Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time to winterize our pets.

Winterizing your home? Getting the your sprinklers blown out, all the lawn equipment stored for the winter? Well now is the time to think about what winter means for your pets. A lot of people like to leave more hair on their furry friends in the cold weather to help keep them warm. Great idea, but that more hair means more maintenance. Our dogs and cats actually need More grooming during the winter than they do the rest of the year. That twice a year shave down whether they need it or not just isn't enough in the winter.

Both cats and dogs produce more and thicker hair in the winter. This means more brushing at home, and more hair they shed in your house. The longer the hair, the more prone it is to getting tangled and matted. Wet, wintry, weather doubles this problem. Any tangle or mat in the hair sticks to the hair around it when wet and makes a bigger mess. As this mat dries, it tightens up making it harder to brush out without having to shave your pet. Nobody want to take their pet in for grooming only to be told it's too matted to brush out and is going to require shaving to the skin to get rid of the only fur they have to keep warm in the winter.

Having them groomed doesn't have to mean taking them short. Your groomer can do just a bath and a light trim. This means bathing, brushing out the coat, shaving out the eye corners, pads, and sanitary area. Just a neaten all over can help keep your pet's coat the length you want it through the winter. Sometimes you might want to ask for the legs and belly to be taken short, but leaving a longer length on the top. This can help your pet stay warm, but cut down on the wet and mud they bring indoors with them. Shaving out the pads helps cut down on the ice, snow, and mud being trapped in the foot.

Barkley gets a longer fluffier cut than Lela's summer smoothie 

The more often we can get them just bathed and brushed, the less work for the groomer, and I bet the money you have to pay. The shop I work at has a program that if you get them done every two weeks, it's half price for the maintenance bath and brush. They still get their eye corners shaved out, feet and faces shaved on poodles or any other dog that needs clean feet, sani area shaved, pads shaved out, and any hairs that are sticking out get trimmed and neatened.  The full hair cut is still the regular price, but you know there won't be extra charges for a matted coat, and you can wait as long as you like for the full groom. It doesn't have to be done until you're ready for it.

Think your big dog needs to keep all that hair and doesn't need groomed in the winter? Think again. A dog's winter coat does keep him warm, but just like the insulation in your house, or the down lining in your jacket, there needs to be spaces in the hair to trap warmed air. All that undercoat your dog has needs to be washed, blown out, mats removed, and re-fluffed. Too much under coat or mats can trap water in the coat making it harder to stay warm, take longer for the dog to dry, and create a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. The mats in-tween the toes and in the pads, and around the back end are places your really want to pay attention to. Ice and snow can also pack into the bottoms of the feet, getting trapped in all that hair, and cause splits and cracks in the pads.

Call your groomer and see what kind of programs they offer for increased grooming. They may have a half priced maintenance program.  Getting a bath and the undercoat blown out every few weeks may be cheaper than that one giant session in the spring. They might have something where after so many grooms in a year, one is free. It doesn't hurt to ask, and in the end it helps your furry friend. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for linking up with the Clever Chicks this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick



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