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My Animal’s Coat Is Too Hot!

Grooming for 2022 Summer Heat

My Animal’s Coat Is Too Hot

With 2022 heatwaves impacting much of the world, it’s important to pay attention to the impact on our animals. How would you feel having to walk around in 100-degree heat while wearing a thick, furry coat?

You might be surprised to know that keeping their coats on can be a help (speaking of their natural coats). The ASPCA notes, “While you or I would hate to sport multiple layers in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief. Acting like insulation, a dog’s coat keeps him from getting too cold in the winter, but also keeps him from overheating in the summer.” So shaving your pet to relieve their heat isn’t the best idea.

However, there is truth to the saying, “You can have too much of a good thing.” During the summer, here are some basic tips for grooming against the heat.

  1. Remember the hot summer days also lead to homes being chilled with quality AC. Just like you have to adjust to the extreme heat outside and AC cold on the inside, your animals have to make the adjustment as well. Keeping a healthy length on their coat can help them moderate their body temperature. As noted in an earlier article, it’s important that you provide shade and hydration to ensure they don’t overheat. AND, at extreme levels, your pets will need to be allowed into the comfort of your home to stay healthy.
  2. The temptation to shave a pet can have a detrimental impact on their body temperature, but they can also get a sunburn if their skin isn’t protected. In that same article, the ASPCA also states, “ It is ok to give your long-haired dog or cat a ‘summer cut’—trimming their long hair may make it more manageable. However, it is best to allow a professional groomer to perform the haircutting, and never shave down to the skin or try to cut the hair yourself with scissors.” If you’ve developed a good relationship with a groomer, you’ll be able to work together to understand the preferences of your pet when it comes to coat length and thickness (for both summer and winter).
  3. Many pets with grooming needs also shed naturally. You may notice heavy shedding when extreme weather sets in. This is almost always healthy. For those animals with non-shedding coats, it’s important to brush them regularly and pay attention to their skin. If you observe any abnormalities, you may want to ask your veterinarian or an experienced groomer. For those pets who do shed, keep your brush ready. You’ll find that basic brushing will remove the fur that is naturally coming out and keep them at a healthy temperature.