Paying close attention to your dog’s skin and coat now will help keep them healthy and happy all winter long.
Since a dog’s undercoat is often left to fill out for winter, it becomes like a magnet for mud, burrs and tree gum, causing build-up. Dirty snow, sand, and road salt is also problematic.
With that in mind, washing and drying your dog takes a bit more effort at this time of year. Planning a visit to your local professional dog groomer is a good idea.
“It’s important to have your dog groomed in the fall to establish a coat-care routine for the winter,” says Deb Gatien, owner of Galena Groomers in Whitehorse.
Gatien recommends dogs be groomed every eight weeks. Grooming typically includes a cleansing shampoo and conditioner treatment, coat trim, blow dry, and sanitary nail clip.
“In the Yukon, we have very dry winters. A dog’s skin dries out just like ours. A groomer will carefully inspect your dog’s skin and recommend appropriate treatments to keep them comfortable,” explains Gatien, who has worked as a Whitehorse dog groomer for over 17 years.
When the temperature drops and air becomes drier, it’s good to have a grooming schedule in place.
Top tips to keep your dog’s skin, coat, and nails healthy this winter:
Add oil to dog food – Gatien suggests drizzling olive or flax oil on your dog’s kibble daily to prevent dry skin.
Bath to prevent bacterial growth – Bacteria is often a source of irritation in the winter when a dog’s dirty coat gets wet but doesn’t dry out. Your groomer will wash your dog’s coat and blow dry it with a dryer specifically for dogs.
Brush to activate oil glands – Weekly brushing or combing gets rid of excess hair and fur, and releases natural oils to keep skin balanced. “Brushing is not only beneficial for your dog’s coat and skin. You spend quality time together and strengthen your bond,” says Gatien.
Trim nails and paw fur –Trimming a dog’s nails is tricky. Professional groomers gently clip nails to prevent breaking or tearing. Broken nails force toes to twist, which can cause deformity.
Curious to learn more?
Deb Gatien owns Galena Groomers in Whitehorse. Gatien views grooming as her creative outlet and works selflessly for the love of dogs!