You’re starting to see the summer fur coat creeping in on your poor pooch. Soon, long hot days will beckon us to the beach on Lake Michigan to cool off from the blazing heat. If that sounds good to you, just imagine how good it sounds to your dog as well. Most dogs love the water and it is a great way for them to get some exercise and just have some good ol’ fun. However, a good swim is not a good way for them to get clean and with that undercoat, they’re going to need a professional dog groomer.
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Before you let the fur baby go jumping into the pool or lake, there are a few things to consider. No matter what breed of dog you have, they react to the heat similarly to the way we do and they want to cool off too. Swimming in the family pool can be a lot of fun and can create some great memories. But swimming pools hold some hidden dangers for dogs. The chlorine in a pool can be very harsh to a dog’s skin and coat. The chemicals can stay trapped on the dog’s skin and cause itching, scaling and rashes. Salt water pools also can have the same effect as chlorine to a dog. If your dog loves the pool, let him play and have a good time but always rinse him off after swimming with clean, fresh water and then get him to the dog groomer for a deep conditioning treatment to protect his skin from the harsh pool chemicals.
If your lucky dog goes with you to the beach or lake, even more precautions need to be taken. Swimming in the ocean or a lake presents a completely different set of problems. The microorganisms in the oceans and lakes can pose an even greater risk to the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Algae will continue to grow long after your dog is out of the water. Some professional dog groomers have actually seen some dog’s fur turn a little green from the buildup of algae! The bacteria from the micro -organisms goes to work immediately when your dog exits the water, and let’s just say the smell is not something you will soon forget. Always rinse your dog immediately with fresh water after swimming to break down the bacteria and reduce the smell.
Before your summertime water adventures begin, it’s important to visit the dog groomer. Along with the perils of daily dips in the pool, in the spring your dog’s fur can become matted and snarly. This can be just as irritating as chemicals causing them to scratch constantly. Merely bathing your dog at home might not be enough, scheduling an appointment at the “dog spa” will help maintain their shiny coat and keep their skin strong and healthy.