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Grooming your Dog in the Winter Months

Managing the grooming needs of your pet during the colder months
Through the winter months your dog's grooming needs remain important.

Clipping.
It is sometimes tempting to leave your dog's coat long for the winter, thinking that he/she needs the warmth,but this is not always the best thing for your pet.
Long coats are high maintenance coats,they take longer to dry, tangle more easily,and collect debris. Your pet will more often than not return from a walk wet, and with mud, leaves, clinging to the coat. He or she will need to get dry and warm in order to be comfortable. For the dog that is regularly groomed/clipped, this is not a problem, a quick towel dry and brush does the job. Longer coats can take hours to dry naturally so may need to be blow dried and brushed thoroughly. If the long coat remains unbrushed it will very quickly form mats, which in turn trap moisture and dirt and can cause infection and harbour parasites. A matted coat is a nightmare for a pet, as he/she will be unable to clean properly, will be itchy and sore, and suffer restricted movement . Worse still, a matted coat can hide injuries that need treatment. This is not the warm fluffy winter's coat which the owner envisaged.
So continue the grooming regime as usual, and your dog will be clipped and clean for the winter, easy to bathe, easy to dry, easy to check for health issues, and easy to pop a warm jacket/jumper on for walks in the very cold or wet weather.

Bathing and Brushing.
In the Winter dogs require bathing as often as in the Summer,for the health of the skin and coat. Dogs can suffer from central heating related dry skin, so a conditioning dog shampoo is a good choice. A conditioner formulated for dogs will help keep the skin and hair in good condition .

For dogs that are kennelled outdoors, and other dogs that keep their long coat, daily brushing is necessary to maintain the condition of the coat.

Foot and pad care
The hair that grows between the pads can grow long and matted if left unattended, causing discomfort to the dog, who may chew at the foot.Overgrown hair may disguise foot problems such as long and ingrowing nails and injury to the foot. Regular professional grooming will help maintain foot health and hygiene for your pet.

We all owe so much to our animal companions , meeting their grooming needs is a great way to help keep them comfortable and happy all year round. Before and after pictures-mutley makeovers:
http://www.mutleymakeovers.com/pictures.html
Author: Sue Gardner

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