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All Washed Up: Helpful hints for your pet during the summer

All Washed Up Pet Salon is at 1140 N. Lake Park Blvd., Suite B, Carolina Beach. For more information call 910-458-8551.

By: Candace Lookingbill
Staff Writer

The warmer weather is here, and we all know that we should stay hydrated and use sunscreen, but, what about our canine friends?
I went to All Washed Up Pet Salon and asked groomer Janet Brown what her thoughts were. She said grooming is important especially this time of year. It is also therapeutic for your pet.
She wanted to begin by discrediting a few myths. First myth is that people think that their dog’s fur insulates, keeping it cooler. This is not true, during the winter its fur will help keep it warm, but not when it is summer. Picture yourself wearing a winter coat right now, it would be uncomfortably hot.
Second myth is if the dog gets cut short it might get sunburned. Not true, she said, “We have to give our pets credit for being smart. Most pets will not lie in the sun like people do, even though people are uncomfortable and hot they will still stay in sun, the pet will find some type of shade or cover.”
Short hair on a pet makes it easier to check for fleas and ticks. The condition of the skin is healthier when air can get to the skin so that it can breathe. The thick undercoat can lead to hot spots on your pet.
Not everyone can afford to get their pet groomed, but if you take 20 minutes a week to brush out your dog especially focusing on the undercoat that will help keep them cool.
She said according to AKC, not all breeds are supposed to have their hair cut. But, Brown feels it is a personal choice. “Sometimes as owners we need to make a decision to do what is practical for the good of our dogs that cannot make the choice for themselves.”
Dogs should be bathed every couple of weeks with a flea and tick preventative shampoo this time of year.  Every dog should be protected from fleas and ticks, because both can be harmful to the dogs and can make them sick. Brown suggests going to your veterinarian for an effective preventive medicine and have the doctor recommend treatment according to your type of dog and its size and health that is the best way to help your pet.
She also provides flea baths and dips, but a hint she shared was that you can give your dog a bath in Dawn; yes it will kill the fleas. Another recommendation was prior to taking your dog for a walk to have a good flea spray and spray your pet’s legs, under the chin and its belly, the parts that are close to the ground this will help keep fleas off. Also, travel on the path that is known, stay away from places that can be traveled by strays or other animals that can carry these insects.
Some other things to remember now that it is warmer: never leave your pet a closed vehicle, provide cool fresh water throughout the day, take walks early morning or in the evenings when the sun’s heat is less intense; try to avoid prolonged exposure to asphalt or sand which can burn your dog’s paws; do not let your dog drink salt water it can make them sick, and salt and other minerals in ocean water can damage your dog’s coat so rinse them off at the end of the day. Remember a healthy and clean pet is a happy pet.All Washed Up Pet Salon is at 1140 N. Lake Park Blvd., Suite B, Carolina Beach. For more information call 910-458-8551. There will be a Pet Portrait Day at the salon on July 27 beginning at noon. Sitting cost is $15 and includes an 8 inch by 10 inch portrait and packages will be available. To schedule a sitting call the salon.