The winter and its weather are not far off. For many of our dogs and cats, it heralds dry flaky skin, coats that are dull and lots of mud-matted hair.
There is no doubt that all that strong, cold wind, coupled with frequent downpours and plunging temperatures can be very damaging to our pets’ skin and coats. This is exacerbated by the stuffy and stifling central heating that we keep on longer (and sometimes hotter!) during those stark winter months.
As well the uncomfortable feelings that can come with moving from chilly to humid, and damp to dry, the skin’s moisture levels are severely affected by sudden switches from the cold outside to the warm within our homes. It also has a detrimental effect on the natural balance of bacteria on our pets’ skin.
To book a consultation with Louise at the Otto & Alice Mobile Grooming Studio get in touch. Call 07837 372527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is little that we can do to prevent cold, adverse weather, but we can do a lot of things to help minimise any harmful effects. Among these are important good grooming practices. We need to maintain these throughout winter while aiming to keep our pets as dry as possible.
Winter grooming to weather-proof our pets
It is not just our pets’ coats that are affected by the winter climate. Paws get a significant battering as they take the brunt wet and muddy conditions, especially when out for a good walk. On top of this, the salt we use to grit paths and pavements and the anti-freeze that we spray to clear windscreens and the like mean paws have a tough job to perform!
This is especially the case when mud and snow become compacted between our pets’ toes, causing irritation along with cracked skin and other abrasions.
You can get boots to provide physical barriers against the worst of the weather, as well as to give your dog added grip when walking on paths and pavements. Dogs with sensitive skin and mobility issues can find these particularly helpful. Another protection can be provided by a nourishing paw butter.
To maintaining a good healthy coat, you should bath your pets as little as possible. Cats do a wonderful job of grooming themselves, anyway. And for our dogs, although an occasional bath may seem an obvious thing to give them when the conditions are at their messiest and muddiest, the truth is that frequent wetting and drying of the skin can be damaging and should be avoided as much as possible.
Of course, if our dogs get caked in mud, washing them is the sensible option, but at the Otto & Alice Mobile Grooming Studio, we use a gentle moisturising, oatmeal shampoo (see below left) before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water.
If you can, leave any mud to dry off and then brush it out. Alternatively, you can use a dry shampoo which cleans and freshens without requiring water. For some of our pets, a simple coat may be enough to combat the worst the weather can throw at our pets.
Whatever, you should be aiming to brush your dogs and outdoor cats as often as possible, every day would be great. Long, fluffy coats are likely to get matted and will necessitate more frequent and probably professional grooming. But your own daily brushing will help remove debris and mud as well as enabling you to check for any skin complaints and problem parasites.
Dog, or cats, particularly any with long hair and drop ears, are more likely to be prone to ear problems. Simple everyday cleaners like Pro Pooch Dog Ear Cleaner help maintain healthy ears. They not only remove ear wax and discharges but help dry ear canals to eliminate moisture and halt bacterial build-up, while also balancing the ear’s natural pH.
Healthy skin and coats benefit from good diet and nutrition. There are some very good nutritional supplements for pet diet, like Yumega for dogs and cats. Omega oils helps support the skin and promote healthy, glossy coats. These treatments will also help soothe uncomfortable symptoms like dry or itchy skin.
If you would like to book a consultation with Louise at the Otto & Alice Mobile Grooming Studio don’t hesitate to get in touch. The winter months don’t have to be unpleasant with the right care and attention.