Winter in the UK brings with it cold wet weather which can mean muddy dog walks and soggy dogs. It’s easy to think “why bother?” when it comes to grooming your dog, as you know they’ll just get dirty again on the next trip outdoors. But dog grooming in winter is important and not just to keep them ready for those Christmas Day Instagram photos! Dogs can actually suffer from the cold in the same way humans do, with dry skin and noses being a common result of icy conditions. Not only that, but muddy fur can get easily tangled which can soon lead to matted fur. Not only are matted clumps of hair unsightly but they can be painful for your pup too. But don’t despair! We’re here to give you our top tips on Winter grooming so you can ensure your dog looks their best and stays as healthy as possible into the Spring.
Brushing Your Dog
Wind and rain are prevalent in the UK, and your dog is highly likely to get wet and windswept on their regular daily walks. Brushing your dog with a good quality brush or comb is a really simple grooming technique that will help to keep your dog's fur in tip top condition. It will keep tangles at bay and also help massage their bodies, improving circulation. It’s a good idea to give your dog a really good groom at the begging of the coldest months which includes a trim and a good brush. Long hair can easily tangle and if these tangles are left too long, can develop into full mattes.
Keep your Dogs Feet Groomed
Unlike humans, most dogs will walk outside with bare paws so keeping an eye on them and making sure they stay healthy is really important. Pay close attention to any long tufts of hair and ensure they are well brushed. Also take care of your dog’s paw pads. Snow and ice can become trapped inside and the paws can become dry and irritated. Keep them clean at all times and apply a good quality paw balm to keep the skin nourished.
Bathe your Dog
You may wish to bathe your dog more regularly in Winter, especially if they have long hair and a tendency to get dirty on walks. Choose a good quality dog shampoo such as those by Animology or Warren London and find one that best suits the coat of your dog; the curly coat shampoo by Animology is perfect for Cockapoos for example or you may want to use a sensitive dog shampoo if your dog suffers from skin irritation. We’d suggest using a conditioner as well to help stop the coat drying out and help keep it soft. There are also a number of natural balms for their paws and nose that will help keep their skin soft and supple.
Go to a Dog Groomer
You may not need to take your dog to a professional groomer very often, but it’s a good idea to take them every now and then - especially in Winter. They will be able to trim the coat and nails as well as give a really good shampoo. It will be easier for you to keep on top of the grooming regime after a professional has done the hard work! You may find that a groomer does such a good job that you want to go on a regular basis, especially if you have a long haired breed such a Maltese or a Pomeranian.
Of course, every dog is different and you will soon learn to judge how much or how little your own dog will need grooming. And don't forget that grooming isn't just about keeping your dog looking good, it's also a great way time to further cement the bond you have - it's as much about socialisation with you as it is as about keeping them healthy.
Our Favourite Dog Grooming Products for Winter
We have a whole range of different grooming products at Lords & Labradors but there are some little gems that we particularly love at this time of year. Here are our top picks:
Hair of the Dog Shampoo by Animology - If you have a long haired dog then this shampoo will be perfect. A deep cleaning shampoo with detangling properties it will leave your dog looking fab and smelling divine.
Skin Relief Balm by The Wild Dog Co - The ideal antidote for dry skin, this lovely all-natural balm will ensure your dog's skin stays soft and supple. The cold frosty air can cause terrible dryness, so pop some of this on your dog's nose and other exposed areas before and after your walks and their skin should stay healthy.
Hownd Yup You Stink Emergency Wipes - Sometimes you need a quick clean up on-the-go and these pet wipes by Hownd are the perfect ones to keep in your pocket or travel bag through the Winter. They are great for cleaning muddy paws before you get in the car or other minor messes.
Animology Paw & Nose Balm - Another great balm, this one is specifically for nose and paws - the two areas that get the most exposure to the cold frosty air. It contains jojoba wax, shea butter and almond oil to provide a wonderful dose of moisture.
Wildwash Sensitive Shampoo - If your dog gets dry skin then a sensitive shampoo is essential. This fragrance-free one is by WIldwash and made of all-natural essential oils with no nasties. Aloe Vera and Evening Primrose oil combine to gently cleanse, soften, rehydrate and protect.