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Grooming in Winter

Most of us are great about keeping our pets well-groomed for summer weather.  But did you know that proper grooming for winter weather is just as important?

Here are a few tips for keeping your pets happy and comfy during those cold winter months:

- Protect those paws:  Along with winter precipitation comes snow, ice and chemicals to melt that snow and ice.  When your pet has been outside, its paws will bear the brunt of all the snow, ice and chemicals.  When you bring your pet back inside, be sure to have a bowl of warm water and a towel at the ready so you can gently soak and dry each foot to get all that nasty stuff off of their tender little paws.  Be sure to check between those toes too!  If your pet has hairy feet, take some time to trim that hair to keep the snow and ice from forming little snow balls between their toes.  

- Trim those nails:  On those long summer walks, the pavement does a wonderful job helping keep your pet’s nails in check.  However, when the ground is covered with snow and ice, your pet’s nails may start to grow a little longer because they’ve lost that abrasive surface to keep them ground down.  Logic might seem to dictate that this creates natural cleats for more secure footing but in reality, long toe nails can actually make for slippery sledding for our pets.  So unless your pet is in training for ice skating in the winter Olympics, keep those nails trimmed for safer footing in winter weather.

- Dry nose and skin:  Keep a close eye on your pet’s nose and skin.  In the winter, the air in our homes can become very dry as a result of low humidity.  Did you know a dry, cracked nose is not only uncomfortable for your pet but it can also affect its important sense of smell?  Make sure your pet has plenty of water so it can stay well hydrated and use a humidifier to help keep that moisture in the air.  Your pet’s skin as well as your skin will thank you!

- Hair – Don’t “brush off” the importance of winter grooming:  During the cold winter months, your pet’s hair can be both a blessing and a curse.  Following these four simple tips, will help insure that your pet’s hair is a blessing.

  • Brush, brush, brush!  Be sure to brush your pet’s hair daily.  Pets love to roll around and play in whatever has fallen from the sky.  Regular brushing will help prevent your pet’s hair from becoming tangled and matted.  Matted hair not only reduces insulation from the cold but it can also cause hot spots and skin infections.  
  • Keep it dry!  Make sure you thoroughly dry your pet’s hair with a towel after outside play time.  Keeping your pet dry not only helps them stay warm and cozy but it also helps prevent dry skin.
  • Keep it clean!  A clean pet is a happy pet.  Regular bathing with moisturizing shampoo with keep their coat nice and clean and will help keep your pet’s skin from drying out.
  • Take care of the hair!  Regular grooming will not only keep your pet’s hair just the right length but it will also allow your groomer to make sure your pet’s hair is tangle and matt free just in case you missed a few.

- It’s sweater weather:  If your pet has short hair, a sweater could be just the thing to keep it warm and cozy.  For those long walks on cold days, your short haired pet will thank you for the extra layer of insulation.  Just be sure to keep that sweater dry.  If you’ve ever experienced the joy of freezing half to death because your gloves and jacket were wet, you’ll know what we mean.  A wet sweater will have the same effect on your pet.  If you notice your pet’s sweater getting wet, it’s time to head inside, dry off and snuggle by the fire together.

We hope you found these tips helpful.  Just remember;  when the weather outside is frightful make sure you – take care of those paws, trim those nails, moisturize the air and take care of that hair.  Snuggling is optional but highly recommended!


All About Paws is a boarding, grooming, and doggie daycare service provider in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Located next to Ashby Animal Clinic,trusted veterinary clinic for over 40 years.

Contact Us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more!