Winter Pet Grooming 101

winter pet groomingThanks to our relatively mild winters in Rocklin, there’s often little excuse for staying indoors in front of the fire all season long. Because most pets are thrilled to be outdoors regardless of the temperature, winter pet grooming considerations should take center stage in order to keep our little guys and gals healthy, happy (and pretty!) all season long.

Why Winter Pet Grooming?

Cold rains, chilly winds, and the occasional snow and ice that classify winter in Rocklin can wreak havoc on our pet’s skin, fur, and paw pads. Winter pet grooming means making sure that these important areas of our pet’s bodies are protected and cared for.

Skin And Coat

Your pet’s skin and coat are two of the most important areas to tend to when it comes to winter pet grooming. For many pets, shedding occurs all year long but tends to be heaviest around the transition between seasons. Daily brushing can significantly reduce your pet’s shedding while keeping his or her coat breathable, free of mats, and better able to insulate against the cold.

Don’t allow your pet’s parasite protection to lapse just because the weather has cooled down; fleas, ticks, and mosquitos can pose a threat all year long (fleas especially enjoy the warm, humid environments inside our homes during winter).

Bath Time

Longer coats tend to mat without regular grooming, and walks through mud and snow can be messy. Continue your pet’s normal bathing schedule throughout the winter, taking care to make sure he or she doesn’t go outside until the fur is completely dry.

Paw Protection

Mud, rain, snow, ice, asphalt, and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s paw pads. You can help to protect the paws by wiping them thoroughly with a clean towel after each walk and making sure to inspect them for injury and to remove any clumps of ice, mud, or other debris.


Longer haired pets will still need trims during the cold months to avoid matting and tangling. You may choose to keep the fur a little longer for added warmth.

Nail Care

Dogs may need extra nail trims during the winter months if they aren’t outside as often and wearing the nails down on concrete, asphalt, or other hard surfaces. Check weekly to make sure the nails aren’t getting too long, as this can cause pain and problems with the knees and hip joints.

Use Sweaters Wisely

Doggie coats and sweaters are adorable ways to protect shorthaired or smaller dogs during winter walks, but their overuse can lead to matting and tangles on longer haired pets. Remove sweaters and coats after coming indoors, and brush your pet thoroughly afterward.

We all know that tending to our pet’s needs is a year-round job! If your team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital can help you in any way with your winter pet grooming needs or other concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.