Grooming your dog is something you should do all year round, but you might need to make slight changes to how you do it depending on the season. Cold winter weather can affect your dog in different ways than hot summer weather, so it’s important to understand more about winter grooming.
Winter vs. Summer Grooming
Summer is a common time for pet owners to give their dogs a shorter haircut. While it might seem like you should skip grooming in winter in order to help your dog stay warmer, this can lead to unpleasant results. A dog’s coat can get matted when it isn’t properly cared for with regular grooming. If this happens, your dog might end up having to get a shorter haircut during the winter months. These shorter haircuts make it harder for dogs to stay warm when they’re out in the cold.
During winter, dogs can also develop dry, irritated skin. If your dog experiences these seasonal skin problems, you might need to switch to moisturizing products rather than regular ones. In summer, your dog’s skin is not likely to be as prone to dryness.
Importance of Regular Grooming
Making sure that your dog’s skin and coat are cared for throughout the year, including winter time, helps keep their coat in good condition. This can reduce the risk of health issues, such as skin irritation that can lead to skin infections. Keep in mind that your dog’s nails are also more likely to grow longer in winter. During summer, longer walks on dry pavement help keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Shorter walks on snowy or icy pavement don’t offer this same benefit. Winter grooming should include trimming your dog’s nails to prevent them from getting too long, which puts your dog at risk of having them tear and makes walking more uncomfortable.
Winter Grooming Basics
During the winter, coat and skin care for dogs generally includes using hydrating products that provide plenty of moisture or soothing products, such as dog shampoo that contains oatmeal. This helps combat the drying effects of winter air. While dogs usually don’t get haircuts as often in winter, regular brushing and combing is important in order to reduce the risk of mats and tangles. Dogs with longer coats still need to have them trimmed a bit in order to keep their coat as healthy and shiny as possible.