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Winter Coat Care: Grooming Tips

Keeping Your Dog Fluffy, Warm and Huggable!

As we bid farewell to long summer days and head into the depths of the colder months, we sought the advice of experienced dog groomer and U GROOM Founder Jackie Aarons to help you keep your dogs' coats in top condition.

Long and short, all of them need consideration. But for those with coats that grow longer it can be challenging to find that perfect length to get to the other side of winter.

Marley sporting a Teddy Bear Clip
Photo: Oasis Dog Grooming
As the cooler nights start creeping up on us, many pet owners become concerned about just how they are going to keep their furry friends warm and cosy. Most dogs that require clipping have been sporting a short, easy-to-manage style for the best part of summer. 

It's quick drying, no tangles and knots and Fido has felt fabulous. 

But as the days become shorter and the temperatures start to drop, one common request groomers often hear is, "keep him long, as he will get cold." 
Indeed, longer coats can help keep dogs warm, fluffy, and adorable. 

And who doesn’t love a longer teddy bear clip?

Achieving and maintaining this look, however, requires effort from both the owner and the groomer.

Different Lengths, Different Needs

All dogs, regardless of coat length, need grooming attention in winter. Every dog is different too which can change the needs of your dog. 

Andre the Poodle halfway through a short clip

Straighter Oodle coats may tolerate longer periods in between grooming before tangles start appear. Some dogs may have oilier skin and coats, so they will need more regular grooming and bathing. 

However, for longer-coated breeds who require clipping, finding that perfect length to get through winter can be challenging. Regular grooming appointments can help manage this.

Regular Grooming Routines

An older dog is enjoying
his regular grooming
During grooming appointments, your groomer can help you decide on the best length for your dog's coat based on their breed, lifestyle, and the severity of winter weather in your area. 

Some owners prefer to keep their dog's coat longer for added warmth, while others opt for a shorter trim for easier maintenance.

A great groomer can help you achieve and maintain your dog's coat be it long and fluffy coat or mid length to short. Regular grooming visits, typically every 4-6 weeks, are essential for the longer coats.

During these visits, your groomer will trim the coat to your preferred length and provide tips for at home maintenance.

A dog that is groomed regularly and has a well maintained coat will be able to undergo a clip with your groomer using a comb attachment. The comb attachments allow for varying lengths to be achieved.

Although there are 8 in total for a groomer to choose from, here are some popular length choices that can easily be maintained with regular home care and a grooming routine. 

Wahl Colour Clipper Comb Attachments
These combs are also colour coded for easy reference.

Popular lengths:
Three - Blue: 10mm or 3/8 of an inch.
Four - Orange: 13mm or 1/2 an inch.
Five - Yellow: 16mm or 5/8 of an inch.

Be mindful as the longer the length you go the more care you will be required to put into your dogs coat!

Don’t forget that regular grooming not only keeps your dog looking great but also helps maintain their overall health.

Removing loose fur, dirt, and debris from the coat can prevent skin issues and matting. For long-haired breeds, daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting and tangles.

Bathing and Grooming Tips for at home in between groom

Proper bathing and grooming are essential for maintaining your dog's coat health, as is the use of a quality hydrating dog shampoo and conditioner that nourishes the skin and coat which also assists to prevent dryness and irritation. 

A great conditioner will also make brushing and detangling much easier. This is a process that you can easily achieve at home or you can have in between baths at your regular groomer. You will enjoy having a fresh and clean dog that everyone loves to cuddle. And your dog will LOVE the extra attention.

Combing and brushing also plays a very big part in keeping your dogs coat free from debris and matts. And you have to do it right!

Many times a client would come in and tell us how great they had been with brushing their dog only for us to find matting. Resulting in a much shorter than preferred coat length. 

Brushing can often only deal with top of the coat. Missing all that pesky undercoat!

Combing is ideal and gets right to the skin. So we always suggest you brush then comb and comb again. Quality medium coarse combs are a perfect addition to your grooming kit.

Dog Winter Fashion Considerations

Dog clothing can be a great option for keeping your pup warm and stylish. And there certainly is a huge array of styles to shop for.

However, for longer-coated dogs, clothing can become problematic if grooming is neglected. Coats can hide matting, rub against the fur, and contribute to further matting, irritation and skin rashes and inflammation.

If you choose to dress your dog in winter clothing, ensure the garments fit properly and do not restrict movement. Check your dog regularly for knots and tangles, and always comb and brush after removing coats to prevent matting.

Shedding Control for Longer Coats

Shedding can be a significant concern for many dog owners.

A huge amount of excess fur after a de-shed
on a double coated Border Collie
While some dogs shed their fur all year round, others, such as double-coated breeds will often "blow" their coats, leading to tumbleweeds of fur rolling across the floorboards with the slightest breeze! (I can see you nodding your head.)

To manage shedding, it's important to regularly brush and comb your dog's coat. For long-haired breeds, using a slicker brush, undercoat rake, or a de-shedding tool in conjunction with a comb can effectively remove loose fur. This not only reduces shedding but also helps prevent matting and tangles.

Diet can also play a significant role in the shedding cycle. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients helps maintain your dog's coat health, reducing excessive shedding. 
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, can also improve coat condition and assist to reduce shedding.

By incorporating these shedding control measures into your grooming routine, you can help reduce the amount of fur your dog sheds throughout the house, making clean-up much more manageable.

As a groomer, I also advise that maintaining your dog's long coat during winter is very achievable and requires a combination of regular grooming, proper bathing techniques, and shedding control. By following these tips, you can keep your furry friend warm, fluffy, and huggable all season long.

Remember, your groomer is your partner in keeping your dog's coat healthy and beautiful. 

Regular grooming appointments, along with at home maintenance with quality products, are key to ensuring your dog's coat remains luscious and manageable throughout the winter months.

Written by Jackie Aarons from U GROOM, March 2024 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

Photography Credit: U GROOM Torquay

About our writer

Jackie Aarons has been a dog groomer for 16 years, having owned salons in the beautiful township of Hurstbridge (near Melbourne) and later in Torquay on Victoria's Surf Coast.

Her love for animals started as a young child growing up around dogs with her first family dog, a Labrador named Cobber. It was just a given that her life would be full with animals to love and nurture. 

Jackie with her Ragdoll Oishii and
Border Collie Sonny 
Being pet mum to 2 Border Collies and a Ragdoll Cat - all of them requiring regular grooming -  she understands the challenges of furry pet ownership. 
As a dog groomer, she's had the privilege of meeting countless dogs and the opportunity to witness the unique bond between dogs and their owners. 

It also became evident that there was a need for a grooming product that could simplify the grooming process for all breeds, irrespective of their coat types. After much research and many trials, she formulated a product that is not only safe and effective for our beloved pets but also for us humans. Manufactured in Melbourne using only the finest ingredients, this product line is proudly Australian owned and operated.

U GROOM's presence in grooming salons grows with products being used in competition grooming and on award-winning grooms. Their commitment to quality extends beyond the salon; it's about enhancing the bond between pets and their owners, making grooming a delightful experience for both.

Learn more about U GROOM on their website: or follow on Facebook: 
and Instagram: @ugroomau

 You can catch UGROOM at The Pet Show Melbourne (13-14 April 2024) and Adelaide.

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