Colder temperatures don't mean you should stop grooming your fur baby.
Winter has hit our area hard and fast, bringing with it special grooming concerns for dog owners. So many of our pet parents have questions about grooming: should you bathe your dog when temperatures are low? How can you handle those muddy paws? What about hair cuts?
Here are answers to those questions and a few more:
Protect those Paws From Winter Weather and Salt
Think about your feet in the winter. Everything gets more dry and weather is tough on paws too. There are ways you can minimize problems such as cracked pads, irritation, infections from snow, salt, mud, rain, low temperature, and gravel simply by wiping the feet dry after every outing. Keep a towel handy by the door, and make feet wiping routine.
Be especially watchful for snow or mud balls between the pads. Also, thorough wiping reduces but does not eliminate muddy paw prints in the house.
Another option is using booties. Some dogs accept these items gracefully; others try to chew them off. Our booties are made by Doggles actually have a hard sole and are designed to stay on.
Are winter baths okay?
Yes, it's perfectly fine to bathe your dog in the wintertime. In fact, dogs sometimes need more grooming then. Longer, fluffier coats tend to mat (we have two St. Bernards in our house and can tell you some horror stories), and walks through mud and snow are messy. If your dog is indoors to keep warm, you may be especially eager to bathe him to keep "doggie" odor to a minimum.
Make sure he/she is completely dry before going outside, because a wet dog is more likely to become chilled. This is especially true of small breeds or those with short hair. Prolonged exposure to cold results in a drop in body temperature, or hypothermia, and it is most likely to occur when a dog is wet.
Between baths, or if bathing with water is inconvenient, try dry cleaning. Spray a little Dry Dog Clean Spray. You could even try a little cornstarch to absorb oils.
Dry Winter Skin
A dog's skin may be resilient, but it's not winter proof. As dogs age, their oil-secreting glands slow down, making them prone to dry skin. The cold winter air and dry indoor heat only aggravate the condition, causing itching and flaking that may lead to constant scratching, biting or licking. A regular bath with a moisturizing shampoo may be just the thing. Also, try a mud bath treatment at our spa. It works wonders!!!
Dog Winter Haircut
Some owners believe giving a dog a haircut — even breeds requiring regular trimming, such as the Poodle, Westie or Schnauzer — during cold weather compromises the dog because it needs more fur to keep warm. While it is true dogs need to keep warm, it's also true most pets don't live outdoors all the time; they're usually snuggled up with you in a heated house. Our spoiled house dogs don't rely on long fur and a thick undercoats for warmth as wild animals or sled dogs do.
It is all right to give your dog a haircut in winter. If you're concerned about being cold on outings, consider a longer trim or a doggie sweater or hoodie.
Dog Nail Trimming
If your dog is indoors more frequently in the winter, the nails may need extra trimming because it's not outside running and romping to wear them down.
It's a lot to worry about but we can definitely help. Once we have your pet on a regular schedule, we can make sure we are addressing any issues before they start. Give us a call or schedule and appointment online.