The chills outside may say winter—but the list of reasons for bathing your dog during the cold weather is just as long as it is during the summer. 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.
If you’re going to do it yourself, giving a bath during the cold months requires a few special precautions to keep them comfortable. Here are eight steps
1. Buy Shampoo & Other Supplies
Use a dog-specific shampoo to prevent soap suds stinging their eyes. Because colder weather often brings on incidences of dry skin, you may want to try an oatmeal shampoo to help combat the flakiness. Have a non-stick bath mat handy for the tub, to keep them from slipping and sliding too much. Also, have cotton balls ready to gently place in their ears to block water out.
2. Don’t Forget To Brush
This step can easily get overlooked. Before bath time, prep your pup by giving them a thorough brushing to get rid of tangles and excess hair.
3. Get Situated
Consistency is critical when it comes to keeping your pet calm. Bathing can be uncomfortable, so having a place they are familiar with will ease their fears or at least let them know what to expect. A lick pad is a great way to get your pup to sit still during a bath. Just stick the pad to the side and add peanut butter to it. This combo is sure to keep your pup distracted and entertained, so you can focus on cleaning.
4. Gather Before You Lather
Once your pup is wet, you’ll have your hands full so having everything you need nearby is necessary. Set aside a clean towel, cup for rinsing and treats for afterward. Never leave a dog unattended in the tub, and if you’re outside, make sure your dog is contained or on a leash.
5. Water Temp Matters
“Can I bathe my dog in cold water?” is a common question. Lukewarm to slightly warm water is ideal. Never use scalding hot water as it can burn your dog’s skin. Not too hot, not too cold.
6. Bottom To Top, Head to Tail
Lightly lather the soap in a circular motion paying particular attention to their paws and other places prone to dirt. Start with their feet and work your way up to their face last. This will stop soap from dripping into their eyes and ears as well as cut down on shaking. Rinse starting from the head and work your way down until the stream is clear. This helps the shampoo wash down and away from their sensitive spots.
7. Warm Towel Or Blow Dry
Covering your pup in a warm towel retains heat and also lessens the chances of them shaking water all over you (and your house). If it’s cold, or your dog has long hair that takes longer to dry, you might consider using a dog blow dryer to speed up the process.
8. Make It Fun!
Make bathing enjoyable! Bathing can be a bonding experience for both you and your dog. Take puppy steps introducing them to water and working up to a full bath. Be patient and be gentle. If your dog senses you are stressed out they will be too. Make sure you reward with treats and show lots of love and affection.
Bonus Tip: Adapt to the animal’s lifestyle
If you have a dog that lives outside, you can still give them a good cleaning, even when it is too cold to bathe a dog outdoors. You can use Aroma Tree Dry Bath Cleansing Shampoo to avoid getting your pet wet. Occasionally cleaning your pup with dry shampoo is a great idea, as it eliminates the need for a wet bath and cleans away dirt; oil and sebum build up from the skin and hair. It is also frequently used to clean dirty paws.
However you choose to bathe your dog, a dog bath will help keep your dog’s coat – and your home – clean this 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. Keep your canine companions clean and healthy.