Myths about Winter Dog Grooming
Here are several misconceptions about dog grooming in winter.
Myth 1: The longer and thicker my dog’s coat is, the warmer it will be in the cold weather.
Truth: Grooming in winter becomes more important to your dog’s health. Long, wet, matted hair easily makes a cold, wet and infection-susceptible dog. Matted fur does nothing to insulate the dog; it causes discomfort, pain and hot spots. It is better to purchase a dog jacket than to allow a long coat to become matted, damp and a breeding ground for bacteria and infections.
Myth 2: I have a double-coated/heavy-coated/combination-coated breed, so I don’t want to remove any coat in winter.
Truth: If your dog has a shedding coat, the shedded hair will remain interwoven in the healthy coat, not allowing proper skin insulation. This often causes dandruff, itching, excessive shedding, matting and hot spots. The skin oils are not distributed properly through the topcoat, and it becomes brittle and damaged. Without the natural oils, the coat also picks up dirt and other pollutants resulting in a dirty, smelly dog. We can remove the dead undercoat in the winter and prevent your dog from accumulating mats which can harbour moisture and bacteria.
Myth 3: My pet is fairly sedentary in the winter and isn’t getting dirty enough to warrant a bath.
Truth: Pets require bathing as often in the winter as in the summer! Pets often suffer from central heating-related dry skin, and can absorb salt and sand into their coats.
Myth 4: I want to leave the hair in my dog’s pads to keep their paws warm.
Truth: The hair that grows between the pads can grow long and matted. If left unattended, it can cause great discomfort. Snow, ice balls and even stones can collect in your dog’s pads. Imagine walking around with stones in your wet shoes! Overgrown hair may disguise foot problems such as long and ingrown nails and cause foot injury. Where salt is used on the roads, your dog may be in danger of split pads. Even in areas clear of road salts, dry weather may lead to cracking and bleeding. Watch for excessive nail growth. If your best friend spends less time outdoors, his nails may appear to grow faster because they aren’t being worn down.
Different breeds have different coat demands. If your dog has a curly or naturally long coat, there are certain imperative techniques. Your dog has to be 100 per cent free of any tangles prior to the bath. If you bathe a matted dog and allow it to dry naturally, the knots become tighter and create a woven pelt. At this point, we have to shave it off. Removing mats is like carefully peeling an orange: the clipper blade has to get underneath the pelt, very close to the skin — a tricky job indeed! This process can be painful and is a stressful job for even the most accomplished groomer trying to avoid a nick or irritation to the dog’s skin!
A happy healthy dog has strong, shiny, matt-free fur — all year long. Your dog’s coat provides insights into its physical or emotional condition. We can help with your dog’s physical appearance and assist your goal for a healthy pet — both inside and out.