by Lisa J. Rojas, Owner of Dreadlocks for Dingoes
Winter is upon us and we all need to prepare for the bitter cold! Our pets suffer from the same things that affect us, like frostbite, hypothermia, or just plain being cold! But, in addition to the obvious things, It’s important to think about the not so obvious, like freezing ears and pads on their feet, and the fact that many smaller dogs are up to the top of their legs in snow!
Every winter we see many pets, both big and small, full coated or short haired, that have perished from the cold in very short periods of time. They do not have to be outside for long to suffer from frostbite or hypothermia. You can provide extra warmth for your small dog by buying them a doggie sweater, A pair of booties, for big and small paws alike, will help protect their feet.
Also keep in mind that dogs have coats to protect them from both the cold and the heat. Many dogs have two coats, an outer guard hair and a wooly under coat which gets heavier for the winter. Cutting you “double-coated” dogs hair short in the summer not only leaves them more vulnerable to sunburn and overheating, but it also removes the natural oils present on the guard hairs. Once shaved, the oils are permanently removed from the guard hair and will never grow back in the same manner. It is these oils on the guard hair that repel rain and snow, keeping the under coat dry. A dry under coat is the key to keep your dog warmer.
So please, don’t leave your pets unattended outside for long during the season, and keep them happy and safe from Old Man Winter.
SOME TIPS ON MATTING
Water is the number one cause of severe matting. These types of mats are the most difficult to remove (if possible) and are also the most damaging to your pets skin.
Quickly running a comb through your pets hair once a week, and before they go outside in the snow, especially on their legs and chest, will greatly reduce the chance of matting. Also remember to dry them off by patting their hair as opposed to rubbing, and please refrain from bathing and letting them air dry!
If you can’t seem to get the mats under control, first bring them in for a professional grooming and after I’ll gladly show you how to safely remove mats in between visits. Please don’t use scissors on your pet, too often they move quickly and the end result is a visit to the vet for stitches.