Woman crouching next to dog

Looking after your dogs coat in Autumn

by Kim Apothecary, Expert Dog Groomer & Owner of Groomingdales

As we’re approaching autumn, and the wet, cold weather it brings, we spoke to top dog groomer Kim Pothecary from Groomingdales UK. She gave us some tips on keeping our dogs coats clean.

Should I leave my dog’s coat long for the colder weather?

The simple answer is “no”. Despite what most people believe, leaving your dogs coat long in the winter can be detrimental for your pet. For those dogs that are walked regularly during wet, cold weather this means a permanently wet dog. Imagine going swimming in shorts and a t-shirt and then having to sit around in wet clothes….you’d feel cold, right? It’s no different for a dog. Dogs are unable to regulate their temperatures in the same way we do, so getting a dog dry in the winter is quite important.

So having for example, 1″ of dog hair versus 6″ will make towel drying or using a hair dryer so much quicker. As a professional groomer the majority of the dogs we see are very matted as the coat has been left too long for the winter the dog is constantly wet and dirty which in effect “bunches” the coat when laying or sitting and this ultimately leaves no option but to clip the dog very short, much shorter than we would like to do in the winter. So my recommendations for dog owners is to keep the dogs on the shorter side, particularly the legs and undercarriage. There are some great coats, full leg waterproofs and jumpers available on the market for the young or elderly dogs.

My dog gets really messy in the wet weather – what’s the best way to keep a muddy coat clean?

Unfortunately there is no miracle to keep muddy dogs clean that I can share with you! Different breeds with different coat types tend to have different mud magnet coats! For example a silky coated breed tends not to retain dirt as much as a wool coated breed. I own 3 naturally long haired breeds and I keep them cut short in the winter. I always pat them down with a towel after a walk and if they are super muddy they will have a quick bath. There are some great full leg suits available which are made from a very thin lightweight material yet cover the entire dog, including undercarriage and legs…..I own many of them. The dogs can have great fun and I don’t have to worry about too much grooming when we get home.