There are certain times of year when pet owners think they don’t need to worry about keeping their pets clean. In the winter, when they spend most of their time indoors, some might think cats and dogs don’t require bathing. After all, they aren’t running around in the grass and dirt like they would in the summer months. Other pet owners, those whose pets never go outdoors, might not think bathing and grooming is essential either. However, the truth is that all pets require grooming on a regular basis. Whether they play outdoors or stay inside, pet grooming tips for Westport pet owners are important.
When you visit your local veterinary clinic in Dartmouth, you can get a lot of advice and services. For example, a critical part of grooming is dental care for pets. Teeth brushing and necessary cleanings can happen at home. This helps keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy between visits and professional cleanings. Your vet can provide you with tips, advice, insight, and product recommendations to make this even easier. The same holds true for other pet grooming tips. Whether you need help clipping nails, getting rid of bad breath, keeping pets safe from parasites, or need to clean a pet with sensitive skin, your veterinarian can help.
Why Grooming is Important
Westport pet owners need to understand that grooming isn’t just something you do when your pet gets smelly, but it’s something that needs to be done regularly. One example is in the winter months. Cleaning and conditioning can help to keep your dog’s fur and skin clean and healthy during the cold, dry winter. Some pet owners stop getting their dog’s fur clipped during the winter because they think the longer hair will protect the dog from the cold temperatures. However, in some cases, getting a clip and shampoo in the winter might be more important than other times of the year. Long hair that becomes wet and matted can make your dog more likely to stay cold and wet, inviting infections and illnesses.
Fur that becomes matted can also lead to issues that include:
- discomfort and pain
- hot spots
- infections below the skin
- other health problems
What You Can Do
Some of the best pet grooming tips are things that you can do for yourself at home. If you have any questions, your local veterinary clinic in Dartmouth can help. More advanced services, such as professional dental care for pets, can also be obtained through your trusted veterinarian. One of the best things to do to protect your pet in winter is to ensure that their paws are frequently cleaned. Snow, ice, salt, mud, low temperatures, stones, and gravel can become lodged between the pads. Wipe your pet’s feet dry after every trip outdoors. You might have a struggle at first, but it will soon become routine, and your pet might even wait at the door to get their paws wiped.
When you bathe your dog at home, make sure that he is thoroughly dry before allowing him to go outdoors to do his business. One way is to take him out right before the bath before bathing. Wet dogs can quickly become chilled, dropping their body temperature which can result in hypothermia. Smaller breeds and dogs with short hair are more likely to suffer from these conditions. Choose a moisturizing shampoo or use an extra conditioner. Choose a mild soap that won’t further dry out your pet’s skin. Ask your vet about doggie lotions if your pet has extremely dry skin. Winter haircuts can also be beneficial to pets, preventing matting and other issues. If you have concerns about warmth when going outdoors, invest in a good sweater or jacket.
Regular brushing and nail trimming are also important year-round. Regular brushing will help to keep your dog’s coat in excellent condition, removing irritants such as dead hair, dirt, and other things picked up outdoors and around the house. It removes tangles and helps to increase circulation in the skin, effectively distributing natural oils throughout the coat. Check your dog’s coat while you brush, keeping an eye out for lumps, bumps, or sores that could be a sign of illness. Nail trimming might increase in the winter when your dog isn’t outdoors running and playing to wear the nails down naturally. Consider investing in a quality clipping system for home use or regularly schedule visits with a groomer to stay on top of growing nails.
Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
Westport pet owners who want to keep their pets healthy through every age, stage, and season should start by finding a quality veterinarian in the Southeastern Massachusetts area. Our veterinary clinic in Dartmouth has earned a solid reputation for providing professional care and services. Whether you require an annual check-up, vaccinations, pet grooming tips, dietary help, or even advanced dental care for pets, you can get it all at Anchor Animal Hospital. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or speak with one of our staff.