Ready for Spring? Winter Grooming Tips for Your Dog

It's important to keep up with a regular grooming routine during the winter months to keep your pup healthy and comfortable

Ready for Spring? Winter Grooming Tips for Your Dog
Image: Pixabay
February 17, 2017

Even though we've had periods of spring weather this winter, don't be fooled. It's still winter.

As your dog spends more time warm indoors during the winter months, it's easy to let regular grooming slide. However, it's especially important during this time of year to continue with a grooming routine that will keep your pup healthy and comfortable.

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 he comes back into the house. This will help keep mud and dirt from getting caked between his toes and paw pads. 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 dry because of 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 these 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 so she's protected during those weeks spring makes an appearance.

Give Your Dog a Manicure

Regular outdoor playtime, either in the yard or on structured walks, helps wear down your dog's toenails. If your dog is spending more time indoors, she isn't getting that natural manicure that helps keep toenails from getting too long. Make sure you check her toes regularly and trim them if they begin to get too long. Loud clicking as she runs along the kitchen floor is a good indicator it's time for a trim.