Winter Grooming Tips for a Happy and Healthy Dog

As the seasons change, so do our needs. The same is true for our fur babies. In winter, some of these needs are more obvious than others: a warm blanket on their bed, or a shift to indoor games instead of long outdoor walks, for instance.

What may not be so obvious is how a dog's grooming needs change over winter. Sure, you're less likely to find tumbleweeds of hair everywhere you look like in summer, but that doesn't mean your pup requires less TLC. Quite the opposite! Wet, cold conditions take a toll in ways that aren't always visible, and are easy to miss if you're not on the look out.

With that said, here are the four main areas you should focus on when grooming your dog this winter.

The Coat

During the winter months, it's not uncommon for people to think they should leave their dog's coat alone. After all, a thicker coat is their main defence against the cold. Nevertheless, routine brushing is required to keep shedding to a minimum and avoid skin irritation and matting. An occasional bath with warm water, shampoo and conditioner is a good option too, just remember to dry your fur baby thoroughly. Not only will it help to stop their coat from becoming matted, but they won’t feel the need to shake themselves dry, covering you and the walls in water in the process!

While it’s important to keep an eye out for knots and matted fur, particularly in long-haired pets, don’t go cut crazy! One study revealed how even a one centimetre difference in a pup's coat length could affect heat retention by up to 80%.

The Paws

Cold and damp ground conditions are perfect for mud and other nasties that can irritate your dog's paws. If your pup's frequently out in such conditions, a daily check to make sure their feet are clean and clear is worth it. You can make the process easier by trimming the hair between their paw pads so nothing gets lodged in there, out of sight.

Some people may consider using dog boots to avoid such issues. While this is a good idea in more extreme conditions, your fur baby is bound to be more comfortable with their paws directly on the ground, so it may be best to avoid using them unless absolutely necessary.

The Claws

While we're talking about their feet, it's time to focus on your pup's nails. It's not unusual for a dog to be less active during winter, so their nails, which naturally wear down while playing or on walks, may grow out and become uncomfortable.

Dog nail clippers are easy to use, so long as you know how and where to cut so you don't make your fur baby bleed accidentally.

The Bed

Sure, it's not on your dog directly, but a warm bed, blanket or any other accessory designed to keep your pup cosy in the cold, is as important in their grooming as any other aspect.

Cleaning your dog's bed cover and blanket is important, especially before the real cold starts to set in. This will ensure they're free of irritants like dust and dead hair. It's important too that the bed is soft and a comfortable size. You don't want your fur baby spilling out the side, where the bed can't keep them warm!

To keep dogs warm both in and out of bed, some people may put dog clothing (or dog-sized clothing) on their pup. We know it looks cute, but this can cause hair to get matted, or chafing to occur. There's also a risk of your dog getting tangled if the clothes are too loose. As such, it's best to keep the use of clothing to a minimum (don't leave them in a jumper overnight, for instance), and brush your furry friend's coat after usage to make sure no knots have developed.


Are you a GC local and don't have the time or confidence to groom your pup yourself? Good news! Lala & Bear Dog Grooming has just opened on the ground floor of Pawfect Pals HQ on the Gold Coast. Check them out at

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