Bathing your dog regularly is an essential element of dog care. And the need to keep your dog healthy and clean doesn’t stop during the winter.
Experts suggest that dog owners should bathe their pooch at least once every four to six weeks depending on the breed. Bathing helps protect your dog from infections and diseases.
Although abiding by this healthy practice is no big deal in summer (especially if your dog loves to play in the water), it’s quite challenging in winter. When the temperature drops, laziness, and chills get the better of our dogs just as it does for us.
As a result, keeping your dog clean may become the toughest task you’ve to accomplish.
So, here in this brief guide, we’ve brought you seven possible options for winter dog baths.
Most of the options provide an alternative to a traditional bath. However, some of them provide hacks you can implement in regular baths or showers.
Let’s check them all.
Warm up the bathwater
- Warm up the bathwater
- Try dry shampoo
- Give a towel bath
- Prepare an indoor bath
- Try a self-service dog wash
- Hire a professional groomer
- Take your dog for a walk before bathing
- Final thoughts on winter dog baths
Perhaps, the first and most obvious approach for a comfortable winter dog bath is to use warm water. If you prefer bathing your dog in a tub, fill it up with warm water.
Note that we do not mean lukewarm water. But warm. The temperature of the water should be approximately 98-104 °F or 37°C-40°C. You can check the temperature using a thermometer.
Since higher temperatures tend to increase heart rate, we recommend keeping the water temperature between 86-95°F or 30°C-35°C if you’ve recently taken your dog for a walk.
The same applies if your dog has had a lot of physical activity just ten minutes before the bath. You should also keep the temperature low if your dog has a bulky structure. Their body heat will also contribute to the overall heat generated.
Don’t forget to double-check the temperature using a nozzle. Spray some water from the prepared bathtub on your skin. If the water feels burning hot, you should give it some time to cool or add cold water.
Try dry shampoo
Dry shampooing refers to a waterless bath. In this mode of bathing, you will not be exposing your dog to any water.
You can pick a good waterless shampoo from this list of top ten. And most come in liquid or spray form. Some even come in powder form. Just apply the product to your dog’s coat following the instructions on the packaging. Then, brush the coat thoroughly.
Note that waterless shampoos are all chemicals. Although they are a great time-saver and option for a winter dog bath, we do not recommend repeated usage.
Give a towel bath
By towel bath, we refer to light cleaning. Wet your dog’s towel and use it to clean its ears, eyes, and nose. Gently rub the damp towel over the paws to clean them. You also can rub the wet towel over their coat. Do not apply any soap or shampoo.
Your dog will remain healthy and protected with a towel bath. And at the same time, your dog will be thankful to you for not pushing it into a shower on a cold day.
Prepare an indoor bath
Dog Corner identifies 45 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7°C) as a temperature that’s considered cold for dogs. If the temperature has dropped that low in your area, don’t continue with an outdoor bath. Instead, take your winter dog bath inside.
Prepare your bathtub or your kitchen sink if your dog is small. Arrange all supplies, including shampoo, soap, towel, grooming tools. We also recommend using a hairdryer after the bath.
Try a self-service dog wash
If you think you don’t have enough space at home or if you don’t want to clean up after a dog bath, take your dog to a self-service wash. Here you pay and get access to a fully-equipped washing space.
In case your dog has allergies or any other special needs, you can make particular requests. Although you may have to pay a bit extra, it’ll maximize comfort and convenience for your dog.
Hire a professional groomer
Or, you can use plan B. If you feel your dog is difficult to handle turn to a professional.
Professional groomers clean your dog from ears to tail thoroughly. Although it may cost more, and you may have to prepare your dog for the session, it will save you time and effort in the long run.
Take your dog for a walk before bathing
Physical activity increases the heart rate and raises your dog’s body temperature, making it more ready for a bath or shower. Walking your dog also will help tire it out, potentially making your pup calmer during its winter dog bath.
Final thoughts on winter dog baths
Summing up, dog winter baths may be difficult. But they aren’t impossible. With the right strategy, you can get your dog cleaned without much hassle. Good luck!