Yes, that right, you didn’t misread the title, Why you don’t groom your dog in winter!
At this time of year I hear lots of reasons why a dog owner is not going to see me for approx 3 months over winter, the main one being ïts getting cold now and I don’t want him to get chilly.
So I want to explore that decision.
- Will your dogs hair stop growing? – It may slow a little but it will never stop.
- Does your dog not get dirty over winter? – I bet he does, even more so with all that coat.
- Will he get cold? – Probably if he sleeps outside and is shaved off in a summer cut.
- Will he smell less? – Definitely not.
- Will all that extra hair stop him from getting hotspots, fleas, itchy skin, dry skin, greasy skin, allergies and the contents of the dog park in his feet? – Absolutely not. In fact it makes detection even harder.
You see when we take our dog to be groomed it’s not just about getting his hair clipped off so he is cool for the hot summer months (or it shouldnt be). The benefits to having our dogs groomed is enormous. Now im not saying we should have our dogs shaved off all year round, of course not, but what i am saying is that your dog’s coat and skin needs attention all year round.
For starters as we have decided your dogs hair does not stop growing just because it’s cooler, so therefore his feet, face and hygiene strip soon become overgrown and uncomfortable very quickly. A longer and thicker coat will trap dirt a lot easier and will become greasy and smelly a lot sooner than in summer. A thicker longer coat left unattended for any length of time will be a harbour for fleas, hotspots and skin disorders, unfortunately these issues do not go away with the cooler weather.
By the end of winter, a dog left ungroomed for 2 -3 months will have a coat in a very sorry state, i’ve seen it all too often, the coat is so dirty and matted that there is no option but to clip it off as short as possible, “well it’s warmer now so what does it matter?” The problem is the condition of the skin underneath when the coat comes off! The skin can be left with sores, dry skin and even hotspots and fleas, taking months to repair, not to mention the vet bill, and all of this has happened without your knowledge.
So whats the answer?
Any good groomer worth their salt can offer grooms which will entail leaving plenty of hair on your dog for the cooler months, from tidy grooms to long comb clips and the pros of this certainly outweigh the cons.
With any groom, even a professional bath & blow dry the groomer can see what is going on with your dog’s skin and treat it to the correct shampoo or advise you of any problems, the coat can stay long on a well groomed dog as this will still enable the skin to breathe and stay healthy. Any matting if caught early enough can be brushed out as good groomers have the right tools and products to eliminate any discomfort to your dog.
Keeping your dog’s coat at a manageable length all year round makes it easier for you to brush your dog on a regular basis, this in turn will make it more pleasant for you and your dog as you will be brushing knot free clean hair instead of dirty knotty hair.
You will be taking preventative action instead of reactive action (in other words a trip to the vet when the skin issue has already started) and that has got to be better for your dog as well as your wallet.
To sum up, all dogs need a bath and a trim from time to time, even the short haired dogs need a good deshed (loosen and brush out of all the dead hair) and this does not change just because it’s winter, yes grooming requirements change from season to season but they must not stop all together, winter is a time to look after your dogs coat more than ever, to keep on top of those niggly little knots before they get worse, to keep his coat & skin clean to help prevent skin issues and not least of all to keep him looking, feeling and smelling amazing.