Stay Ahead of the Cold: Essential Winter Grooming Tips for Dogs

Winter is just around the corner, and while we all bundle up in our cozy winter wear, it’s important not to forget about our furry friends. Many pet parents think that grooming stops over winter as the dogs need all their fur to keep them warm, but this is a common misconception. Grooming is just as important in winter as it is in summer. From dry skin to matted fur, winter can be harsh on our four-legged companions. But don’t worry! With a little extra care and attention, you can keep your dog looking and feeling their best all winter long. In this article, we’ll share some essential winter grooming tips for dogs that will help them stay healthy, happy, and comfortable during the colder months. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or a first-time pup parent, these tips are sure to come in handy as you prepare for the winter season. So, grab a warm blanket, snuggle up with your pup and lets get started.

Why grooming in winter is important!

Grooming is important for dogs all year round, but it’s especially crucial during the winter months. When the temperature drops, dogs tend to spend more time indoors, where the air is dry and warm. This can cause their skin to become dry and itchy, which can lead to a host of other problems, including infections. Grooming helps remove dead skin cells, distribute natural oils, and moisturize the skin. It also allows you to check for any signs of skin issues such as dryness, irritation, or infections, which are more common in winter. Many dog breeds have thick, dense coats that tend to grow longer during winter to keep them warm. However, this can lead to matting and tangling, especially if your dog spends time outdoors. Regular grooming during winter helps prevent matting, removes loose hair, and maintains the health and appearance of your dog's coat.

Here are some areas to focus on this winter:


1. Protect the Paws

As the colder weather sets in, your dog's paws can become more vulnerable to additional damage and discomfort due to wet and muddy conditions. To address this, it's important to keep the hair between your dog's paws neatly trimmed. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of mud getting stuck between the paw pads. When mud accumulates in these areas, it can cause discomfort and irritation, leading to potential issues such as matting, skin irritation, or even infections. Well-groomed paws provide better traction for your dog, enhancing their stability on slippery surfaces. It is also a good idea to keep the paws moisturized to prevent cracking. We recommend our Fur Love Moisture Balm or our Smith and Burton Heal and Protect Balm.

2. Check the Nails

Frequent outdoor exercise helps naturally wear down your pet's nails. However, prolonged indoor time due to cold or wet weather can lead to longer nails since they miss out on this natural wear. Certain nails, like front and rear dew claws, always need attention regardless of exercise. Regular trimming prevents them from curling and causing discomfort by embedding in their paw pads. Nail cutting requires careful handling and should not be hurried. If you prefer extra care or feel uncertain about cutting them yourself, we're available to cut them for you. We also stock great quality Nail Clippers for you to use at home.

 3. Bathing

Bathing your dog during the winter months is absolutely fine and can help maintain a clean and conditioned coat, which reduces the likelihood of matting compared to a dirty coat.
When bathing your dog, use comfortably warm water and a good quality dog shampoo. Ensure that you thoroughly work the shampoo into your dog's coat, reaching down to the skin. 
After thorough rinsing, apply a dog conditioner to replenish the oils removed during bathing, reduce static, and facilitate easier brushing. Conditioner also helps combat dryness that can occur during winter.
When drying your dog, gently pat and squeeze their fur with a towel, as rubbing can cause tangles. You can also use a hair dryer on the cool or warm setting. Keep your dog indoors in a cozy environment until all moisture has been eliminated. Keeping your pet warm helps them stay healthy.
We have a great range of natural, high quality shampoo and conditioners instore and available online.
If you don’t have the facilities at home to wash your dog in warm water, the colder months might be the best time to bring them in to use one of our DIY baths or book them in with our grooming team. Click here to book an appointment online.

Quick clean ups:

A pet wipe can be terrific for cleaning up surface dirt on paws, private areas or messy beards. If your dog is not ready for a full-on bath, but could use a little freshening up, try our Smith and Burton Purifying Cleansing WipesGentle and fragrance-free, making them ideal for delicate and sensitive skin too, helping cleanse, freshen and purify the coat while promoting natural lustre and shine.

4. Brushing and Coat Maintenance


After bathing your dog, it's important to thoroughly brush their coat to remove any tangles. Start by brushing from the skin to the tip of the hair using a quality slicker brush, such as the Le Salon Slicker Brush. This brush helps effectively remove tangles and mats from your dog's coat.

After using the slicker brush, follow up with a metal comb to ensure you haven't missed any spots. If you find any tangles or mats, go over those areas again with the slicker brush to remove them.

Regular brushing is key to preventing tangles, and most dogs benefit from being brushed several times a week. It's worth noting that shedding is common in winter, so brushing out the loose coat helps minimize matting.

For personalized advice on the appropriate grooming tools and brushing frequency for your specific dog, come and talk with us. We can provide valuable suggestions to keep your dog's coat in excellent condition.


5. Professional Grooming

Some owners believe that giving a dog a haircut during cold weather compromises the dog because it needs its coat to keep warm. While this is true, it’s also true that most pets don’t live outdoors all the time (nor should they!); they’re usually snuggled up with an owner in a centrally heated house. House dogs don’t need to rely on long fur and a thick undercoat for warmth, as wild animals do.

For Double Coated dogs, curly coats and long haired breeds, without regular grooming you run the risk of the coat becoming unmanageable to brush and becoming knotty and matted. Fur that’s matted doesn’t insulate or provide warmth, instead lead to pain and discomfort. Once the coat is matted the only option will be to shave it all off. 

Getting your dog professionally groomed, doesn't mean shaving it short. Talk with your groomer to find a length that is both manageable and able to keep the dog warm. It may mean not getting a full haircut but just a mini groom or a bath and brush. Just don't wait until Spring to come and see us.  Book an appointment with us here


 These tips will help keep your dog beautiful and healthy, no matter what the season!



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