Winter season is finally upon us, which means most of the day will be spent indoors snuggled in a blanket and doing everything to keep ourselves warm. In this season, our canine pets also require the same amount of love and care.
It is a common misconception that dogs do not need to be groomed as their winter coat comes in which protects them from the cold. This is simply not true. Winter is perhaps the time when our dogs require the most care and attention. Grooming in this season becomes more important, especially because a cold, wet dog is a breeding ground for infection and diseases.
Aged dogs and those with long hair are prone to developing health problems in this season as they are at their most vulnerable. If the right precautions and safety measures, like investing in an insulated dog house, are not taken, they can contract some life-threatening diseases such as hypothermia.
By following these grooming tips this winter season, you can manage to keep your lovely pets out of harm’s way:
1. Protecting Cracked Paws
The cold walks in winter can be very harsh on your dog. Like the skin, its paws also become dry. Walking on wet and muddy snow or icy pavements may result in cracked or dehydrated paws. This could affect its balance and walk altogether. In the worst case, it may develop a severe infection if not treated properly.
In order to protect your pet’s paws, all you need to do is adopt a simple habit this season. Just keep a wet cloth by the entrance door to wipe off your dog’s paws after every walk. Keep an eye out for mud balls and snow between its paws. A moisturizing balm can also be used for extra care as it would help ensure the paws are soft.
Most importantly, clip excess hair from between the paws to prevent gravel and snow from getting stuck in the paws altogether.
2. Brush It Out
The fur of the dog determines how healthy it is. The shinier and softer it is, the healthier the dog. The winter season asks for a little extra care when it comes to the fur because fleas can take up residence on warm places on the body.
Moreover, as dogs spend more time indoors in warmer environments, their coats respond by shedding more often than in the summers. This may result in excessive hair on furniture and carpets. To prevent this from happening, dogs must be brushed frequently to get rid of excess fur.
Many people think that the long hair protects the dog from the cold. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The hair should not be allowed to grow too long. It should be trimmed often to maintain the hygiene of your dog. Otherwise, it might catch fleas or harmful infections.
3. Take Out the Tub
Dogs tend to make bath times more work than they really are. All the jumping and spells of excitement add to your chores. However, in winters, bath times can become even more difficult. The heating and cold winds add to the dryness, even for pets.
This does not mean you should avoid giving baths to your dog in the winter. Just make sure you take extra care while giving baths. Here are some steps you can take:
- Make sure any mud on your dog has dried before you decide to give a bath.
- Remove any dirt and hair using a comb before bath time begins.
- While giving a bath, the water used must be warm enough not to give your dog a cold or runny nose.
- Use gentle moisturizing shampoos to restore the oils and hydration in the skin.
4. Grooming the Ears, Nose and Nails
Half the strength of a dog lies in its nails. They help them hunt and maintain top speed. When you hear ‘tap, tap, tap’ on your floors, it is time to trim those nails. In the winter season, the nails are prone to breaking when the dog runs through ice and snow. To avoid episodes of excessive howling and pain, it is best to regularly trim the nails.
When it comes to strength, we can’t forget the strongest sense dogs have – sense of smell. The moisture in their noses helps them stay alert by picking up scents. The winter season makes their noses dry, which hinders their ability to pick up scents. It is best to apply snout balm to restore the moisture.
Ears are also important to groom as they are the most sensitive part of a dog’s body and are a common home for fleas and other insects. It is important to regularly clean them to prevent any infestation, it’s good to use special ear drops for dogs.
5. Soldiering Up for the Cold
The harsh weather can be difficult to cope with at times, but the best part is that there are so many adorable accessories available for dogs. Short jumpers and coats are the best way to keep your dogs warm while going out. It is wise to put on socks and shirts first to get the dog accustomed to the sensation before purchasing boots and coats.
Heated beds and mats are also available to keep your furry babies warm in this season. A heater can also be installed in their kennels to fight the cold.
Our furry friends require extra care in this winter season. Their bodies are extremely sensitive to change, so extra precaution and care must be taken while tending to your beloved dogs. Dogs with long coats require more brushing and grooming than those with small coats. Similarly, hunting dogs such as Hounds, Huskies and Labradors require extra attention to their paws, noses and ears as they spend more time outdoors.
A little extra care will allow your dogs to enjoy the weather to the fullest. After all, they are the life of the party when they are well-fed, groomed and happy.