The Importance of Winter Grooming

02Jan10

This time of year many people let their pets’ hair grow long “for winter”. While the idea is to keep your pet warm, if it is not maintained properly you can be doing more harm than good for your pet. Longer coats can take hours to dry naturally so they need to be blow dried and brushed thoroughly. If the long coat remains unbrushed it will very quickly form mats, which in turn trap moisture and dirt and

A severely matted dog.

can cause infection and harbor parasites. A matted coat is a nightmare for a pet, as he/she will be unable to clean properly, will be itchy and sore, and suffer restricted movement . Worse still, a matted coat can hide injuries that need treatment. This is not the warm fluffy winter’s coat which the owner envisaged.

If you still would like to keep your dog in a longer coat over winter there are several things you need to know to maintain it properly. First of all, dry your dog’s coat every time they come in from outside. You can do this with either a towel or a blow dryer, but remember that heat damages dog hair (just like us) so only use a cold air human hair dryer, or one made especially for pets. Second is to brush your dog’s coat regularly to remove any mats or tangles. This is a subject quite a few owners have issues doing properly, and I will go in depth on this subject of my next post. For now, make sure that you can run a comb completely through all your pup’s hair without a snag, that’s the easiest way to know you’ve done it properly.  Last but not least is to make sure your dog is still regularly bathed, and that the long hair is removed from their eyes, mouth, and especially in between their toes.

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