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 outdoor winter dog baths so we’re getting creative with the bath options.
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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.
How to Wash a Dog in Winter
If you usually opt for an outdoor dog bath, here are seven options for a winter dog bath:
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.
Many in-home groomers travel in a mobile unit they bring to your house. (Bonus: no cleanup in your tub!)
DIY Winter Baths
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 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.
Another great option is GROOM Bathing Tablets; this tablet dissolves in water and you pour the water solution over your dog. There’s no suds, no rinsing so the bath is quick and easy. (See our GROOM review)
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.
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!