The inclement winter weather of cold winds, rain, snow and ice, coupled with central heating can be very damaging and drying to your dog and cat’s coat which can look dull and lifeless. See how your dog can survive the wintry weather!
Here we have some tips for winter dog grooming practices to ensure your pets are kept warm, dry and comfortable which is crucial for overall general good health.
Staying Warm and Dry: Older dogs, puppies and short haired dogs may benefit from wearing a coat when out walking on cold days and any dog that becomes wet from rain or snow should be dried thoroughly on their return home. Dog’s skin can become dry and itchy if fur hasn’t been dried properly in combination with the dry heat from our homes.
Bathing. Try not to bath your dog unnecessarily during the winter months. If you can, wait until the mud has dried and brush it out. When you do bathe your dog, use a gentle, moisturising shampoo and rinse in warm water ensuring your dog has been thoroughly towelled dry. Why not also give our dry shampoos a go, these are great to freshen up your dogs coat without needing to give them a full bath.
Regular Grooming: Keep your dog’s coat in top condition by bushing their coats on a regular, even daily basis. Regular brushing removes dirt, dead hair and stops hair becoming matted, as well as increasing skin circulation and distributing naturally occurring oils. Coats, especially those dogs with longer hair can easily become matted in winter. Fur that is matted doesn’t insulate and worse can hold water and dirt, cause discomfort and lead to infections below the skin.
Whilst grooming, also check carefully for skin complaints at the same time.
Keep Paws Protected: The winter can be really tough on your dogs’ paws as walks can be wet, muddy and snowy as well having to contend with salt and grit on hard, icy pavements, all of which can cause irritation and damage to your dogs’ paws. The grit and salt used on roads can also irritate pets paws and can be toxic if they lick them clean.
Healthy dogs paws’ are spongy and hydrated but when paws come into contact with the elements they can become sore and cracked. So after each walk wash your dogs’ paws paying attention to between the pads, making sure they are wiped thoroughly dry. Drying mitts can make this job easier.
Also, check your dog’s paws and between their pad after each walk. This is very important for long haired dogs as snow and ice can collect between their pads whilst out walking and cause them a lot of discomfort. Consider applying a paw balm which if rubbed into your pet’s paw pads on a regular basis will help to ensure your pet’s paw pads are supple and in good condition and making them less susceptible to damage and cracking. For added protection use a product like PawTector by the Natural Dog Company.
The paw balms sold at Healthful Pets contain only natural ingredients - herbs and oils that soothe and strengthen the skin that covers and protects the pads of the feet.
Don’t forget their noses! The winter weather (coupled with indoor heat) can be very drying for a dog’s nose. A dog’s strongest sense is their sense of smell. A dog’s nose is generally moist and it is this moisture that helps them to pick up scents and analyse the world around them. A dry dog nose can be uncomfortable and can also interfere with their ability to smell properly which may cause agitation.
So during wintertime keep your dog’s nose healthy by applying a snout balm such as Snout Soother by the Natural Dog Company which can heal a dry nose within a few applications. Not only that but it provides an extra layer of protection against those wintry elements.
Nutrition. As we embrace the winter weather there are several supplements that are useful as good nutrition is key to a healthy skin and coat.
Diet’Dog Superfoods beta contains a wide range of essential vitamins, oils, minerals and herbs such as Nettles and Alfalfa which help your pet glow with health, especially helping achieve a healthy looking skin and coat. In handy granules to be simply added to wet or dry food 350g £17.49
Hilton Herbs Top Coat contains herbs specific to helping areas of inflammation and allergic skin reactions, cleansing toxins from the body and calming irritations or hot spots.
Dorwest Easy Green powder is a great way to give your dog “super green” foods which benefits skin as well as being an important part of a healthy, natural diet for dogs.
Omgea oils – the addition of omega oils can help improve the skin and coat condition particularly through the winter months. Omega oils can help restore coat shine, condition as well as calming and reducing itchy, dry skin. New to us last year was a brand called Proflax and other favourites include Nordic Naturals, Evening Primrose Oil, Wheatgerm oil