With harsh Canadian winter conditions looming it’s important to update your dog’s grooming routine to protect their skin and paws. PetSmart Canada’s certified groomers have put together a few important tips for keeping your dog’s coat and paws healthy this winter.
A healthy coat is key to helping your dog regulate their temperature properly while keeping their skin free from infection. Regular baths are just as necessary in the winter as in the summer, because dogs can feel the same drying effects of the cold that humans can. Make sure to use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo during the winter to sooth any dry skin and keep fur moisturized.
Proper brushing year-round is important for long-haired dogs and those with thick coats, but especially important during the winter months. Matted hair can keep moisture in, which holds bacterial growth and can cause skin infections; not to mention it’s uncomfortable for your pooch.
Daily brushing also promotes the distribution of your dog’s natural oils through their coat which helps reduce dry skin, a dull coat and potential infection.
During the winter, there are a variety of chemicals and salts used to melt ice on pavement. Chemicals can get stuck in the hair between your dog’s toes so it’s important to keep that area well-groomed and inspect it often. These chemicals can also dry out your pup’s paws and cause them to crack which can be painful for your dog.
Use a balm like Muttluks Pawmagic Paw Protection Cream to protect their paws and nose. To apply, simply rub a small amount onto your dog’s paw pads and a little bit on the nose to keep those areas moisturized and healthy.
Try getting your dog used to the idea of wearing boots this winter like the PawZ Rubber Dog Boots – they’re very light and stretch right over your dog’s entire paw to protect it.
The Right Tools
There are four primary dog brushes and different dogs require a different type of brush:
- Slicker brushes have fine, short wires close together on a flat surface. When brushing your dog, remember to be gentle with a slicker brush since the tightly-spaced wires can be uncomfortable if too much pressure it used. Slicker brushes are used on many dog breeds, including Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and St. Bernards.
- Rakes are brushes designed to penetrate a dog’s thick coat and remove tangles as well as dead undercoat near the skin. Rakes should be used on thick-haired dogs including German Shepherds, Malamutes, and Chow Chows.
- Bristle brushes are for short-haired, smooth-coated dogs that shed frequently. They are best for use on Pugs, Greyhounds, Jack Russel Terriers and Bull Terriers.
- Pin brushes look like the brushes people use and have a loosely arranged set of flexible wires with pins on top. They pick up loose hair and are best used to finish off the grooming process.
Book an appointment to visit your local PetSmart Grooming Salon for any questions you have about winter coat maintenance. PetSmart has the highest safety standards in the industry where stylists complete 800 or more hours of hands-on instruction and safety certification, working with at least 200 dogs of all breeds and sizes. All stylists complete annual safety re-certification and participate in monthly safety scenario trainings.
SOURCE PetSmart Canada