Cold-weather dog bathing- a chilling thought

I sometimes hesitate before giving my dogs a bath on a cold day. I know how cold I feel after getting out of a warm shower, and I’m not all covered in fur so I can dry off pretty quickly and slide into some warm clothes.    But the truth is dogs get dirty and stinky and really need to be bathed if they are going to live indoors with you.  So, here are some tips to make the process of cold weather bathing less painful.


1.       Use a dry shampoo. It normally comes in a liquid spray form. Just spray it liberally all over your dog (Don’t saturate the coat though). You will still need to wash your dog eventually, but this will get you by  a few extra days.

2.       Take your dog to be groomed or to a self wash. These places will usually be heated and have all of the supplies you will need to wash and dry your dog. 

3.       So if you still want to DIY, then first before you even get started, turn on the heater.  This way, when your dog gets out of the bath, it won’t be so cold.

4.       While your house is getting toasty, brush your dog to remove mats and tangles. When mats get wet and dry, they actually become worse.

5.       It’s best if you have a hand held shower head so you have control over the water flow. Rinse your dog in in warm water.

6.       Liberally apply the appropriate shampoo.

·         If your dog has dry itchy skin, use an oatmeal shampoo.

·         If you dog hates bathes, use a combined shampoo & conditioner to minimize time in bath

·         If your dog is really dirty or smelly, use an exfoliating shampoo with a long lasting scent.

·         If your dog has a long coat that tends to matte and tangle, use a deep conditioner

7.       Rinse your dog, making sure to remove all shampoo from your dog’s coat.

8.       Let dog shake while still in tub, then with an absorbent towel dry off your dog.

9.       I realize this might now be for everyone, but I have robes for my dogs that I put them in after their bath. So they can dry off a little before I start to dry them.  (guys are probably gagging right now, sorry, you can skip this step!)

10.   If you have a long coated dog, spray in a leave in conditioner, so when you brush your dog the hair doesn’t break

11.   Turn the hair dryer to a low setting. My dog barks at the hair dryer which makes it challenging. Do your best. Make sure your dog is 100% dry before they go outside.

12. If your dog is prone to ear infections, use an ear cleanser immediately after the bath to help prevent infections.

13.   Enjoy your fresh smelling dog!

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