Winter Grooming for Dogs
Winter Grooming Tips
Trim the hair between the toes
In the winter, snow and chemicals such as salt and calcium used to melt ice are all over walkways and streets. These chemicals and snow can get stuck in the hair between your pets toes and on the pads. The snow can lead to frostbite, while the chemicals can cause irritation and even infection. Be sure your pet does not lick their paws after a walk outside, as this can lead to gastrointestinal problems and unhealthy electrolyte levels.
Trimming the hair on the feet and in between the toes makes the paws easier to clean post walk and reduces the amount of debris that clings.
Care for Dry Skin
Just as your skin gets drier in the winter, so does your dog’s! Your best defense against dog dry skin is regular bathing, meaning a good shampoo, condition, blow out, and brushing once a month. However, be careful about using lotions or your pet’s coat will get overly greasy. Proper products are needed to prevent both dry skin and greasy coat.
Don’t forget dry nose
Don’t overlook the nose when caring for dry skin. If you see your pet’s snout becoming dry and irritated, apply snout balm.
Pay extra attention to the nails
Cold weather and snow means less physical activity outside for you and your pet, and less harsh ground surfaces to walk on. Without either of these factors your dog’s nails won’t experience much friction and wear down, thus more frequent trimming is going to be needed.
Don’t Overdo the Pet Sweaters
Pet sweaters are a huge cause of matting over the winter months, due to the constant rubbing and friction. If your pet has trouble keeping warm this winter, make sure you brush their coat each time you take off the pet sweater.
Pay close attention to your dog’s ears during the winter months. Wet conditions and cold temperatures may aggravate chronic ear conditions. Getting your dog’s ears professionally cleaned will make it easier for you to notice when any changes occur
Brush, Brush, Brush!
The most important grooming procedure at any time of year is to brush your dog’s coat regularly. A lot of long haired and drop-coated dog breed owners think that grooming should cease for the winter (in order to keep their pup warm). This couldn’t be further from the truth! If a dog’s coat gets matted its natural insulating qualities are lost. As the hair grows longer during the cold months grooming needs to become even more frequent, or it will quickly become unmanageable. Whether you need to do daily or weekly brushes will depend on the type of coat, its length and whether the hair is prone to tangling.
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