Even if it isn’t particularly wet outside, your dog’s paws and fur can still get damp from dew and mud, so make sure you have a towel to hand at the end of every walk to give your dog a good drying off. A rub down of their fur will help to remove any moisture trapped in the fur and getting in between their toes should remove moisture and dirt that can cause drying out, irritation, infections and cracked skin.
Bathing your Dog
It’s fine to bathe your dog in winter – it helps with odours and to remove stubborn mud and dirt from their fur, but try to keep the amount of baths to a minimum and use sensitive shampoos. Too many baths can remove the natural oils from their skin and fur and cause drying out. Also, always make sure your dog is completely dry before letting them outside again.
Brushing and Trimming Fur
For those owners with longer-haired breeds, you may want to consider a winter trim to help keep road salt, de-icing chemicals, ice, snow and mud from building up in their coat, but also daily brushing for all hair-lengths is essential. Regular brushing will help to remove knots and tangles in the fur, improve skin circulation and condition, and make it easier to cope with coat shedding.
As you’d imagine, your dog’s paws bear the brunt of the elements. Cold surfaces, ice, snow, road-salts and chemicals can cause your dog’s paws to become cracked or irritated, plus if they’re licking their paws clean de-icing chemicals can be very harmful when ingested. Help minimise the effects to your dog’s paws with a paw wash and dry after every walk. In addition, applying a moisturising balm to their pads and toes will help prevent and heal chapped or dry pads.
Making sure your dog is well hydrated can make all the difference to the condition of their skin and coat. Many of their usual water sources on walks may be dried up or frozen in winter, so always make sure there is good supply of water in your home.
Looking after your pooch in winter will ensure when spring comes and the weather turns nicer, you’ll be able to spend a great amount of time outdoors with no discomfort to your faithful friend.