After a long summer enjoying the great outdoors, many family pets are suffering from tangled coats, skin and paw irritation, and other problems.
“Grooming is important to your pet’s health at all times of year,” says Traci Simo of at-home pet care provider Canine Company. “That’s especially true now, when coats and skin need extra attention to address the problems caused by all that summer fun.” She recommends the following steps to ensure problems don’t get worse as fall settles in:
- Start with a deep brushing, carefully working out any mats and tangles. A matted coat will cause skin problems, irritation and discomfort. A badly matted dog should be seen by a qualified groomer with the tools and training to address the problem humanely.
- Check for parasites. While you are brushing and combing, inspect the dog’s skin for signs of fleas, ticks and other parasites. Don’t stop parasite prevention treatments yet; those pests will be looking for a ride indoors before the cold weather arrives.
- Shampoo thoroughly to remove dust, dirt, mold spores and parasites. Follow with a conditioner to moisturize sun-damaged skin. Towel dry, then brush and comb the coat. It’s best not to use a home hair dryer, because it can burn the dog’s skin.
- Do an ear check for problems that may be triggered by summer swims. If the ears have an odor or show signs of redness, or if the pet is scratching at them, proper cleaning by a professional groomer or veterinarian is in order.
- Do a foot check by spreading the pads and looking between the toes. Redness and irritation may indicate contact dermatitis or allergies from lawn chemicals, hot asphalt or grass seed – requiring cleaning and treatment. Nails and excess hair between the pads should be trimmed.
“Undoing summer’s damage is a big job and many people prefer to turn it over to the professionals, like our Mobile Pet Spa team, who come right to your driveway to care for your pet,” notes Simo. “If you do seek professional help, be sure to let the groomer know about your pet’s activities over the past few months, so she can address any issues.”