As we kiss goodbye to a glorious summer and the days cool off, I want to share 6 tips for washing your dog in winter. Plenty of dogs (and their humans) don’t love bath time and as the weather cools down, it takes a little extra motivation to wash your dog. The fact is, just because the weather is cold it doesn’t mean that we should be skipping bath time. But I believe that life is short, so if we still need to take a regular bath in the winter, then let’s make sure we enjoy it!
1. Start Bathing Indoors
This tip is for the benefit of both the dog and his personal hygiene consultant (that’s you). In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 dogs barked that they didn’t enjoy standing on the icy lawn and being washed under a cold hose in the middle of winter. (The 10th dog was a Staffordshire who said he didn’t mind so much, as long as there was a ball involved). Times have changed. We share our beds with our dogs, so why not our baths and showers. Just be careful to help your dog in and out of the bath and always use a non-slip mat to avoid injuries.
2. Use Warm Water
Whether bathing outside or inside, you can always fill a bucket or the bath with warm water. Once again, this is more pleasant for both parties but be careful not to make it too warm. A good rule of thumb is to think of your dog like a human baby, use luke-warm water and test it on the inside of your wrist.
3. Dr Zoo Lick & Stay Treat Mat
OMG! These have revolutionised winter baths for us! Smear a delicious treat onto the Lick Mat, wack it on the bathtub, crank some tunes and actually enjoy giving your dog a bath while they are happily distracted!
4. Shake On Some Dry Shampoo
If an indoor bath just isn’t an option, then dry shampoo is a great alternative for soaking up dirt and oils in the coldest parts of the year. Beware! There are plenty of dry shampoo products for humans, you may even have some in the bathroom. Don’t be tempted to use these on your dog as some essential oils don’t suit animal skin. Dr Zoo makes a dry shampoo that is low irritant and it smells PAWSOME.
5. Shake it Off with a Shammy Towel
I would have never thought to use a shammy towel for drying my own dog. After all, what’s wrong with sharing my bath towel? (We share everything else.) Ok, so maybe that’s a bit gross but hey, don’t judge me. Either way, once I tried Dr Zoo’s Shammy Towel, I haven’t looked back. They dry your dog’s coat much faster than a regular towel. This means less chance of hypothermia for both of us if we’re drying off outside and less chance of water all over my bathroom if we’re drying off inside.
6. Professional Groomers and DIY Salons
I have lots of friends who wash their dogs at home in the summer and then head to a salon in the winter. If you’re using specific shampoo and conditioners such as Dr Zoo then a change in products can irritate the skin, especially if you’ve got a dog with itchy, sensitive skin. Make sure you take your usual products with you to avoid risking skin flare ups and rashes.
We love having our dogs all around us. We love them up on our couches and in our beds. And why not? They are part of the family. But even in winter, our dogs get into all kinds of nasty mischief and they still need to be bathed. Grooming is also an important time to check your dog’s skin for lumps and bumps and is a great chance to bond with them. So, don’t take winter as an excuse to get slack with bath time. Fetch a few of these tricks and make it a pleasant experience for everyone!
XO Dogtor Andy