathing frequently becomes very necessary not just for you, but for your pets as well. Not all dogs enjoy getting a bath, so giving your dog a bath might not be a cakewalk as you would hope. Luckily, dogs don’t require the same type of grooming schedule as we do, and a daily bath is not necessary for them, but when it comes to summer season when bathing needs to be frequent, there are some important pointers to follow to make bath time a safe and positive experience.
Now, the real question that arises is how often should you bathe your dog? Bathing your dog is going to depend on a few things, such as the breed of your dog, length and the condition of its coat and also your lifestyle. So, if your dog is out there playing, digging in the dirt and playing all the time, he is going to get dirty faster and hence needs to be bathed sooner. Whereas, if he is just hanging around in the house and going for walks, he won’t get dirty so fast. Having said that, as long as your dog’s coat is in good condition and is completely free of knots, you can bathe him anywhere up to once a fortnight. But, you definitely have to be using the correct products. It is never advisable to use human hair products on your dog. The reason is, the pH of a dog’s skin is very different than the pH of a human’s skin. There are some very good products on the market that can be used.
First and foremost, if you have a dog with a hairy coat, it is very necessary to comb it properly before you bathe him, otherwise the shampoo gets into the tangles and makes them super tight. Therefore, it is very important to entirely go over your dog’s coat with a comb and a brush and make sure all the tangles are out before you start to bathe him. Followed by this, you can make your dog wet with warm water and use a good quality dog shampoo and then a conditioner. The reason we use a conditioner is because when you bathe your dog, it removes all the oils out of the skin and coat and it takes a few days for those oils to come back. If you apply a conditioner on to the coat, even though you are rinsing it out after, it leaves a light layer of lanolin on the skin and coat which protects it for a few days until the natural oils return. After bathing your dog, towel him off really well and keep him in a non-draft area. It is permissible to use a human blow dryer on him but only on low speed and low heat. You can also gently comb the dog’s coat and brush while you are drying him and just make sure he doesn’t go outside until he is completely dry.
Moreover, Dogs only produce sweat on areas not covered with fur, such as the nose and paw pads, unlike humans who sweat almost everywhere. So it is not required for them to have a bath daily. In general, healthy dogs only need to be bathed if they smell or they’re dirty. Another important thing is that Fleas and ticks thrive in the summertime, so you should opt for tick repellent shampoos. It is important to watch out for ticks and fleas in the summer season. Apart from that, regular brushing will work out any mats that may have developed in your dog’s coat. Mats are troublesome in the summer, as they trap moisture from the humidity and irritate your pooch’s skin. Regular brushing also removes the dead hairs and helps circulation on the outer layer of skin.
Shaving your dog’s heavy coat in summer is a very bad idea to avoid overheating. A dog’s coat actually protects itself from the heat and harmful UV rays of the sun. Double-coated breeds should never be trimmed; other coat types can be trimmed but never shaved completely for the summer. Moreover, when dogs shed, it is actually the undercoat that sheds. Hence, when this happens, the guard coat takes care of the body. But if the guard coat is trimmed, the protection is completely damaged and gone. Upon doing so, it is likely that the hair won’t grow properly or in the worst-case scenario, the hair won’t come back ever. Trimming also leads to insects come in easily since the protection layer is completely gone. They should instead go to a professional groomer and keep the dog away from extreme heat. Breeds like Labs and pugs should never get entirely trimmed.
The hottest weather is coming. Let us all be responsible pet owners and prepare ahead of time.