When the winter months hit, temperatures drop and we feel a big chill. This normally means we get our thick coats out and slap on multiple layers to combat the weather. As a result, we let our dogs do the same! They have a natural coat of hair growing all the time, so it feels natural to let them grow it out in the winter.
The logic is there – a thick coat keeps them warmer, so grooming is unnecessary.
Well…it’s not as simple as that! If you have a pet dog, here’s why you shouldn’t let its coat grow too long during the winter months.
Long Hair Carries A Higher Risk Of Infections In Winter
Sure, the benefit of long hair is that it helps your dog insulate against the cold. On the other hand, long hair is a potential cause of skin infections. Why? Because your dog goes outside and ends up getting very wet. Winter brings a lot of rain, but it also brings frost. When you walk your dog with frost around you, it can easily melt into the dogs coat. With short hair, this is less of an issue as it dries quickly and easily. Unfortunately, long hair takes longer to dry and means the skin underneath is prone to infections. It creates the perfect conditions for issues like acute moist dermatitis in dogs, which will make your puppy very itchy and uncomfortable.
Maintaining a coat that’s not too long and overgrown will ensure this doesn’t happen. As soon as the walk is over or your dog comes back inside, you can rub them with a towel and keep them nice and dry.
Long Hair Is Likely To Become Matted
Dog hair becomes matter when it’s tangled together and forms clumps. This is a problem for multiple reasons, the main one being that it hurts your poor puppy. Imagine someone tied your hair into knots and kept tugging at it whenever you moved. That’s how it feels for dogs, and they can end up in a lot of pain.
Long hair is way more likely to become matted, particularly during the winter when it gets wetter. This is why regular dog grooming is critical – especially brushing your dogs fur. It helps remove knots from the hair, so it can’t get all matted and painful. In turn, your furry friend feels way more comfortable and at ease.
Also, matted hair makes a dog’s coat work inefficiently. Their hair is supposed to provide layers of insulation, trapping heat in and preventing cold air from getting through to their skin. When there are lots of matted areas, it creates gaps in the coat, so more heat escapes and they become a lot colder. So, ironically, having a slightly shorter coat could make your dog more thermally insulative in the winter.
All in all, winter grooming is one of the big things nobody warns you about when owning a dog. It’s easy to think you can take a back seat during this season, but you still need to continue with regular grooming and trimming. If you’re worried about your dog being too cold, then there are loads of cute warmers you can buy to dress them in!