Summer Heat Management: Proper Dog Haircuts

During the hot summer months, numerous pet owners choose to give their dogs a shorter haircut, commonly known as a summer cut. This helps the dogs manage the heat more comfortably. Concerning the timing of these summer cuts, many pet owners often contemplate the ideal starting point. This question is one that crosses the minds of several individuals. 


Optimal Timing for Summer Dog Grooming

Before the onset of hot summer weather, many pet owners contemplate ways to keep their dogs comfortable. A common approach is to have the dogs undergo a summer grooming session at a professional salon. The question arises: When is the most suitable timeframe for a summer cut for dogs? Let’s delve into the topic to understand the best timing for a summer cut, considerations about coat length, and other pertinent aspects of summer grooming.

Choosing the Right Months for a Summer Cut

The recommended period for administering a summer cut to dogs is from the months of April to June. This timeframe coincides with the natural shedding season for dogs. It is during these months that dogs begin shedding their fur. This shedding phase makes the April to June period ideal for implementing summer cuts, as they aid in managing fur shedding. This advice holds true for both long-haired dogs and those with shorter, less shedding-prone coats. Thus, the months of April to June are considered the optimal time for a summer cut.

Avoiding Winter Summer Cuts

During the cold winter season, it is essential to prioritize keeping dogs warm. Dogs’ fur possesses insulating properties. If a dog’s fur is cut too short during winter, their body heat can escape, leading to cold temperatures that might result in health issues and discomfort. The concept of a summer cut is intended for the warmer months; hence, it is advisable to refrain from administering summer cuts during the colder winter season.

Selecting the Appropriate Coat Length for Summer Grooming

When considering a summer cut for a dog, it is crucial to strike a balance and avoid excessively short coats. Maintaining a coat length of at least “10 millimeters” is recommended for a suitable summer cut. The optimal length for a summer cut is around “2cm.” While this might appear longer than expected, a dog’s coat serves several vital functions that contribute to their well-being.

Preserving Skin Health

● The coat offers waterproofing to prevent the body from getting wet.

● It acts as a barrier against pests like fleas and mites.

● The coat contributes to regulating body temperature.

● It safeguards the skin from direct sunlight and ultraviolet rays.

These functions collectively underline the importance of a dog’s fur in protecting their skin. Analogously, the fur acts as insulation, trapping air within its structure to counteract direct sunlight and regulate temperature. A too-short coat compromises these crucial functions. Consequently, a coat length of “10 millimeters” or approximately “2cm” is recommended for an effective summer cut, allowing the fur’s benefits to be fully utilized.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Summer Trims

Summer trims, undertaken to help dogs endure the hot weather, come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the positives and negatives of opting for a summer cut.

Advantages of a Summer Trim

During the warmer months, certain single-coated long-haired dog breeds like Toy Poodles and Shih Tzus receive moderately shorter trims at grooming establishments. These breeds possess fur that tends to trap heat due to the spacing between their single coats. A summer cut, designed to promote better airflow between the layers of skin, offers two notable benefits: “prevention of skin issues” and “reduction of grooming efforts in the summer.”

Moreover, Toy Poodles are known for their limited shedding. However, brushing them reveals shed hair that clings to combs and brushes. Despite their minimal shedding, their coat turnover is slower compared to other breeds, resulting in less dramatic shedding periods. Consequently, obtaining a summer cut during the peak shedding months of April to June significantly diminishes visible shedding, enhancing the overall effectiveness.

Drawbacks of a Summer Trim

The primary drawback associated with a summer haircut arises when the fur is excessively shortened using clippers or similar tools, compromising proper “skin protection.” The fur acts as a natural defense, shielding the dog from “UV rays in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter.” Hence, maintaining an appropriate fur length is crucial.

Furthermore, what is commonly termed a “summer cut,” often involving significant fur trimming in a “shaved” style, can lead to unintended consequences. Drastically shortening the fur can result in alterations to its texture and shine, necessitating careful consideration. The precise causes behind these changes in fur texture due to the shaved style remain somewhat unclear. However, instances of texture changes have been observed when fur is excessively trimmed during a summer cut.

●Alterations in fur luster and texture have been noted.

●Uneven growth patterns in the fur can emerge.

●Fur growth may be stunted.

Hence, changes in fur quality resulting from extremely short fur trimming can be perceived as downsides of a summer cut. To mitigate these effects, one can maximize the benefits by trimming the coat to a moderate length during the dog’s summer cut. In essence, opting for a slightly longer length of around “2cm” can provide a comfortable and suitable summer cut for the dog.


Self-Grooming for a Dog’s Summer Cut

In situations where dog owners wish to administer a summer cut to their pets on their own, acquiring the necessary grooming skills and possessing five essential grooming tools can empower them to perform this task effectively. By becoming their dog’s exclusive groomer, owners can achieve satisfactory results.

Although initially challenging, owners can gradually master the technique of giving their cherished pets a delightful summer cut. For those contemplating a DIY grooming approach, the subsequent information outlines the indispensable tools and procedural steps required for a successful summer cut.


