Grooming Your Pets In The Winter
Although many people still think of it as an indulgent activity and unnecessary expense, veterinarians agree that regular grooming is an essential part of the care that your pet needs to keep her healthy and happy. This applies all year around, including in the winter.
Why is grooming important during the winter?
The cold winter months may seem like the ideal time to let your pet’s coat grow longer than usual to help keep her toasty and warm. After all, it’s not as if she can wrap up in extra layers of clothes instead. However, when you do this you put her at risk of a few different issues, and in particularly, tangled and matted fur. Not only is this painful to try and brush out and you could damage the follicles if you need to be rough, it is also bad news if she becomes wet. This is because matted fur can lead to moisture being trapped against her body – not ideal when the moisture is ice cold. Her body temperature will drop extremely quickly, and she could be at risk of developing frost bite or even hypothermia.
This is just one issue that could develop if you don’t ensure that your pet is properly groomed during the winter months. To help you keep your furbaby happy and healthy this winter, here are some of the key elements of grooming you should be doing and why.
Daily brushing is recommended all year round, including during the winter. It will help remove any loose hair, dead skin and dirt from her coat. It also eliminates matting and stimulates the natural oils that keep her coat shiny and healthy. If her coat is in tip top condition, it will be easier for her to dry if she becomes wet and this could stop her from becoming dangerously cold.
Trimming her hair
So, we know that long hair isn’t ideal in case it becomes matted. Another issue is that the underside of her coat can drag against the snow and ice, collecting crystals making her colder. In addition to this, any grit and salt on the roads and sidewalks can become mixed in with the ice and snow, causing ice balls to develop. These often become compacted between your pet’s paws – a condition which is very painful. By trimming long areas of hair, you can help to prevent this problem from occurring.
Rinse her paws
While you will probably only bath your pet once a month or even less during the winter, you will need to make the time to rinse her paws once she comes in from outside. This is because many people and local authorities treat the roads and sidewalks with salt to help melt the ice and snow. Unfortunately, this can get onto your pet’s paws and legs when she walks around, and if she then licks them to get them clean, she could end up being poisoned. In addition to rinsing her legs and paws when she comes in, you could consider investing in pet booties for winter. They will help keep her feet warm, protect them from damage from unseen sticks or stones and keep ice and salt off of her.
Trim her claws if necessary
Many pets spend a great deal of time outside in the summer, and this running, climbing and scratching around helps to keep their claws in check. However, during the winter when your furbaby almost certainly spends a great deal longer inside in the warm, her claws can grow quickly and probably faster than you expect. If they aren’t trimmed, they could become ingrowing. She is also more likely to accidentally scratch you or cause damage to your floors or furniture. Keep an eye on her claws and trim them yourself or schedule her an appointment with a local groomer if they need attention.
If you would like more advice on what grooming requirements your pet might have this winter, please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable veterinary team.