by Erin Tinker
Brush, Brush, Brush – Removes tangles, dirt and dead hair- Increases skin circulation and distributes natural oils through their skin and coat – An opportunity to check for lumps or sores that perhaps may need further attention or a visit to your veterinarian – Using conditioner sprays while you are doing the brushing helps keep the coat clean and moisturized during the dry cold months (ask a pet store about these, and keep in mind any skin allergies your dog may have).
Nails – Due to snow and ice, some dog’s nails grow longer than usual during this season – Nails should be maintained every 4-8 weeks especially in the winter
Paws – Keep a towel handy near your door to wipe snow, dirt and salt off of your dog’s paws – Getting the hair on their pads trimmed short regularly decreases the chance of snow balls forming and dirt and salt causing irritation – Paw balms are available for dry cracked pads, make sure it is made for dogs and okay for them to consume (usually available at your local pet supply store).
Baths & Haircuts – Indoor heating dries out a dogs skin during the cooler months – Ask for a moisturizing bath from your groomer or use one at home.
Oatmeal based shampoos are a great option if your dog has no skin sensitivities – Some dogs require a more frequent grooming schedule during the winter if you want to keep their coat longer ( consider a schedule of every 4-6 weeks) – Mud and snow clinging to the hair and melting when the dogs come indoors is a recipe for matts if they are not on a regular grooming schedule which includes brushing and trims – Most dogs do quite well with shorter haircuts even in the winter and there are a wide variety of coats they can wear on their walks outdoors.
Book an appointment with your regular groomer every six weeks to every three months minimum, depending on your dog’s specific coat type. A veterinarian or dog groomer can give you advice on this based on your dog’s lifestyle.
Erin Tinker is a local resident of Winchester ON, and owner of Erin’s Dog Grooming. She has her own dog and loves working with her clients to keep their dogs happy and healthy all year round.