Even during the slippery, snowy, and freezing winter months, your beloved canine still needs to stay physically active through regular walks. After all, just like dog grooming, regular walks can be very beneficial for dogs. Physical activity will not only help them stay healthy, it can also help ward off obesity and other health-related issues.
Grooming Tips After a Winter Walk
There is this common misconception that dogs would only need minimal grooming (or none at all) during the cold winter months. However, nothing can be farther from the truth.
On the contrary, grooming is just as necessary during winter as it is the rest of the year.
If anything, it is crucial to still follow your dog’s regular grooming regimen even during the winter months to ensure their fur and skin stays healthy and well-protected. Wet, matted, and long hair can make your fur babies more susceptible to infection.
Ensure your beloved canines feel cozy and comfortable after a winter walk by keeping the following tips in mind:
Brush their hair and coat after a walk
The dry and cold winter air can make their skin dry, chafed, and itchy. Home heating can also contribute to the drying out of the skin.
By brushing their hair regularly (and after a walk), you can stimulate the natural oils and distribute them throughout their coat, keeping them moisturized and well-conditioned.
Routine brushing can also help them maintain the perfect temperature, so they stay comfortable at all times.
Lastly, regular brushing can help your dog get rid of dead and shedding hair. It can also help ensure matting is reduced as mats in the fur can compromise their natural insulating abilities.
Give them a warm bath
After a romp in the city or woods, a warm and cozy bath would be the best way to end their walk.
And yes, you can still bathe your dog during the winter as long as you follow these common-sense rules:
- To avoid itchy and dry skin, ensure the bath water is warm and not hot.
- Before bathing, brush your dog’s hair thoroughly to remove any tangles. When wet, tangles can turn into mats and cause irritations. Matted fur can also cause pain and discomfort for your dog.
- Brushing is also essential, so you will be able to remove burrs, ice, salt, sand, and dirt.
- Also, make sure your dog is completely dry after each bath. If your dog has a thick coat, use a blow dryer to ensure it dries completely.
- Make sure to use mild and non-drying shampoo as well as a nourishing conditioner for best results.
Other Winter Grooming Tips to Keep in Mind
The following winter grooming techniques and tips can help ensure your dog stays in tip-top condition coat and health-wise:
Protect their paws from the harsh winter weather
Minimize problems like irritation, cracked pads, and infections from mud, rain, gravel, and snow by wiping their paws after each outing.
It is also ideal to keep a towel handy by the door so wiping the paws each time is easy.
Be extra watchful for mud balls or snow between the pads.
Ensure they are dry before going outside
Ideally, your dog should be completely dry before going outside.
When your dog goes out wet, he is more likely to feel cold. This is especially true among small dog breeds or those with short hair.
Prolonged exposure to the cold might also cause the temperature to drop.
Consider blow drying first before allowing your dog to go out for their winter walk.
Trim the nails regularly
Since your dog won’t be going out as much during winter, consider trimming their nails more regularly.
It is recommended that you check weekly since they are outside less often and won’t wear their nails down. As soon as you hear a “click-click” sound on the floor, it’s time to trim the nails.
The importance of grooming your dog after each walk and during the cold winter months cannot be overstated. After all, grooming is not merely for aesthetics. It is also crucial for your dog’s overall health, comfort, and well-being.
About the Author
Christy Mara is the Content Marketer of Canine Preferred, an all-encompassing dog grooming service, serving Arizona’s furry friends since 1975. Her advocacy has always been proper animal care, but she fulfills her passion for creating dioramas in her spare time.