Winter Grooming Tips For Your Pet
Grooming for dogs
Throughout the winter months it’s important to make wiping your dog’s paws routine to ensure you’re minimising problems such as irritation, cracked paws and infections from snow, gravel and mud. Wiping paws thoroughly including between the paws will help reduce but not eliminate the transfer of mud or snow.
As dogs tend to grow thicker coats in the winter, you may wish to bathe them more regularly as walks through the snow and mud can be messy and encourage doggie odour. After their bath, it’s important to make sure they’re completely dry before going outside, as a wet dog is prone to a drop in body temperature or in extreme cases hypothermia. Dogs tend to love water so this process should be fairly easy.
Some owners are reluctant to give their dog a haircut as they’re worried their dog will get cold but these days most dogs spend a fair amount of their time indoors. If you’re thinking about giving your dog a haircut it may be worth considering less regular trims or wrapping them in a doggie sweater or coat before they go outside.
Dogs with untrimmed or thick coats will need daily brushing which will help remove tangles, dead hair and dirt. It can also increase skin circulation and help uncover hidden lumps, sores or signs of illness. If you see anything suspect, please contact your veterinary service.
If your dog has decided it prefers to stay in more during the winter, you may need to trim its nails more frequently as the exercise it would normally get outside will no longer be as big a factor in the wearing down of its nails. Please make sure you consult a vet first, if they're cut too short or incorrectly damage may be caused to your dog's paws.
It’s important to check your dog’s ears once a week as some dogs produce more ear wax than others so require more regular checks. Use a warm damp cotton ball to clean debris from the outer ear, anything that remains or is sitting within the inner ear should be removed by a vet, so they're able to safely remove any build up that an outer ear clean can't reach.
It’s important to keep up flea treatment during the winter months, most owners welcome the cold weather as fleas tend to die but they’re still likely to survive in a warm pet bed or dog house which are likely to be carried into the house. Remember to maintain flea treatment all year round.
Grooming for cats
Depending on what cat you have, it may rarely need bathing but if you have a Sphynx for example, it will need bathing weekly.
If your cat has been bathed from a young age this process will be easier but if your cat doesn’t bathe regularly you may need to prepare for battle, as generally cats hate water. A great tip is to have one person holding the cat while the other washes it:
- Wear a long-sleeved top or gloves
- Fill the sink or bath with roughly four inches of water
- Keep a jug of water a side to rinse so you don’t need to run the tap again
- Only use cat shampoo and be careful not to get it in their eyes or ears
- Brush out any tangles and matted hair
- Use a damp wash cloth to wash the face and head
- Rinse any shampoo off thoroughly
- Once bathed, use a towel to gently press out any excess water before wrapping them up
- Leave out a new towel so your cat can sit on it
- Leave your cat to finish drying and grooming itself in a warm draft free room
During the winter months it’s important to regularly brush your cat to avoid hairballs; for short-haired cats brush once weekly and for long-haired cats brush every other day. If you have more than one cat, you may find that you need to use a different brush for each of them, as what may work for one cat may not work for another
Removing matted hair is important as it can be very painful for your cat. As soon as you notice any hair matting up its best to remove it straight away before it becomes impossible to remove and even more painful.
A cats nails should be clipped monthly to help reduce overgrown nails. A great tip is for one person to hold the cat on their lap and the other person to clip the nails. Only clip the tip of the nail and avoid the ‘quick’/pink area as cutting into this will cause bleeding and pain. Once complete, reward you cat with treats and praise. Please make sure you consult a vet first, if they're cut too short or incorrectly damage may be caused to your cat's paws.
Cleaning ears is an important task in your pets grooming routine; just like with dogs, you should always check your cat’s ears regularly and use a warm damp cotton ball to remove any debris from the outer ear. Please consult a vet if there's debris within the inner ear as they'll be able to safely remove any build up that an outer ear clean can't reach.
As with dogs, it’s important to treat your cat for fleas all year round as they can linger and survive in warm places which encourages them to breed on your cat and throughout your home.
We love our pets and they’re an important part of our family, they're reassuring and a constant presence in our lives. Pet insurance provides peace of mind and can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees when your pet needs treatment due to an accident or illness.