matted dog hair

Long-haired dogs are prone to matting in the winter time

Many dog owners wonder: Do I really need to groom my long-haired dog in the winter? Often, they think they should keep their dog’s hair long to ensure their dog stays warm during the cold weather months, but long hair on dogs is prone to getting matted when the weather is cold and wet.

On the other hand, once the dog’s hair is matted, dog owners are afraid to bring their dog in for grooming because they think his hair will be cut too short and then he will be unprotected from the cold.

Many long-haired dogs brought into Georjeans for grooming in January and February are so matted that there is no humane alternative to shaving. This makes everyone — owner, dog and the groomer too — unhappy. We sure don’t want to put a groom on your dog that you won’t like! And, we don’t want you leaving here unhappy and telling the next groomer you see that we are the groomers who “scalped” your dog.

Even though you may be tempted to skip your dog’s regular grooming in the winter, the fact is that dogs with long hair require more frequent grooming in the winter time to keep their coat clean and free of mats and tangles.

Why does it matter if the longer coat gets matted?

Matted coats don’t insulate your dog well. They create gaps in the coat that go all the way to the skin, letting plenty of cold air get to the dog, especially around the joints, underchest, throat and ears — the exact places that need the most insulation in the wintertime.

Matted hair also takes much longer to dry, so you may unwittingly put your dog outside with a damp coat without realizing he needs more time for his coat to dry completely — again subjecting your dog to the very cold you wanted to protect him from. Unfortunately, too, the heated air inside our homes really dries out your dog’s hair, accelerating the matting process further.

Winter Dog Grooming Options

well groomed schnauzer

After Grooming

To keep a dog’s coat longer in the winter, she needs to come in more frequently. “Oh no,” you say, “but it’s right after the holidays and money’s tight, how can we come in more often?”

The secret is that you bring your dog in for just a bath, brush out and blow dry for one groom in the winter — the one you would usually skip — at a significantly reduced rate from a full groom.

Georjeans’ professional shampoos and conditioners help smooth out your dog’s hair, slowing or preventing mats forming before your dog’s next haircut. Blowing out the conditioned hair removes a lot of tangles without brushing out, making the experience more pleasant for your dog. Finally, we use brushes and techniques that are meant to protect the coat from more breakage.


Leslie Shriner is the owner of Georjeans Dog Grooming in Warrenton, Virginia. To schedule your next winter-time dog grooming, call Georjeans today: (540) 341-7699.