Winter Grooming Tips

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Winter can be unkind to your dog’s skin and coat, so here are 5 grooming tips for keeping him looking his best this winter:

Brush Your Dog Regularly

During winter we keep the radiators/fires/heaters on most of the day with the windows firmly shut – although we stay warm this does leave the air in the house very dry.

A dry atmosphere can cause your dog’s skin dry out and become flaky, both of which will irritate him and cause him to scratch and shake himself on a regular basis.

If you brush your dog regularly this will remove any flaky skin as well as stimulate his circulation which help to keep his skin and coat healthy.

Consider using a humidifier to reduce the dryness – a cheap alternative is to place a bowl of water in the room. You will know how dry the atmosphere by how quickly the water evaporates.

Remove Mats from Your Dog’s Coat

One of the ways your dog keeps warm is by trapping warm air between his fur; this is called piloerection.

Keeping your dog’s cost free of hair mats will help to keep him warm because matted hair cannot trap warm air.

Make Sure Your Dog Has an Appropriate Haircut

Whilst it’s good dog care to keep up regular visits to the groomer, don’t let your dog’s fur be cut too short during winter – ask your groomer to leave your dog’s coat an extra inch or two longer.

If your dog has a thick undercoat, and he spends a lot of time outside, make sure this isn’t stripped out is it will help to keep him warm. Retaining the undercoat will be less important for dogs that spend most of their time inside.

Whatever haircut you go for, don’t shave your dog – leaving your dog with no fur in the middle of winter is not going to help to keep him warm!

Don’t Stop Bathing Your Dog

You’ll probably be happy to bath your dog in winter – apart from covering themselves in mud, wet dogs tend to smell and need a bath to get rid of that doggy odor.

Bathing your dog is fine as long as you make sure he’s completely dry before letting him outside. Wet dogs chill quickly and the risk of hypothermia increases.

Monitor Your Dog’s Diet

Your dog will use up energy just keeping warm, particularly if he’s outside during the day or you spend a lot of time on outside activities.

Make sure your dog is getting a good quality food and increase the amount of food he’s eating during winter.

When a dog is underfed, one of the first things to loose condition is his coat.

How to Walk Your Dog Safely this Winter

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Venturing out for a walk with your dog in the middle winter does come with a number of hazards, but armed with common sense and remembering that if you’re feeling cold and miserable your dog probably is too, you can enjoy your winter walks together.

Here are my 7 tips for walking your dog safely this winter.
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Winter Dog Tips

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This month I’m going to focus on providing some cold weather protection tips for our dogs.

Over the next four weeks I’ll be looking at dog paw care, grooming, how to keep our dogs safe and warm whether they live inside or outside the house, tips on how to give our dogs a good work out despite the weather, dealing with frostbite and hypothermia and some specific winter hazards to watch out for.

Depending on where you live, winter can mean sub zero temperatures, reasonably mild humid conditions or anything in between these extremes – but wherever you are, you need to be aware of how colder weather can affect your dog’s health.

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Dogs Get SAD Too

bassett-hound-1As autumn moves into winter, don’t be surprised if your dog has less energy and generally seems a bit down on life; he could be suffering from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD).

According to the PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, 30% of dog owners questioned in a recent survey said that their dogs became less playful and seemed ‘sadder’ during the winter.

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