Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Panting pooches turning to buzz cuts to beat the heat

Jennifer Smythe and Christine Christie trim Murphy a Border Collie at Hair of the Dog based at Pets in the City. Photo / Greg Bowker
Jennifer Smythe and Christine Christie trim Murphy a Border Collie at Hair of the Dog based at Pets in the City. Photo / Greg Bowker

Pampered pooches struggling with the heatwave are causing lengthy backlogs at grooming centres.

Salon bosses are reporting business has doubled in the past fortnight as owners rush to get their dogs' coats clipped in a bid to cool them down.

A spike in requests for belly clips, close-crops and showers has led to week-long waiting lists at many centres around Auckland.

Hair of the Dog in Mt Wellington has seen coat-cuts double to about 140 a week. "Dogs really have a hard time coping with this heat," owner Christine Christie said.

Salon staff said smaller dogs like poodles and shih tzus benefit from a close cut. There had also been a surge in demand for belly clips for larger breeds such as golden retrievers and border collies.

A full groom can cost up to $90, with belly clips starting at $10.

Bree Taylor, owner of Studio Hound in Epsom, said demand had gone "nuts" in recent weeks.

"I have the phone hooked to my shoulder dealing with inquiries while I am clipping," she said.

"Owners have noticed their dogs panting, drooling and lying about on concrete trying to cool down."

National pet chain Animates has seen a significant spike in its $10 in-store DIY dog-wash service.

Roseanne Silcock of Animates said there had been a "massive" increase in people queuing to run their pet through a cool shower at dog stations in recent weeks after they had been to the beach.

Animates offers a variety of dog pampering services, including a $109 Platinum Groom complete with a pedicure and facial, resulting in a "kissable" dog.

Five tips to cool down your dog

• Indoors, switch on an electric fan. Outside, make sure the dog has plenty of shade from the sun.

• Put your pooch in a kids' paddling pool, but make sure it can get in and out safely by itself.

• Ice cubes in a drinking bowl will keep the water cold longer.

• Wet a towel, wring it out and put it in the fridge. Then place it on the floor or deck for the dog to lie on.

• Buy a cooling pad from Bunnings for your dog to lie on.

Source: Hair of the Dog

- Herald on Sunday

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