Hi everyone, it’s Grooming Assistant and professional dog botherer Lilly again and this time, I’m bringing you a blog post all about why a pre-autumn and winter groom is beneficial to your dog.
I’ll be going through some treatments and products, all of which we use in our salon and on our own dogs as well as some tips for at home too.
As the seasons change, we as humans also change our regimes and styles, from adding some more lip balm due to cold weather chapped lips, an extra layer (for those days when it’s freezing in the morning and then boiling by midday) or even changing our hair. Our pets are no different really. They too may need something a little extra to ensure they are comfortable and fresh even in the chillier weather.
All of these products are completely natural, we’d absolutely use them on ourselves and we also sell them in the shop and online too, we’re not just blowing their trumpets for the sake of it!
Let’s start with the three spa items that can be added to a full groom or pamper. These are all suitable treatments for any dog, any age and any size:
- Dorwest Oat and Lavender Shampoo - This is one of our shampoo upgrades and it’s amazing for itchy, flaky and problem skin but, it can be used on any dog. Just like us humans, sometimes our dogs’ skin can be a little sensitive, especially to weather changes (in the summer, they can get sunburn and feel a little drier in the winter!). This shampoo will nourish the coat and soothe the skin as well as smelling sweet. If it’s dermatitis, a bit of itching or doggy dandruff, this sensitive shampoo is pawfect for your four-legged friend.
- Paw Balm - we have a few different brands in the salon including Dorwest, Be:Loved and Dug & Bitch. They’re not just limited to the paw pads but they can go on their snoots (although it does get licked off instantly) and it can be applied to elbow/knee joints - especially on terriers prone to a bit of dry skin in those areas! It’s a good all-rounder throughout the year to apply to dogs but, if you need to walk your dog during a frosty morning or you have to give up soft, grassy country walks for pavement walks, paw balm after their pamper or full groom will relieve those chapped and dry feeling toe beans.
- Ear Clean - It doesn’t matter if your dog has long, flappy ears or short Staffy triangles, all dogs benefit from a decent ear clean. We use For All Dog Kind topical ear cleaner which we put directly into the ear canal, just like we would with a human ear cleaner with a pipet, and then give the skin within the ear a wipe around to take away any nasties. For All Dog Kind is completely natural and contains tea tree oil, aloe vera and witch hazel and is suitable for sensitive dogs. As it gets wetter and muddier, adding an ear clean to your dog’s pamper and full groom is a great idea, especially if they’re prone to rolling in puddles like my dog, Hec.
It doesn’t matter if your dog has a long coat, a short double coat, curly, wolly, wirey, left as they are, clipped short, deshed or handstripped, teacup sized or giant breed, the above additions to their groom or pamper are absolutely perfect to get them ready for the colder months.
Got a dog with a coat that needs a bit more maintenance? I recently gave the Boss Lady’s dogs, Woody, Cinnamon and Charlie, an autumn makeover and here’s what I did and why…
Belly, Bum, Tail and Feathering Trim - as we know, dachshund’s have lovely low bellies, that’s why they’re so adorable, but long-haired daxies are pretty much walking brooms! They’ll sweep up anything in their path be it brambles, twigs, leaves and sometimes even snacks! Chunks of mud can also get stuck in the longer floof, which is fine, but if it’s left, it’s not very comfortable.
Each dog had a good bath (using the Dorwest shampoo), dried out and combed to perfection before the trim began.
I cut their belly, feathering and bums just a touch shorter than usual and thinned out their bum floof so it was shaped nicely, almost like a corgi’s peach! Their fur will grow back and by the end of winter, it will still be in great condition as well as being lovely and long, ready for a light trim in time for spring.
Their paws had a trim underneath too and I applied some paw balm and I’ll be honest, I wish I had this pamper myself!
This kind of trim isn’t just limited to dachshunds, it’s also suitable for spaniels that are not clipped short, long-coated yorkies, long-coated chihuahuas, golden retrievers and corgis.
We also had a client recently who asked for their long-coated cocker spaniel who is hand cut to have a belly patch shaved in. This was because he is a wriggler, it was getting knotty and picking up woodland souvenirs on his walks. His belly is now liberated and, it’s barely noticeable as his skirt covers the patch.
This can be done for most long-coated breeds and, it’s great for cockapoos or any curly coat too. It’s not just limited to an autumn-winter groom, it’s a great one for summer time as if your dog lies on a cold floor, their belly patch will act as a nice cooling spot for them.
While we’re always happy to see your dogs and giving them their treatments, some things have to be kept up at home too, all in the name of keeping their coat healthy! Here’s some at-home tips that are great for this new season but also, year round:
- Dry them as best as you can after a walk. You don’t need to stick the hairdryer straight in their face, although a steady introduction to driers is great, but a regular towel, or one of those “magic robes” that you can get are brilliant for getting the excess mud and moisture out. Doesn’t matter what breed your dog is, drying them off after a wet walk ensures your dog is comfortable and their skin is happy!
- Brushing - Curly, long or double coated, getting your dogs used to brushing if they’re young, new to grooming or just in need of a good comb is essential. Make sure their coat is dry, you don’t keep going over the same spots (they can get friction burn) and lots of treats during. It helps to avoid severe knots, compact undercoat, and matting, especially if you want your dog to have a long coat and not clipped short. I personally hold a treat in front of Hec’s nose at home (he’s much better behaved on the grooming table!), especially when brushing down his legs and tail as he can be a flincher (or dramatic as I like to call him…). I still have to do it now and at the time of writing this post, he’s two and has always been groomed, it is something that has to be kept up at home.
- If your dog is prone to tangles and matting, avoid bathing them at home. Especially if they’re not keen on being bathed, dried and brushed at home. Stick to keeping them dry and brushing, this applies all year around but also, as the weather gets colder, it’s not ideal for an at-home bath if you can’t get them fully dry.
If you’d like to know more about autumnal tidy ups, the products we use, the extras you can add to your pooch’s pamper or full groom, you can always message us, chat to us in store or call us on 01782 632 183.