Dogs, like people, are happy to see the warm, sunny days of spring arrive and have time to spend outside in their yard or going on longer walks throughout the community. While spring is a great time to head outdoors, the conditions often make keeping your dirty dogs safe, clean, and looking terrific more trouble than other times throughout the year.
To make things easy, we have gathered some helpful tips, ideas, and suggestions for helping your dirty dogs enjoy the spring weather and avoid possible health issues, to keep clean, and to get ready to look terrific for the rest of the year.
Health Issues in Spring
One of the issues with spring is the amount of water on the surface of the ground. This may be in parts of your yard or in puddles alongside your favorite dog paths or in dog parks. This is often runoff or snow melted water, which means it has a lot of pollutants and other chemicals and materials. This can include animal feces and urine, as well as bacteria, molds, fungi, viruses, and other types of germs.
Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Bring a bottle of water along on any longer walks or trips to the dog park, and avoid places where you do has access to puddles or standing water. If your dog park is prone to spring flooding or standing water, look for a different location or avoid the park and go on walks instead.
Bathing and Grooming
The water and mud combination is hard on any dog’s coat, but particularly long-haired dogs or breeds with double coats. Ideally, limit bathing your dog to once every month at the most frequent, and allow him or her to go as long as necessary between full shampoo baths. Use doggy formulated, moisturizing shampoos and conditions to prevent drying out the skin and coat.
Grooming is a good way to remove dirt and debris from the coat without the need for a bath. Grooming also keeps the coat naturally soft and untangled, limiting the risk of debris being caught in the coat.
There are also waterless or dry shampoos for dogs. Some of these are also designed to help groom through tangles and help to eliminate matted areas of the coat. Always read the label and look for natural products that are free from fragrances and chemicals that can cause irritation.
Dogs that haven’t had as much exercise outdoors over the winter may have longer than normal nails. Clipping your dog’s nails does require an understanding of the anatomy of the nail to avoid cutting into the bundle of nerves and blood vessels that are found in the center of the nail.
Ideally, scheduling an appointment with our groomer in the spring allows us to get your dog ready for time outdoors. Once the coat is bathed and clipped and the nails trimmed, it is much easier for you to continue the routine.