Grooming your dog is a year-round effort. Brushing their coat, bathing, keeping their teeth clean, checking their ears, and trimming their nails are all regular grooming tasks. In the winter, there are some additional things to consider. Here are a few winter dog grooming tips to help keep your pooch comfortable:
Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Nails
Usually, trimming your dog’s nails monthly is sufficient to keep them from getting too long and affecting your dog’s movement. In the winter, your dog’s nails may wear down less and may need more frequent clipping. This is especially true if your dog spends less time running around outside during the winter as they won’t wear their nails down as much in between trimming.
Check your dog’s nails on a weekly basis to make sure they are not growing too long and listen when they are walking across a hard floor. If you hear their nails clicking, it’s time to trim them or file them down.
Trim Fur Between Toes and Protect Paw Pads
Winter weather and cold temperatures are rough on your dog’s paws and sensitive paw pads. Start by trimming the fur between toes and paw pads. Keeping fur in these areas shorter will help reduce the amount of chemicals, ice, dirt, and debris that can get stuck there.
You will also want to keep a towel or cloth near the door so you can wipe your dog’s paws off after an outing. This helps keep their feet dry and can help prevent cracked paw pads. You can also buy paw balm or make a DIY paw balm to keep your pup’s paw pads protected and moisturized. A sturdy pair of booties can also help protect your dog’s paws when they are out and about in the winter.
Help Your Dog Avoid Dry Skin in the Winter
Winter weather can result in dry, itchy skin for you and for your dog as well. There are a lot of ways to help your dog avoid dry skin in the winter. First, make sure they have plenty of water, so they stay hydrated. You can also run a humidifier inside the home to put some moisture back into the air.
Bathe Your Dog Less in the Winter
Since water dries out skin, bathing your dog less in the winter can help reduce dry, itchy skin. This keeps the natural oils that keep your dog’s skin hydrated in their coat longer. When you bathe your dog, make sure to use dog shampoos with moisturizing ingredients like oatmeal or aloe vera. If your dog is prone to dry skin, you can also use a conditioning rinse specifically formulated for dogs. It’s also important to make sure your dog is completely dry before they go outside in the winter.
Brush Your Dog’s Coat Daily
Brushing your dog’s coat helps remove loose fur, work out tangles, and prevent mats from forming. During the winter, your dog is going to have a thick, fluffy coat to help keep them warm, so you will need to increase coat maintenance during this time. It’s a good idea to brush your dog’s coat daily during the winter to help keep it maintained, particularly because there is more of it. In addition to the normal benefits, brushing your dog’s coat also stimulates the hair follicles and the natural oils in the skin, which helps distribute it across the skin and coat and can help avoid dry skin.
Grooming your dog properly is important for keeping them happy and healthy. With these winter dog grooming tips, you and your dog are ready to battle winter weather.