We may be counting down until the calendar switches from winter to spring–but in many locations, warm weather lags far behind that switch of seasons. We usually bathe Irie and Tiki outdoors but, during the winter months, that bathing routine has to switch up a bit unless the temperatures rise into the mid-80s where we feel comfortable giving them an outdoor bath.
While your dog might be getting as dirty during the winter as in the summer months (when they’re more likely to get dirty with a muddy swim), it’s still important to keep up a dog bathing routine to help keep your dog smelling fresh, to help prevent fleas, to prevent matting, and to notice any lumps and bumps that his thick winter coat may be hiding.
- DIY Indoor Baths: Indoor baths are difficult for our big dogs (who don’t like to get in the bathtub) but it’s much easier with a small dog. Be prepared with plenty of fluffy towels, a good dose of patience and good humor, and a hair dryer. Time your dog’s bath early in the day after your dog’s morning walk (to burn off some of that energy) and potty break, giving him time to dry before he heads back outdoors. Turn up the thermostat a degree or two. After the bath, towel your dog thoroughly. If he’ll allow you to blow dry his fur, turn the dryer on a low setting with low to medium heat, keeping the dryer moving so you don’t cause discomfort.
- Dry Shampoo: Dry dog shampoo couldn’t be easier to use: just sprinkle it on your dog’s coat and brush it out. In the process, it helps to lift out dander, dirt, and oil.
- Groomer: Even dog lovers who handle their dog’s baths during the summer months might want to pamper your dog (and you!) with a professional shampoo during the winter. A groomer will be able to thoroughly wash your dog and dry him before leaving the store. Ask your groomer about a moisturizing shampoo; like with our own hair, cold weather can cause your dog’s coat to become dry.
- In-home dog groomer: Many dogs (and dog owners) would be more comfortable having the dog grooming done in their home–plus you don’t have to get out in the winter weather to get to the groomer! Talk with local dog lovers about mobile dog groomers who can wash your dog in the comfort of your own home.
- Self-service dog washes: At a self-service dog wash facility, you can rent a room 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 isn’t quite as easy to use as dry shampoo but it 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, allow the waterless shampoo to dry, and then brush again.
A winter dog bath will help keep your dog’s coat – and your home – clean during these last weeks of winter. Even if the weather outside is frightful, your dog’s coat can be delightful with just a few minutes spent on a winter bath.
Photo: DepositPhotos, Antonio Gravante