Winter Dog Baths: 7 Ways to Clean Your Dog During Cold Weather

Time for a dog bath? Hmm…if you’re like us and dog baths are usually an outdoor activity, it’s time for Plan B. Even here in central Texas, most days are way too chilly for a dog bath so we’re getting creative with the bath options.

It’s important to keep up a grooming routine even during the winter months not only to help keep your dog smelling fresh but also to help prevent fleas, prevent matting, and notice any lumps and bumps that your dog’s winter coat might hide.

If you usually opt for an outdoor dog bath, here are seven options for a winter dog bath:

Groomer: Even DIYers like us may want to book a professional grooming session during the winter. Be sure to ask your groomer to use a moisturizing shampoo since, like with our own hair, cold weather can cause your dog’s coat to become dry.

In-home dog groomer: If your dog is more comfortable being groomed at  home (and you want to avoid tackling winter weather to get to the groomer), look into mobile dog groomers who can wash your dog in the comfort of your own home or in a mobile unit they bring to your house.

DIY: Whether you’re bathing a small dog in the sink or a large canine in the shower stall, you can opt for an indoor dog bath. Spend some time in advance assembling fluffy towels, a good dose of patience and good humor, and possibly a hair dryer. Plan the bath for after your dog’s morning walk and potty break, giving him plenty of time to dry before it’s time to step outside again. Turn up the thermostat a degree or two and, after the bath, towel dry your dog thoroughly. If he’ll allow you to blow dry his fur, be sure to turn the dryer on a low setting with low to medium heat, keeping the dryer moving at all times.

Self-service dog washes: Rent a room at a self-service dog wash with all the tools you need for a dog bath: a special deep sink, dog stairs, aprons, shampoos, towels, and dryers. Another big benefit: no cleanup!

Waterless Shampoo: Waterless shampoo can help lift out oils and dirt without the need for a rinse. Waterless shampoo is liquid; it sprays onto your dog’s coat. You’ll work the shampoo (often a foam) down into the fur either with your hands or by brushing. Towel your dog; after the waterless shampoo dries,  brush again.

Conditioning Sprays: Check out leave-in conditioning sprays to freshen your dog’s coat between baths. Like the name suggests, you spray the conditioner on your dog’s fur then leave it in to both condition the fur and skin (especially important during this cold weather) and to leave your dog smelling wonderful. Lucy Pet Products has a great line of leave-in conditioning sprays in scents that range from coconut to lavender. All products (made in the USA) are made with NO parabens, sulfates, phosphates or other harsh chemical ingredients, and all are cruelty free.

Dry Shampoo: Dry dog shampoo sprinkles on to lift out dander, dirt, and oil. Sprinkle on, work the dry shampoo into your dog’s coat, and finally brush out  the powder and accompanying dirt!

Lucy Pet Products is a DogTipper sponsor; as always, we only share products that we believe in and believe you’ll enjoy as well!

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • Shelly Marie

    Thanks for the tips!

    • You are welcome, Shelly…I’m about to put one of them to use today and give Irie a bath!

      • Shelly Marie

        Bella is usually groomed but there are just hose times when she really needs a bath in between!

        • Shelly Marie


  • Cheryl Aisoff

    We generally bathe at night after last trip out. That way she gets dried with dryer and damp areas fully dry. Actually posting to ask about the tub sprayer above? Most attach to shower and I want one for lower tub area, clue me in?