Dog Grooming Tips for the Winter
When the temperatures drop, some dogs relish it, while other dogs — from pampered pooches to hairless hounds — prefer to spend those colder days snuggled in a blanket. Regardless which category your pup belongs to, it’s up to you to remember your dog’s care and grooming. Protect and defend your furry friends against the cold and potential cold-related health concerns.
While it’s true that dogs have a coat of fur for temperature regulation, that doesn’t mean they can tolerate very cold temperatures any better than you can. Unless you have a cold-weather breed, such as a Husky or St. Bernard, dogs can get cold, especially if they’re used to being indoors much of the time. Take the time to learn a few dog grooming tips to help your pooch make the most of the chilly temperatures.
Winter Dog Grooming Tips
Your little buddy may spend less time outside, but indoor heat and the winter’s drier air can still affect his health. A few dog grooming tips and a regular grooming schedule — which you can get from Canine Styles at any of their three Manhattan locations — helps your beloved pooch weather the cold like a seasoned pro. Tips include:
- Grooming. Careful grooming requires attention to your canine’s coat. Many dog owners believe dogs don’t shed in the winter, but while shedding does slow down, it does still continue. Regular brushing and grooming reduce the chance for matted hair that can cause skin irritations. Brushing also helps distribute the natural oils in your dog’s coat to help combat dryness.
- Paws, paws, paws. Ice, gravel and salt all lead to irritations and sores on your dog’s paws. Also, when cold, toenails tend to break easier. Protect your dog’s paws with good dog grooming tips like:
- Keep your pup’s nails trimmed in the winter.
- Cut any excessive hair that extends below the paw.
- Rinse your dog’s paws with warm water after frosty walks.
- Ear treatment. Pay close attention to your dog’s ears during the winter months. While ear pests usually take a break during the cold weather, wet conditions and cold temperatures may aggravate chronic ear conditions. Any professional groomer, like those at Canine Styles, know to clean your dog’s ears, making it easier for you to notice when any changes occur.
- Moisturize. Skin in the winter months tends to dry out due to the cold weather outside and increased heat inside. Your dog experiences dry skin too. To prevent this, follow these simple dog grooming tips:
- Add coconut oil to your dog’s favorite food.
- Rub coconut oil into drying paws and other dry spots, as needed.
Other Ways to Protect Your Canine Companion from the Cold
The two biggest concerns for your dog during the cold months are hypothermia and frostbite. Short-haired dogs are especially susceptible; don’t keep them outside for long periods of time. Other ways to keep your pups healthy during the winter include:
- Monitor any behavioral changes that may signal one of these conditions.
- If you notice your pooch shivering or acting uncharacteristically lethargic, it’s time to warm him up in a blanket.
- Tender paws or noses — as well as pale or grey skin around the nose, paws and tail — may also be signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
Consider common-sense ways to help your dog manage cold temperatures, such as:
- Shielding coats, sweaters, and raincoats. If your dog isn’t specifically bred for frigid conditions, a good coat that reaches to his tail and protects his stomach from accumulated snow increases your pet’s comfort.
- Protective boots. Footwear keeps your pooch’s paws dry and warm.
- Warm bedding. Cold floors not only keep your pup from resting comfortably, they may increase your older dog’s arthritis issues. Keeping multiple cozy beds and mats available throughout your home — especially in your bedroom and the main rooms you and your family spend time in — helps your dog sleep comfortably, stay warm and be relaxed.
These canine apparel and dog grooming tips help your furry friend stay healthy all winter long. Also remember to limit your pet’s outdoor time and make sure he gets plenty of water to drink. These little things add up to one happy and content pooch!