Wet black and white havanese dog after bathWith the cold, wet weather of winter still swirling around us, you may be tempted to think that you’re doing your pet a favor by holding off on his or her regular grooming until spring.

But, you’re not.

Contrary to popular belief, grooming is just as important during the winter months as it is throughout the dog days of summer when it seems obvious that a bath and a short cut will do your pet good. However, during the winter months, your dog’s undercoat needs just as much attention as the topcoat does in the summer, if not more.

Here’s why winter grooming is important for your pet…

Keeping Your Pet Warm

Underneath your dog’s top coat of fur is an undercoat. Think of this as your pet’s wool sweater. This layer of fur is what helps keep your pet warm in the winter and cool during the summer, regardless of what stylish cut or sassy jacket is being used as an outer layer.

Without regular bathing and grooming, that undercoat is likely to become dirty, matted, and wet – especially if your dog spends any time outdoors. And, like a wool sweater, if the undercoat is not allowed the chance to breathe, it can It take forever to dry, become wretchedly uncomfortable and, after a while, start to smell a little funky.

Without grooming, your dog’s undercoat will eventually keep your dog colder, rather than warmer and increase your pet’s risk for weather-related illness.

Not only that, but a dirty and matted undercoat can also trap dirt, debris, parasites, de-icer, and other nasty microbes against your pet’s skin, causing dermatological issues and other health concerns as well.

Ultimately, it’s not just the length of your dog’s hair or his or her stylish cut that matters when it comes to grooming, it’s the care of his or her undercoat; especially this time of year.

And that care is something that should not be skipped.

Your Pet’s Feet

It’s not just your pet’s coat that needs tending to this time of year, however; it’s his or her feet, too. Just like the dirt, debris, and de-icer can get caught between the skin and the undercoat of your pet’s body, the same is true for his or her feet.

But what’s worse, is that without regular care your pet is likely to ingest those nasty no-seeums trapped in and around the paws while self-grooming. This is especially bad when deicer is an issue, as many of the compounds used for deicing are toxic for pets.

Likewise, salt, deicers and even the ice itself can cause tiny abrasions on the pads of your pet’s feet, which can be both painful and become a risk for infection.

Feeling Frisky

Finally, don’t forget that coming in for grooming just feels good for your pet. And that’s really important too, especially when it’s likely that your pet is cooped up and going a bit stir crazy just like the rest of us. Grooming can be a great way to get your pet out of the house and around other people and dogs, and come home feeling frisky and looking (and smelling) fine.

Grooming can help your pet’s overall mental and emotional well being just as much as their physical health, and that’s just good for everyone. We hope to see your pet soon!