6 Grooming Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy During the Cold, Wet Months

A small dog wearing a red Santa hat with a blurry Christmas tree and presents in the background

Many owners tend to neglect to groom their pets during the cold, wet months. Since their dogs stay inside their home most of the time, some pet parents think their four-legged best friend isn’t dirty enough to warrant bathing. This is not true. Grooming your pets during winter is just as essential, if not more, as any other season throughout the year. Here are some dog grooming tips to keep your dog healthy this season:

  1. Brush Your Dog’s Fur Regularly. Prevent tangles by brushing your dog from the skin to the top of the hair. Most breeds have to be brushed several times a week. Besides, it’s common for dogs to shed during this time of year. So, combing out the loose hair will keep mats from forming.
  2. Bathe Them With Warm Water. If you’re used to washing your dog outside with a hose during summer, you’d have to make some adjustments this time. Like humans, your animal companion can be at risk of hypothermia. So, it would be best if you bathed your dog inside your home with warm water. Ensure that your home is warm before, during, and after washing your dog. Let your pet dry off after.
  3. Don’t Neglect Their Ears and Eyes. After the bath, it’s highly advisable to massage a few drops of ear cleaning solution into each of your dog’s ear canal. This helps in cleaning any debris from your pet’s ear. It also helps in drying up any water that entered their ears while you were washing them. Also, it’s best to use facial eye and tear wipes to remove any eye goop from your dog’s face.
  4. Protect Their Paws. Ice, gravel, and road salt can make your dog’s paws sore and irritated. The cold weather can also cause their toenails to break easier. So, keep your pet’s nails trimmed, and cut excessive hair extending below their paws. Rinse their paws with a bowl of clean, warm water after their frosty walks. Use a dry towel to ensure that there are no hidden nasties trapped between their paw pads.
  5. Beware of Dry Skin and Other Skin Problems. The wind chill can make your dog’s skin dry, just like how it affects yours. One way to keep your pet’s skin smooth and itch-free are by making sure that they stay hydrated. Proper nutrition is also essential for healthy skin. If the air in your home has also become dry, you can run a humidifier to restore moisture. The use of moisturizing dog shampoo and conditioner can also help prevent your pet’s skin from becoming dry and flaky. Lastly, expect that your pet will get thicker fur during the cold, wet months. So, maintaining their coat is crucial. Letting their wet, dirty hair to build up can trap bacteria. If not treated, the grimy knots can result in skin infections.
  6. Visit a Professional. Continue visiting a dog groomer every couple of months or as often as needed, especially if your dog has a high maintenance coat. These professionals are trained and experienced in giving full grooms. They even offer spa packages, microchipping, and many other services.

Even if your furbaby doesn’t seem scruffy, grooming can provide a host of health benefits that may not be readily obvious. Keep your dog comfortable and in tip-top shape this season with our team of experts in Sherlock Bones Animal Hospital. Call our office now in Carmel, Indiana, to schedule an appointment.