Dog grooming: How to keep your dog clean in winter

Posted by Betty. December 13th 2014.

Although winter brings crisp mornings, snow dusted scenery and pretty frosty walks; it also brings rain, mud and smelly dogs. Nobody likes the smell of damp dog but preventing it is easier said than done, especially during the winter months.

Here are some tips on dog grooming to help you keep your dog clean in winter;

Muddy Springer Spaniel

Paws and nails

In order to stop surfaces getting icy, the ground can often be covered in de-icing products such as sand and salt. Although this can stop you embarrassingly slipping over, it doesn’t help your dogs’ paws.

De-icing products can irate dogs’ paws and cause them to dry out and crack. Help your dog out by washing their paws with warm water after walks or if you can get your dog to stand still for long enough, try putting petroleum jelly on the pads of their paws to protect them from irritation and even frostbite.

If your dog has long hair it’s worth trimming the hair between their toes as this can stop snow, ice and other residues from remaining there.

Alternatively, you can try and get your dog to wear some booties while out walking. As dogs tend to get walked less throughout winter, their toenails will appear to grow longer as they aren’t being worn down as much. They may therefore need more regular nail clipping which will stop mud and dirt from collecting under the nails.

Fur and skin

Like humans, the winter weather can make pet’s skin dry out. In turn, this can irate your pet and make them itchy. Try to frequently brush your dog as this encourages the oils in the skin to come out and make the skin less dry.

It’s also worth bathing your dog more often than usual, use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner to aid dry skin, Make sure you use products that are specifically made for dogs though as human shampoo and conditioner can actually dry out pet’s skin more.

In terms of your dog’s hair, you may be tempted to let it grow out in order for them to stay warmer during winter but you should try to keep to your usual trimming schedule as your dog may get skin problems if their hair gets dirty and matted as it grows.

If you’re worried about your dog being cold, invest in a coat or jumper for your pet to wear whilst out and about. You can also invest in dog booties which, if you can get your dog to wear them, will prevent them having muck under their nails and stuck to their paws.

Similarly, a winter coat will keep your dogs hair in good condition, protect them from ice and snow as well as keeping them warm.

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