Summer Grooming for Dogs

The Benefits of a Drastic Summer Cut

Stripping is the term groomers use to describe the close shaved summer cut. I have two poodles and I’m in no way, not now or ever, going to spend the kind of money it would cost to have them shaped like walking topiary trees with pom-poms and fluff balls all over the place. I also refuse to dye them into a rainbow with fruit and vegetable juice or put any kind of clothing on them, including accessorized collars. Because of their wooly hair that is constantly growing it is imperative they be groomed every couple of months. The instructions I give are, “strip them.” What I get back are two dogs that feel like velvet.

Sometimes I give the groomer the liberty to leave a little more hair on top of their heads, a small bauble at the ends of their stubby tails, and slightly fluffed ears. She feels it’s important to retain a touch of their poodle good looks. I never considered the kind of complex running like a poodle while looking like a greyhound could give a dog but I guess my groomer has.

Stripping, it’s not just for poodles any more. On more than one occasion I’ve seen large breeds that are generally shaggy with their bodies stripped for the summer. Usually this drastic measure is the result of a parasitic infestation, i.e. tics or fleas. Most of the time the head is left unclipped to help retain the look of the breed. I’m not so sure the suburban lion look is ever going to catch on as a grooming fad but it is useful and practical for the dog days of summer.

Long fur or hair gives safe harbor to fleas and tics during the summer months. Not only are the illnesses born by these pests potentially dangerous for your pet but also given time and numbers their drain on the animal’s blood supply can result in anemia. Stripping the dog will make it easier for you to spot and easily remove the bloodsuckers before they can colonize or fully take hold and inflict damage.

The obvious additional bonus of this clip is it’s as close to personal air conditioning as your dog can get. Imagine wearing a long wool coat in the middle of summer and your only way to cool off was to pant heavily and lick your nose. I bet you’d be willing to sacrifice the fashion of the fur for a more comfortable existence. Then there is the shortened drying time after going out in the rain not to mention the obvious reduction in bad hair days and no tribble to remove from the filter should the pooch take a dip in your pool.

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