Pet grooming is more important than ever during this time of the year. Chilly weather and snow can cause puppy paws to crack and a pet’s skin to get dry and irritated. A thick winter coat can also make that doggie smell a little stronger than usual. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to keep up with grooming when temperatures drop.
Here are ten winter pet grooming tips:
- If you are diligent about drying your pet well after a bath, baths need not stop during winter. Long-haired dogs tend to grow a thicker undercoat during the winter months to provide them with better protection from the cold, but this often makes indoor dogs smell a bit stronger than usual. Be sure to use a high quality dog or cat shampoo. Don’t over-bathe, though, as bathing can dry out a pet’s skin and coat. Consider a moisturizing pet shampoo to combat dry winter skin.
- Stay on top of coat brushing and maintenance. Brushing your pet’s coat encourages the skin’s circulation and natural oil production, which helps keep fur soft and shiny. Natural oils help prevent dry skin, which is a common winter weather problem among humans and animals alike!
- Dogs with continually growing hair, e.g., poodles, should receive regular trims during the winter. Coats left too long tend to pick up ice, snow, and de-icing chemicals.
- Fido’s paw pads are especially prone to cracking and abrasion during the winter. Salt, along with other chemicals used to make travel less hazardous, can irritate a dog’s paw pads. Make sure to clean your dog’s paws with a warm, wet rag every time he comes in from a walk. There are even waxes available to cover and protect paw pads before an outdoor excursion.
- In order to prevent tightly packed and irritating ice balls from forming in between your pet’s toes, be sure to keep the fur between toes trimmed short.
- Keep up with your pet’s nail trimming. A good rule of thumb is that the nails should not touch the ground when walking.
- Depending on the type of coat your dog has, a sweater or jacket may come in handy. Sweaters help shield your dog’s coat from icy wind and snow.
- Sweater or not, keep a towel by the door to dry Fido off with thoroughly after a trip outside.
- Fleas are very capable of riding out the winter in your pet’s bedding and undercoat. Keep up with heartworm and flea protection despite weather conditions. Brush your dog’s coat regularly and inspect for any signs of these pesky insects.
- Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just don’t have time to keep up with important seasonal grooming, make an appointment with a groomer.
Following these tips will help ensure you pet stays healthy and happy all winter long!