The Why's and How's of Winter Grooming - PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

The Why’s and How’s of Winter Grooming

by MetLife Pet Insurance
4 years ago

You want the best for your pet every time of the year.

Did you know winter grooming is an important part of their health?

The truth is, even in the winter months, you need to groom your pets regularly. Keep reading to find out why you should groom your pet in the winter, and how to do it effectively.

Why Groom Your Pet in Winter?

Here are a few reasons why veterinarians recommend you groom your dogs and cats through the winter months:

Prevents Mats

Long-haired dogs and cats are particularly prone to mats in the late winter and early spring as they start to shed their winter coats. However, any animal can develop mats any time of the year if their coat isn’t regularly groomed.

Keeps them Warm

Many breeds of cats and dogs have double coats. This means they have two layers of fur which are designed to keep them warm during the winter. However, if these coats become matted or even tangled, they aren’t as effective at trapping warmth.

If you have a double-coated animal that spends any time outside, you need to make sure their coat is kept groomed so they don’t find themselves getting chilly.

Maintains Healthy Skin

This is true year-round but is no less important in the winter. Grooming your pet removes dead skin cells and stimulates hair follicles. It also spreads natural oils from the skin onto the length of the fur. All of this combined helps your pet’s skin stay healthy.

In the winter months, your pet’s skin can get dried out just like yours. By grooming them, you can help prevent dry or cracked skin which can lead to skin infections. You can also be checking their skin regularly and alert your vet if you have any concerns.

Great Bonding Time

Beyond improving the overall health of your pet, grooming is a great time to bond with your pet. In the wild, mutual grooming is a way for animals to bond with each other. So, your pet will feel closer to you as you sit on the floor with them and brush them out.

How to Groom Your Pet in Winter

Here are some tips on grooming your pet in winter so they can gain all these benefits.

Pick the Right Brushes

Not all pet brushes are created equal, so you need to make sure you have the right ones for your pet’s coat. Some pet owners may be able to get away with just having one brush, but many will benefit from having several.

A slicker brush focuses on the top coat. It removes hair and is particularly suited to long-haired dogs and cats. It will keep this outer layer from getting tangled.

A de-shedding brush is designed to get down to the undercoat and remove loose hairs from it. This is great for cats and dogs with double coats. It’s important to use a de-shedding brush even when the animal isn’t going through their big yearly shed because it prevents mats from forming.

A bristle brush works best on short-haired, single-coated dogs and cats. The bristles spread oil onto your pet’s coat and helps keep their hair from getting tangled.

Include it in Your Routine

If grooming your pet is part of your daily routine, you’re much more likely to stay consistent and keep your pet looking and feeling great. Pick a time of day that works best for you, and groom your pet every day at that time.

Perhaps you can take a minute to relax with your pet as soon as you get home from work or else right after dinner? Having something that’s already part of your routine trigger grooming time will help you remember as you make it a habit.

Make it Enjoyable for Both of You

Grooming your pet can be a fun and relaxing activity for both of you, or it can be a nightmare. If your pet doesn’t enjoy being groomed, you may have to ease them into it by only doing it for a few seconds and then minutes every day.

Reward them with treats, toys, and lots of verbal praise while you groom them and they’ll soon realize being groomed is actually really nice.

If you’ve having trouble enjoying this time, try turning on your favorite band or TV show to enjoy while your hands are busy. Whatever you do, make it work for both of you.

Whether it’s cold or hot, PetFirst Pet Insurance is always here to help keep your pets covered from accidents and illnesses. Click here to get a quote today!

Guest Blogger: Melody Cary

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