Your dog’s coat keeps them warm in the winter, but it also helps keep them stay cool in the summer and protects them from the sun. Brushing often to get the winter coat out is recommended rather than shaving a double-coated dog. Their coat does not grow back the same either when shaved, leaving them vulnerable to the elements in every season.
A double coat consists of 2 layers:
- The soft undercoat. This finer coat acts as insulation for your pup! It’s the coat that thickens up in winter to keep them nice and warm but also sheds away in the summer. You will notice an extra dog or two come out in the spring when brushing your dog – this is the undercoat!
- Long guard hairs. These hairs usually do not shed away from the dog. They are important in the summer as they protect the pup from the sun, and after the undercoat has shed, helps circulate air which keeps them cool. In winter, the guard hairs protect the pup from environmental forces like snow and ice. They can even shed water – you’ll see this in winter when the snow beads off on their coats and their skin/undercoat doesn’t even seem wet.
Know your dog’s breed and what they can handle. Older and overweight dogs as well as Brachycephalic dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. Some common signs of heat stroke in dogs are:
Summer is a fun season but remember to be mindful of your dog and help them keep cool!