Due to popular belief, you might be doing your pooch more harm than good by trying to keep them in a longer coat for the winter season. Here's a few reasons you might want to consider before starting to grow your dog's fur out this winter...
- Dogs are domesticated animals and mostly live with us in our homes. Luckily for us, during the colder months our houses are heated. Dogs on average spend about 22 hours a day in their home environments. There's really no need for the extra warmth of a long fur coat and central heating unless they are living outside - It's much more efficient to keep your dog at a manageable length and buy a jumper or coat for when they are outside than to try and keep them in an unrealistic and unmanageable length. It will save you money in the long run!
- Longer fur is more prone to matting & knots especially in wet muddy weather. It becomes unmanageable for the owner and usually results in a shave-off and one very bald dog.
- Dogs don't sweat like us - they cool down/warm up by cool or warm air circulating through their knot-free and well groomed out coat. Which is more manageable for you? A shorter trim to keep knot-free and brush once a week or a longer coat that requires thorough daily grooming?
- Longer coats take longer to dry. Imagine sitting in wet and muddy clothes for a few hours after you've been outside for a walk. It wouldn't feel very nice and you'd probably catch a chill. Well, it's the same for your pooch!
- Wet dogs famously don't smell very good! They are a bit stinky and will make a mess in your lovely house. Less coat = less mess!
- Soggy doggies are also more prone to getting nasties caught in their wet fur, such as brambles, twigs and leaves. These can be very difficult to remove and can lead to knots and matting if left untreated. If they scratch the skin, they could also lead to nasty infections. By keeping the coat long, you are effectively adding more surface area to pick up and collect all of these nasties.
I hope these reasons give you food for thought next time you are tempted to let your dogs fur grow out over winter. Usually this results in the pooch being shaved down after a few weeks or even months of the "growing out process" due to matting. By all means, if you have the time, money and dedication that it takes to keep your dog's in a full coat, especially during the challenging winter months, then go for it, but for most pet owners this simply isn't realistic.
Talk to your groomer and work with them to come up with a winter grooming schedule that works for both you and your dog. You can come up with a manageable length and style to keep your dog knot free but not bald, and you can even arrange a regular winter bathing schedule to keep them looking and smelly pretty as a picture!
There's no need to let your dog's fur grow out over the colder months. Winter is one of the most difficult seasons to manage grooming wise and you should try to make it as easy for yourself as possible by keeping your pet's coat clean and at a manageable length for you.