  • Comb Also known as a dog comb, this tool serves the purpose of identifying tangles within a dog’s coat. Selecting a comb of appropriate size and teeth gap is essential, as it should align with the dimensions of the dog.
  • Cutting Scissors These specialized scissors are designed for trimming a dog’s fur. Available in diverse varieties, ranging from budget-friendly options in pet stores to high-end models favored by professional groomers, these scissors should be evaluated based on their sharpness and cost-effectiveness. While using cutting scissors, the primary concern is to prevent any harm to the dog’s skin. Initial trimming of fur tips is recommended to develop a familiarity with handling the scissors.
  • Clippers Clippers are indispensable for trimming fur around the paw pads and rectal area, as well as for maintaining the overall coat length. Opting for clippers with detachable clipper bodies and replacement blades is advisable.
  • Replacement Blades for Clippers To facilitate effective clipping, two types of replacement blades are necessary: one with a 1-millimeter length and another with a preferred range of 5 to 12 millimeters. The 1-millimeter blade is ideal for precise trimming around paw pads, while the 5 to 12 millimeter blades suit the body’s coat trimming requirements.

Evaluating Your Dog’s Condition Before Grooming

Prior to giving a summer cut to their cherished canine companion, it is essential for the owner to assess the dog’s condition. Depending on the state of the dog, it might be necessary to reconsider the grooming schedule. Vigilance during this step is advised.

● Ideal on days when the dog is in optimal health

Performing an extensive grooming session consumes the dog’s energy and strains its body. It’s advisable to select a day when the dog is in robust health.

● Inspect for any anomalies on the body or skin, and the presence of growths

Grooming when the dog has anomalies on the body or skin could exacerbate the issue. Furthermore, if there are growths on the body, utilizing clippers might pose a risk of injury. A thorough examination of the dog’s body is recommended. In the event of any abnormalities, seeking assistance from a veterinary clinic before proceeding with grooming is important to ensure resolution of the concerns.

● Assess for excessive tangles in the fur

Before embarking on the grooming process, employ a slicker brush or comb to identify tangles in the fur. For severe tangles, gently untangle and eliminate any mats or knots within your capability before initiating the grooming process.

If encountering severe mats that cannot be removed independently, it is advisable to entrust the task to a professional grooming salon rather than attempting forceful removal.

Grooming Process Breakdown: Achieving the Desired Outcome

Grooming Tips: Set up a table slightly elevated from the ground, suited to the dog’s size. This aids in restricting the dog’s movement and facilitates the grooming process. The table’s height should approximate that of a low table. Lay down a non-slip mat on the table in advance.

Given that tasks such as using scissors and clippers are involved, having two individuals collaborate to hold the dog during grooming enhances safety.

Important Considerations: While trimming, ensure a serene environment to prevent startling the dog. Moreover, maintain focus and concentration when utilizing scissors or clippers.

Now, let’s delve into the grooming procedure. Allow a concise explanation of each step:

Slicker Brush and Comb Routine: Initiate grooming by thoroughly brushing the entire coat with a slicker brush and comb. Begin by gently brushing the hair roots with the slicker brush. Subsequently, comb through the hair gradually from roots to tips to identify any tangles. Should any tangles be found, address the area with brushing.

Trimming Paw Pads: Utilize clippers equipped with a 1mm blade to trim the hair on the paw pads. Lift the dog’s paw rearward and trim the hair from the smaller paw pad towards the central larger one. Initiating trimming from the hind legs simplifies managing the dog’s movements. If managing the front legs proves challenging, commence with the hind legs. Pay heed to the dog’s comfort, considering the strain on their joints when lifting legs.

Using Clippers on the Body: When utilizing clippers on the body, ensure the coat is dry. Keep the coat dry and align the clipper blade parallel to the dog’s body. Maintain consistent direction with the clipper. Start from the back of the head, proceeding to the base of the tail. Follow the hair flow to trim the sides of the body, moving from chin to chest.

Trimming Around the Paws: Trim the hair surrounding the paws, aiming for a contoured, rounded shape that mirrors the paw’s curves. Exercise caution to avoid cutting the slightly elevated paw pads above the front paws.

Trimming Leg Hair: Employ a comb to elevate leg hair upward, then trim the hair extending beyond the comb. Initiate from the thigh, descend to the elbow, and proceed to the paw, working top to bottom. Avoid gripping hair with scissors, as this could result in accidental skin cuts. Always utilize a comb to guide the cutting action.

Face Trimming – Part 1: Around the Eyes: Secure the dog’s jaw firmly to prevent movement. Employ fingers or a comb to push hair around the eyes forward, then trim with scissors. Exercise caution with scissor width before cutting.

Face Trimming – Part 2: Around the Mouth: Elevate the hair from bottom to top. Trim hair on the sides of the face emerging from the comb. Support from another person during this step enhances safety.

Equalizing Ear Hair: To prevent inadvertent ear flesh cutting, grasp the ear’s flesh using thumb and index finger. Use thinning shears to even out hair without injuring the flesh.