Dog care, tips for spring cleaning

By Paula Townsend

Editor’s note: Townsend is the manager of Kedron Valley Boarding in Woodstock.

At Kedron Valley Boarding, grooming and Daycare in Woodstock, we’re here to help ensure your dog’s physical and mental health all winter long.

 Just like people, animals need physical and mental activity, and good hygiene to look and feel their best.  Keeping up with your furry friend’s grooming needs along with healthy socialization and enrichment activities is always a challenge and winter poses even greater obstacles.  Kedron Valley Boarding, Grooming and Daycare is here to help and it all starts with offering free evaluations for both their Pop-in Daycare Program and Grooming.  

 Let’s start with hygiene. There is a bit of a misconception that we can relax our grooming regimen in the winter to allow our dog’s winter coat to get longer, thicker… warmer.  Dogs do benefit from a long and/or thicker coat in the winter but maintaining it can become challenging for pet parents as it often requires daily maintenance to prevent matting.  Matting occurs when the undercoat tangles and knots, pulling on the skin causing skin irritation and in severe cases can even cut off circulation.  Longer hair may appear normal while the matting beneath becomes so tight and widespread that when assessing your pet’s fur, the matt itself can be mistaken as skin.  Brushing out mats is painful for your pet and should never be done with scissors as getting beneath the mat may be hard and identifying skin difficult.  Doing so often results in cutting the skin and a trip to the veterinarian for stitches. Brushing the mats out may cause your dog too much pain and the only alternative would be to clip them out with clippers at skin level.  Minor matting in small areas can be brushed out or trimmed if necessary while maintaining the length of the remainder of the coat but this time of year, it is not uncommon for groomers to have to remove matting in large patches — a process called pelting. Regular bathing by a groomer and at-home brushing routines that address your pet’s entire body with the correct brushing tool for your dog’s type of coat is the best prevention.  Other helpful hints are making sure your dogs are dried completely after they get wet, that feet are trimmed short and collars removed overnight to reduce the risk of moisture buildup, hair loss and matting beneath the collar.  

Our groomer, Mary Bovaconti, is noticing an increase of matted dogs coming in recently so we would like to offer a brief, free evaluation when Mary will assess your dog’s grooming needs with you so you understand your dog’s coat type and what your dog requires for the healthiest coat possible.  Should you choose to bring your pet for grooming, after Mary grooms your dog and has an even better idea of what you are working with for their coat condition and pup’s temperament and tolerance of the process, she can then go over tools and practices you can do at home between grooming and a maintenance schedule to reduce the risk of needing to clip matts down the road.  If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please call or email us.  You may expedite the process by logging in to our website at and click on the Customer Portal tab to create your personalized profiles for you and your pets. 

With colder temperatures, slippery conditions and shorter days, dog parents increasingly report high energy, difficulty redirecting, and poor behavior – basically, Cabin Fever sometimes lasting well past your bedtime.  Keeping up with both physical and mental activity are important for our pet’s overall health. Reduced activity in the winter can also cause weight gain which can contribute to illness and injury.  With Covid-19, many dogs have had minimal or reduced socialization both with people and other dogs which contributes to fear, aggression or simply undesirable behaviors both at home and when out in public.   

Kedron Valley Boarding, Grooming and Daycare has two daycare programs. Last fall, we eliminated our waiting list by creating the Pop-in Daycare Program.  To ensure we have room at our facility to meet the boarding needs of our community, we announce our availability on Fridays  of open daycare spaces for the upcoming week.  The Pop-in Daycare dogs may fill these slots on a first come, first served basis.  Our amazing groups of pups spend several hours in the morning and afternoon enjoying supervised play in our three outdoor play yards alternating with indoor play when weather requires.  

Activities include ball play, tug of war, Frisbee, chase, pool time in the summer, and special holiday events. During quiet time from noon to 2 p.m. the pups recharge and take a nap.  If they need extra mental stimulation, for a small fee, we offer frozen Kong treats during our break time.  We offer full- or half-day daycare options to meet your needs or budget.  

Public dog parks can be a great way to consume energy, but daycare offers many advantages dog parks cannot. Daycare programs like ours evaluate newcomers’ behaviors and cues before any social interaction occurs. Our regular dogs are vetted for safety, play styles, and set the standard for the yard. Pop-in clients, especially those with younger puppies, benefit from learning how to properly interact with other dogs, ask for play, and create healthy relationships. Daycare is a highly supervised environment which minimizes the risks posed at unknown dog parks.

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please call or email us.  You may expedite the process by logging in to our website at and click on the customer portal tab to create your personalized profiles for you and your pets.

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