Winter is Coming

Filed Under: SeasonalGrooming


Winter is coming.  So, its time to get your dog groomed.  What?  Don’t I want my dogs coat to stay long and keep him warm in the winter? 

Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Long coats do not keep a dog warmer in winter. They can actually make the dog colder.  Having five layers of clothes on does not keep you warmer if they are damp and solid.  It is the air pockets that work magic in insulation.  Long coated dogs, when they come in from the cold, pick up moisture (or snow melts), and because the coat cannot breathe because it is too long and matted, that dampness stays right against the skin, like wearing a damp t-shirt under your parka.  

Proper grooming will remove dead undercoat and allow the fur to do its job properly.  Fluffy coats can dry easier and will trap that insulating air when outside.  Added benefit, less stink.  And a lot fewer skin issues when air can actually get to the skin.

Proper grooming can prevent a springtime disaster where a dog’s fur will have to be shaved off to the skin as it is “pelted”, one big mat.  When that happens, what is underneath can be terrible, sores and infections are not uncommon under a pelted coat.  Painful, and expensive to treat.

Another issue is the nails. In winter, dogs wear down their nails a lot less as they aren’t walking on pavement/cement at all.  When being groomed, the dog will have its nails trimmed, which is great, but in winter, you may have to come in between groomings to keep nails to their proper length.   If you can hear the nails clicking, they are too long.  And, like when your shoes don’t fit and your toes bang up against the end, every time you hear that click, the dog feels that same pain.

The last two columns on leashes and picking up garnered a lot of response.  Thank you all for responding, many great points were brought up. 

We got a lot of responses about people using playgrounds, schoolyards, and parks as leashless areas.  Unless it is declared by the city to be a leashless park, you must have the dog on leash.  Again, this is for public safety and the safety of your animal.  Please respect your neighbors that also use those spaces.

It seems picking up after a pet is not the end of the discussion, but rather a beginning.  First, where you let the dogs “go”, even if you do pick up, should still be an appropriate place.  Private property (people’s yards), or places that children might use (playgrounds, parks) should not be used as toilets, because even if you pick up, there is usually some residue left, which can be dangerous to children and seniors.  Additionally, now that that spot has been “marked” it will attract other animals to go there.

After picking up, just leaving the bag on the curb, or on the riverbank, or some other spot, is not appropriate.  You’ve gone so far as to pick up, please take it home and dispose of it properly.  Putting it in someone else’s bin that just happens to be handy on garbage day seems efficient, but please, no.  If the bag breaks and contaminates the bin, that can be dangerous to that person / family, especially if they are not aware the danger exists.  Skip (thanks for the email) suggests taking it home, emptying the bag in the toilet and flushing the waste and disposing the bag in the trash.  Waste treatment can handle it better than the dump can.

Thanks again for your input, if there are any topics you’d like me to write about, feel free to drop me a line, I’m always looking for interesting topics to develop. 

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