Zoe scratches behind her ear with furious intensity. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. She stops scratching only long enough to gnaw at her right paw. Lick. Bite. Scratch. Scratch. Lick. Lick.
Some people believe dogs don’t need to be groomed in the cold, winter months. Dogs need to groomed year round but winter grooming is especially necessary to keep our pets happy and healthy.
Winter brings special challenges for our dogs. Every dog likes a good romp in the snow or a brisk walk on a cold winter day. Unfortunately, wet conditions can cause a dog’s undercoat to become matted and stay damp, causing skin irritation. Even indoor dogs face special winter challenges because heat dries their skin as quickly as it dries ours. Excessive scratching to relieve the itchiness of dry skin can lead to cuts and open wounds. Rock salt, commonly used on our New England roads and walkways to melt ice, can irritate a dog’s footpads
Regular bathing can go a long way to help battle winter problems. High quality hydrating shampoos heal dry skin, restore protective oils and help the skin retain moisture. Regular brushing prevents matting and the special problems it causes. Keeping the hair between footpads clipped makes it easier to keep paws clean and dry.
Winter dog grooming is not about beauty but rather about health and comfort, although beauty is a nice bonus. Zoe highly recommends the soothing oatmeal bath!