6 Tips to Wash your Dog in Winter

Keep your dog well-groomed and clean during winter with these top tips! 

Bathing your dog during the winter months is necessary, but it can be a health risk if you don’t take the proper care and precautions - particularly in the colder states of NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. 

By following these top tips, your dog will be the happiest, cleanest dog around. Happy bath-times!!

1. Keep wet dogs indoors

Rule number one for bathing your dog during the winter is to keep your dog indoors until they are completely dry. It is much more difficult for your dog to maintain a warm ambient body temperature when wet.

Therefore, letting your dog outside during the winter months greatly increases their risk of hypothermia. If your dog has a thick coat that dries slowly, you may want to consider using a blow dryer to help them dry faster.

When using a blow dryer,ensure it is set to the lowest temperature setting and hold it at least 18cm away from your dog to avoid burns.

2. Keep your home warm

Although you may be reluctant to continually run central heating in your home during the winter, it is important to keep your home warm during bath time. Again, cold temperatures increase the risk of hypothermia. So, be sure to turn up the heat an hour or so before bath time and keep it running until your pet is completely dry.

3. Keep the water warm

On the same note, keep the bath water warm too. Warm baths keep your pet comfortable during bath time and helps ensure they maintain a healthy, warm body temperature.

4. Bathe early in the day

Since your dog will need to stay indoors during the winter until their coat completely dries, bathe them first thing in the morning. This way, they can dry throughout the day and by the early evening, they may be ready for a walk outside.

5. Don’t forget to use a towel

While it’s practically impossible to stop your dog from doing ‘the shake’ after bath time, using a towel will speed up the rate at which they dry. A thick, absorbent towel is the perfect tool for soaking up water after bath time, enabling your pet to get outdoors and play much sooner. 

6. Consider dry shampoo and conditioner

If your dog sleeps in a kennel outdoors or is generally a lover of the outdoors, consider using dry shampoo to clean him during the winter months. Dry shampoo will remove the dirt buildup on your dog’s skin and will eliminate the ‘dirty dog’ scent that we so dislike.

Dr Ben Willcocks is a Veterinarian and contributor to the pet website Vetico - www.vetico.com.au

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