The Importance of Winter Grooming for Dogs and Cats



Chilly temperatures and thicker coats pose special challenges when it comes to grooming your pet.

Grooming in Cold Weather

Pets with long hair are especially prone to health problems caused by cold dry air and matted fur, as Ulysses Rosenzweig, DVM, of Argos Animal Hospital in Boiceville, N.Y., in Catskill State Park, knows all too well. “It’s important to keep pets well-groomed all year-round,” he emphasizes. Otherwise, coats will become matted, resulting in skin infections and other issues that require veterinary intervention. A good grooming regimen can prevent serious health issues.

That said, cold weather presents special challenges to proper pet grooming. “Grooming in winter is even more important than at any other time of year,” contends Jodi Judson of All Groomed Up, a pet grooming service based in Saugerties, N.Y. “The snow and overall wetness wreak havoc on animals’ skin,” says Judson. “If the coat becomes matted, the skin stays moist underneath, creating a breeding ground for bacterial infection—but you’d never know it under all that hair.”

Until, that is, the situation gets so painful for the pet that he doesn’t tolerate being touched. That’s when it’s time to see a veterinarian. Vets and groomers agree that pet owners should perform basic grooming duties at least two or three times weekly to prevent the need for drastic shave-downs, antibiotics, and medicated shampoos.


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