Trim long-haired dogs to reduce the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. They should absolutely not be shaved in the winter…their fur provides a natural barrier to the cold.
If you are outside and your dog looks uncomfortable, use a cloth to wipe off their paws. After each walk, wash and dry your dog’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals-and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
If your dog needs to be bathed, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to their food helps keep their skin moisturized, according to our groomers.
Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry. Some breeds, such as chihuahuas, have very short hair that provides little warmth. Dogs such as St. Bernards are built for the cold and may even become overheated by using a sweater. Use your best judgment to determine what works best for your dog.
Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation.
Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws. Our groomers like to use bag balm for this purpose.
Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition.
Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated, and her skin less dry.
Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. They should be kept inside during inclement temperatures.
Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. A humidifier helps keep their skin moist.