For many of us, the arrival of the winter season and colder temperatures can cause a serious case of the winter blues. Our pets are no exception. Matted hair, dry paws, and irritated skin are just some of the effects that the change in climate can have on our furry friends. Read on for our best skin, coat, and paw care tips for pets this winter.
Skin and Coat Care
The winter season is a great time to spoil your pet with a trip to the local grooming salon. There’s no better way to unwind than with a warm bath to soothe dry, irritated skin from the harsh winter winds. Snowed in? If you can’t make it to the salon, regular combing and brushing in between appointments is just as effective at preventing winter damage to your pet’s skin and coat. Matted hair is the archenemy of beautiful winter coats and healthy skin. Mats prevent the distribution of natural oils that help condition the coat and keep it looking shiny and healthy. Not only that, matted hair holds moisture causing it to become damp and leaving your pet’s skin vulnerable to infections (including those pesky hot spots). Becoming your pet’s own personal stylist also means that you will be able to spot skin irritations as soon as they appear and get a jumpstart on treating them before they cause your pet any more discomfort. Remember, grooming is as much about your pet’s health as it is about their physical appearance.
Salt may be convenient for dealing with ice and snow, but it is especially damaging to our pet’s precious paws. If your pet doesn’t mind, booties are a great way to prevent frostbite and damage to their delicate paw pads. Pet stores now have extensive collections of pet clothing including outerwear like jackets and coats for pets of all sizes. Anything you put on your dog should fit snugly, but not too tight. If your pet isn’t ready to commit to a winter fashion statement, do not force them to wear something that they are not completely comfortable in.
A pampered pet pedicure is a great alternative for pets that dislike wearing winter booties. When your pet comes inside, dip their paws into a bowl of warm water to loosen any stones and debris that have gotten stuck in between their toes. Take a damp cloth and wash away any excess salt. Finally, dry their paws thoroughly with a clean towel. A pet that isn’t dried properly can get dry, itchy skin. Dry off your pet thoroughly with a towel every time they come inside wet.
Don’t forget about the nails! One of the many benefits of taking your pet on regular walks is that during the warmer months, your pet’s nails will be filed down when walking on concrete and asphalt. However, this doesn’t happen as much in the winter because the streets are covered in snow and ice. Whether you do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional, keeping your pet’s nails trimmed will help prevent slips and falls on icy terrain.
Some extra attention put toward winter grooming practices will have your pet looking and feeling their best all season long!