The Importance of Winter Grooming
Winter is here, and the chilly weather has arrived. As the temperature drops, many dog owners believe that letting their furry companions' coats grow out will provide them with extra warmth. Consequently, they may think that grooming is unnecessary during this season. However, contrary to popular belief, your pet's winter coat requires the same, if not more, grooming and attention than their summer coat to keep them comfortable and healthy.
Why is Winter Grooming So Important?
Dogs naturally develop a thicker winter coat to protect themselves from the cold. For double-coated breeds, the undercoat becomes thicker to provide insulation. See the undercoat as a dog’s wool sweater. By this I mean the undercoat will become dirty, matted, and wet – especially if the dog spends time outdoors. And like with a wool sweater, if the undercoat is not allowed a chance to breathe, it can take forever to dry, become miserably uncomfortable and, after a while, start to smell a little funky.
Without grooming, a dog’s undercoat will eventually cause him to feel colder, rather than warmer and increase the dog’s risk for weather-related illness.
Prevent Matting of the Coat
A matted coat can lead to parasite infestations and the development of hot spots. Dirt and debris can become trapped in a matted coat, causing various dermatological issues and other health concerns. By regularly brushing your dog's coat during the winter months, groomers help:
- Remove dead hair and excessive undercoat
- Stimulate the skin and coat
- Enhance your dog's comfort and overall health
- Reduce shedding
Minimizing the Need for Summer Shave Downs
If you neglect grooming your dog during winter, you may face the unfortunate consequence of a matted coat that needs to be shaved short with a number 10 blade once summer arrives. This drastic measure often leaves designer breeds looking like naked sheep. It's important to remember that groomers are not to blame in such situations—it is the owner's responsibility to maintain their dog's coat. Additionally, this can make the first grooming session of summer more challenging for the groomer and dull their clippers more quickly.
Moisturizes Your Dog's Skin
During the cold winter months, a dog's skin and coat are prone to drying out due to dry air and indoor heating. Improperly managed dry skin can cause itching, hot spots, and discomfort for your dog. Regular bathing with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will help maintain good skin health and leave your dog's coat shiny and rejuvenated.
Maintain Paw Care
It's not just your dog's coat and skin that need attention during winter—it's their paws too, especially if you live in an area prone to snowfall. Chemicals and salts used to melt ice on sidewalks and walkways can be toxic to dogs. These substances can become trapped in the hair between their toes and pads. Dogs often lick their paws after walks, which can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances and electrolyte issues. Dog owners should wipe their dogs' paws after each walk and consider keeping the paw pads trimmed to make maintenance easier. Regular visits to the groomer during colder months will also facilitate nail maintenance and keep the dog's nails short.
Keeping the Breed Standards in Style
A Schnauzer must only show off his stylish trim during the summer months and can turn into a Chewbacca during the winter months. I mean no one is going to see him, right? Wrong! Dog owners should continue cutting their dog’s hair in the winter as many dog parents fail to regularly brush their fur in the winter, which results in a serious matting catastrophe come springtime. Groomers can maintain their specific trim by leaving the hair longer in certain areas.
This will keep your dog comfortable, especially if they’re used to being shaved or trimmed, and it will make it easier for the owners to brush them daily and keep their coats in good condition.
Avoid Mat Catastrophes Caused by Doggy Jackets
While there are many adorable warm doggy jackets available in the market, it's important to note that they can cause knots and mats to form in your dog's coat more quickly. Keeping your dog's coat clipped will reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Maintain a Steady Income During Quieter Months
Winter tends to be a quieter period for groomers, as many owners are unaware of the importance of winter grooming. As a groomer, it's essential to pass on this information to your clientele. Share this blog or send them a message to educate them about the benefits of grooming during the winter months. Once they understand the significance, your bookings are likely to fill up quickly.
To learn more about the importance of winter grooming watch a PDGA lesson by clicking on the image below.
Remember, winter grooming is not just about aesthetics; it plays a vital role in keeping your furry friend comfortable, healthy, and happy throughout the colder months.
Till next time groomers!!