Summertime is right around the corner, and for those of us in Fort Worth, Texas, there’s no hiding from the heat. But that’s OK. Fortunately, we all know how to greet the heat in style. Some of us even help our pets to do the same! Here you can see my “Momma Cat” before and after one of her yearly “lion cuts.”

Grooming a pet is not only fashionable, it can also greatly reduce the amount of shedding, hairballs, heat exhaustion, matted hair and uncomfortable movement for your little furry friend. I know, it’s hard not to feel sorry for them when we first catch a glimpse and laugh. But trust me – feeling cooler, more comfortable and having a heightened sensitivity to the simple pleasures in life is sure to bring out the extra spunk in your pet this summer.

Many veterinary locations can perform the service but most of them require check-ups, vaccinations and anesthesia. Not only does that get pretty expensive, but it‘s not very fun for animals either. A location specializing in grooming will often have minimal requirements and can perform the service without muzzling or sedating your pet. The cost can be a fraction of a veterinary hospital too! So, be sure to go online to see what’s available in your area before deciding on a particular location.

*One look at this topic online reveals a lot of different opinions on the subject. There are a number of theoretical reasons why shaving your pet might not be a very healthy decision. On the other hand, you’ll find just as many people who have actually tried it and swear by the results (like me!). As always, context is everything. The climate you live in, the kind of animal you own, their breed, the style of haircut you wish to give them, the animal’s age and your pet’s lifestyle all have an influence. With so many variables, a single prescription can’t possibly work so it will be up to you to pay attention to your pet’s behavior before and after your decision. Remember, what’s good for one isn’t necessarily good for another and it’s always better to help your pet enjoy the summer months in whatever way is uniquely best for them.