Cold Weather Means You Need to Take Care of Your Dog's Coat and Skin for Health and Comfort
It's still very important to keep up with a regular grooming routine during the winter months to keep your pup healthy and comfortable
Even though we've had periods of spring-like weather already this winter, the cold temperatures will surely be here for a while. As your dog spends more time warm indoors during the winter months, it can be easy to let regular grooming slide. However, it's especially important during this time of year to continue with a regular grooming routine that will keep your pup both comfortable and healthy.
Wipe your Paws
Winter weather can make for a muddy walk or romp in the backyard. Make it a habit to wipe down your pooch's paws when it comes back into the house. This will help keep mud and dirt from getting caked between his toes and paw pads where moisture and chemicals can build up. This is especially important if salt or other de-icers have been used to melt ice and snow on streets or walkways. De-icers can burn and cause irritation and other injuries.
Dry Doggie Skin
Much like the hot air dries out human skin, dogs are also susceptible to dry skin and coats during the winter months. This can cause itching and other irritations that can make your dog uncomfortable. Brushing your dog's coat regularly will help distribute its natural oils. When you give your dog a bath, choose a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for an added boost. Many dog owners swear by the benefits of using coconut oil. Feeding your dog a bit of coconut oil every day can work from the inside out to keep your dog's coat and skin from getting dry. Give 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.
Skip the Dryer
When you do give your dog a bath, skip the hot dryer and let your dog air dry naturally. It will take longer, but this keeps your dog's skin from getting burned or becoming excessively dry from the heat. Dogs should be fully dry before they head outside as wet fur can increase the risk of hypothermia.
Don't Skip Flea and Tick Prevention
Many dog owners will scale back on their use of flea and tick prevention products in the winter, but alternating bursts of warm and cold weather might bring out those little critters earlier than usual. Despite the season, continue to give your dog flea and tick medication regularly in case warm weather brings out fleas and ticks.
Give Your Dog a pedicure
Regular outdoor playtime, either in the yard or on structured walks, helps wear down your dog's claws. If your dog is spending more time indoors, it's not getting that natural pedicure that helps keep claws from getting too long. Make sure you check regularly and trim the claws if they begin to get too long. Loud clicking as the dog runs along a hard floor is a good indicator it's time for a trim.