It’s time to batten down the hatches and winterize your home. For many people, a home is incomplete without their furry best friends. Pet owners go to extreme lengths to care for their animals. Unfortunately, winter grooming maintenance is something that can be overlooked or misinterpreted if an owner has not checked with a veterinary specialist. NoVA grooming specialists and veterinary professionals offer insight into how to keep your furry friends groomed this winter and healthy all season long.
Best Practices for the Wintertime
According to professional groomers, the bathing process can be as simple as shampoo, dry and pamper. Specifically, the first step is washing the animal with a pet-friendly shampoo. Products with an apple or oatmeal base are best for wintertime because it helps keep fur from becoming too dry and itchy. After the wash, animals are dried with a towel and handheld dog dryer.
Wintertime practices also need to adjust for the colder weather. First, groomers suggest using a rubber curry brush to help a pet’s fur stay clean between baths. Furthermore, animals should not be left outside for extended periods of time, especially unattended.
Frequency of Bathing
Usually dogs, cats and all small furry animals should be bathed once a month. During the colder months, however, grooming less often is recommended. As with humans, cold weather can reduce natural chemicals and oils, which causes the skin to be susceptible to dry patches or decreased balance in healthy skin oils. Since wintertime grooming can increase these negative effects, pet baths should be limited to once every two to three months.
Pet owners should look for shampoos created with natural ingredients. Especially during the wintertime, products should be dye-free and paraben-free. Additionally, grooming products should not have any harsh chemicals such as alcohol-based components.
Grooming professionals suggest incorporating a conditioner to a pet’s bathing routine to help combat dry skin. The best ingredients for furry animals include oatmeal for dry skin, lavender for an insect repellent and essential oils such as lemongrass for natural shampoo composites.
For anxious pets, one tip to help reduce bath-time anxiety is to start washing the animal at the back and work your way toward the front. This helps to ease animals, especially dogs, into being washed and avoids startling pets by spraying water in their face.