Dog Grooming

Protect Your Pup with These Winter Dog Grooming Tips


Icy winds, snowy sidewalks, and colder nights… winter weather might shorten your daily dog walks, but should you skip dog grooming, too? It’s a common misconception! Many veterinarians and professional dog groomers advise that winter grooming appointments are some of the most important visits all year. Keep reading and learn how to keep your dog warm, cozy, and healthy this winter.

A Winter Haircut for Long Hair Dog Breeds:

You might be tempted to skip pet grooming appointments and let their hair grow longer when temperatures drop. It’s a little counterintuitive, but more hair and longer fur won’t necessarily make your dog warmer. In fact, it can create even more problems.

Did you know that dogs have denser hair and thinner skin than humans? It’s up to pet parents and professional pet groomers to support your dog’s natural defenses. 

Longer hair is much more likely to become tangled and matted, especially if you and your pet are used to maintaining a different, shorter length. The longer their hair gets, the more difficult it is to brush and keep dry. Plus, skipping your dog’s regular haircut can cause hygiene issues.

However, there is one appointment you might be able to skip this season: deshedding. If your dog typically needs deep deshedding appointments to keep their long, thick coats in check, it can probably wait until spring. To cope with the colder weather, your dog likely won’t lose as much fur this time of year. Still, dogs always appreciate a grooming dryer blowout and a gentle rub-down with a deshedding brush.

An Extra Layer for Short Hair Dog Breeds:

If your dog has thin, naturally short fur, they might need protective gear or dog apparel to keep them warm. Just be careful about the fit and types of fabric that you choose. Synthetic materials that trap moisture can cause skin irritation, especially if your dog is naturally sensitive. 

Look for high-quality winter dog clothes that wick water away from the skin and fit well to prevent rubbing and chafing.

Paw and Nail Care for Winter Weather:

Most dogs get less exercise in the winter, just like their owners. And even if you’re still committed to daily walks or runs in the snow, it feels different on their feet. With less friction from hard and rough surfaces, their nails are wearing down less this time of year. It’s super important to keep them trimmed to a comfortable length! Use a high-speed diamond pet nail grinder at home or ask your dog groomer for an extra nail trim between appointments.

Ice melt chemicals and road salt can take a toll on your dog’s tummy, not just their paws. These irritating substances can get trapped in the hair on their feet and between their toes. Then, if they lick their paws, it can cause internal irritation. Just like your dog’s nails, it’s important to trim toe hair short this time of year.

As an extra safety measure, you can also rinse your dog’s feet with warm water to remove any lingering road debris after snowy walks.

Does your pup tolerate dog boots? Paw protectors create a buffer with weather-proof materials and a little extra grip on icy streets. Convincing your dog to wear winter boots might take a little extra time and training! For many dogs, protective paw wax is a more comfortable alternative to consider.

Moisturize and Treat Dry Skin on Dogs

You’re not alone. Dogs are more likely to suffer from dry skin in the winter, too! Dry air and low humidity can send your dog’s sensitive skin into a spiral. Keep an eye out for the signs of skin problems in dogs, like increased itchiness, redness, hair loss, odor, and scabs caused by scratching or biting. 

Excessive bathing can make symptoms of winter dry skin even worse, so it’s important to make every bath count. Look for water-based moisturizers that sink in quickly, unlike oily lotions that may leave a greasy film. Don’t forget your dog conditioner to seal cuticles, restore moisture, and soothe irritation. Aloe vera, argan oil, and coconut oil are three of the most common, dog-friendly ingredients that alleviate dryness.

Like most of the advice in this winter dog grooming guide, it’s best to take a proactive approach for a healthy transition into winter weather.

Winter Tips for Dog Grooming Tubs and Dryers

Set the right temperature and be mindful about the weather outside. If possible, give your dog ample time before and after their appointment to acclimate to the heat. A long, chilly walk into the pet grooming salon can create a harsh transition to the grooming tub! Ask your pet groomer if they have enclosed pet cages on site to keep your dog safe and warm while they wait.

A thermostatic dog grooming tub faucet is the best choice for bathing dogs in the winter because it gives you precise control over shifting temperatures. You should also consider investing in a heated dog dryer for at-home pet grooming and everyday drying. Blast away every drop of water from their coat after baths or a walk in the rain and snow.

Shernbao USA’s pet grooming force dryers deliver unbelievable air volume and gentle heat to dry your dog even faster. You can also use special dog grooming towels to absorb water on the surface. Just make sure to pat or squeeze their fur and avoid rubbing in circular motions, which can cause tangles. The less time your dog spends shivering and wet, the better.

Every dog breed has different grooming needs, and you know your pup better than anyone. This article about dog grooming tips is just the start of a longer conversation. Ask your local dog groomer for advice about how to support and maintain a healthy winter coat.

Or if you prefer to groom your dog at home, Waggz can help you set up a dog wash station that is convenient for you and safe for them. Stay warm and dry this winter!

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