3 Top Tips for Caring for Your Dog's Coat This Winter

As we head into the cold months, dog owners need to switch up their grooming routine. As your pooch grows his or her winter coat, extra care needs to be taken to ensure they stay well insulated against the harsh winter elements. Here are the 3 tips you need to keep your dog's coat both strong and snug this season.

Brush regularly to give their coat volume

Frequent brushing can give your dog a much-needed thick and luxurious coat in winter. For long-haired breeds this may even mean treating them to a thorough daily brush, but it is certainly worth it. A regular brush helps detangle their coat, remove dead hairs and generally keep your dog warm and healthy as brushing increases circulation, as well as distributing natural hair oils around the coat.

Regular brushing also gives you the opportunity to look for lumps or sores that may be hiding under their coat. As you brush, always be alert to any irregularities on their skin as these could be a sign of illness. Also, try not to neglect the paw area as many long haired breeds can quickly accumulate dirt and snow in the surrounding fur, causing hairs to become matted and weak.

Continue with baths

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can benefit from regular winter baths. If the only bathing they get to do is in rain or a snow shower, then this will hardly do their coat any favours or do much for their body temperature. A bath once a month (or more often, depending on the length of their coat) will help soften fur that tends to mat and keep general odours at bay.

To avoid risking hypothermia, it's best to bathe your dog before breakfast and keep them indoors until completely dry. If you normally let their coat air dry in summer, speed things along with a quick blow dry before letting them leave the house.

If bathing them in water isn't convenient, try dry cleaning instead. You can pick up specialised dog dry shampoo from most pet supply stores. Just spray an even amount over their coat and brush through well to get rid of any excess powder. In a pinch, cornstarch can be an equally effective doggy dry cleaning method.  

Keep your dog dry and comfortable indoors

Once your dog is inside the house they may be sheltered from the outside weather, but they will still have remnants of snow, mud or rain matted to their coat. Some small- and medium-sized dogs can benefit from a sweater to protect their coat against the elements, but even so, it's essential that your dog has the chance to dry off properly when they come in from the cold. Be sure to keep a fluffy towel by the door to dry them immediately.

Keep an eye out for any dirt or moisture that may have transferred to their beds and sleeping blankets too. Fleas can still be prevalent in winter in a warm dog bed, so be sure to clean and replace their bedding regularly to keep their coat free from pesky fleas.

Winter warming tip! Supplement your dog's diet with coconut oil. Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to their meals throughout winter can help their coat stay soft and rich. It also helps to enhance their metabolism and has the added bonus of diminishing 'wet dog' smell from their coat and replacing it with a nice sweet scent!

Since you may not always have the time to maintain their coat this winter, let your pooch enjoy a pampering session courtesy of a mobile dog wash and grooming service. They can expect the full works to keep their fur in tip top condition and may even receive some doggy treats too! If you have specific questions about these types of services, contact a business like Foxy's Mobile Dog Washing & Grooming Service to learn more.