Wouldn't it be great if you never had to wash your dog in the winter? If you could somehow encase your pup in until spring to keep it looking pristine and smelling fresh, you probably would. Alas, winter can be a messy time of year, and pops up the question ”Can I bathe my dog in cold water in this chilly weather?”. With rain and melting snow creating puddles and mud, it's reasonable to assume that your pup will need at least one bath before spring arrives. Unfortunately, cleaning dogs during the winter isn't as simple as it is in the summer when you can just rinse them with a hose.
To make wintertime baths a little easier, we have compiled these 5 simple tips:
1. Take Your Dog for a Potty Break Before Its Bath
Exposing a wet dog to cold temperatures can put it at risk of hypothermia. Take your dog for a bathroom break before washing it. Another reason to take your pup out before its bath: It's not uncommon for a dog to suddenly get seemingly boundless energy and run like a shot out of a cannon (known as “the zoomies”) after it's washed. As you're probably aware, when a dog runs on a full bladder or stomach, it's likely to have an accident.
2. Create a Warm Environment
Before bathing dogs in winter, turn up the heat in your house by a degree or two. That way, your dog won't get chilled after its bath. Be sure that the water used for your dog's bath is nice and warm, as well.
3. Use the Right Type of Towel When Washing
While you may be tempted to use a regular bath towel to dry your pup, it's not a good idea. Those large towels can tangle your pet's hair and will get heavy and be hard to handle when wet. Instead, use a lightweight towel that has been created specifically for drying dogs and is preferred by many professional groomers.
The Absorberhas a sponge-like construction that will draw water away from your pet's fur, which will allow it to dry quicker than if you were to use an old bath towel. The Absorber also has a smooth surface, so it won't tangle your pet's fur. In addition, you can run The Absorber under warm water to create a heated towel for your pup.
4. Don't Use Human Shampoo
Can you bathe a dog in the winter using human shampoo? Probably not a good idea. Human shampoo is too acidic for dogs and can irritate their skin. If your pooch has sensitive skin, try using a moisturizing shampoo or just plain water to bathe your dog during the winter months.
5. Go to a Self-Serve Dog Wash
Winter dog grooming is not easy. For example, it can be just about impossible to get a large dog, such as a Great Dane, in and out of a bathtub or to fit comfortably inside a conventional shower stall. If you own a large dog, your best bet is to take it to a self-serve wash facility.
Most facilities have step-in baths, so your dog can get in and out by itself. Many of these also have tubs that are set at waist level. You won't have to bend over and strain your back while washing your pup. Even better, you won't have to mess up your tub or worry about dog hair clogging your drains. If you wonder how often you should bathe your dog in winter, then the answer is once a month.
Want another bonus to washing your dogs during the winter? Your house is bound to smell less like a dog to visitors if you keep your pets clean. Remember, bathing your dog doesn’t have to be cumbersome, follow the tips above and you can make it through winter with a clean and happy pup.
Have you ever wondered if you've adopted a Tasmanian devil instead of a puppy? Why your dog is being destructive? Have you returned home and found that your dog has destroyed your couch or dug a hole in your carpet? If the answer to these questions is yes, try not to get discouraged. Your fur child is probably not a bad dog. More than likely, it is just a bored canine that needs more mental stimulation and/or physical activity. It's especially important for young dogs and certain working breeds, such as border collies and hunting dogs, to burn off their excess energy and keep their minds engaged.
If your dog is exhibiting "bad" behavior, we suggest you do the following:
Walk and Run With Your Pup
One of the reasons for dogs' destructive behavior is not being able to engage in physical activity. A tired dog will spend most of its time sleeping rather than destroying your home, so try to begin each day with a good long walk or run. Although that might mean you'll have to set your alarm a half-hour to an hour earlier than you normally would, it will be worth it when returning home to a destruction-free zone.
Some more-active dogs will also require a midday walk. If your job is too far away for you to return home at lunch, consider hiring a service that can take your pet for an afternoon stroll.
Finally, try to end each day with another long walk. One caveat: If your pup's daily walk includes a splash through a pond or a lake, make sure to bathe your dog when returning home. Some bodies of water can contain blue-green algae, which can be toxic to dogs. It's also important to thoroughly towel-dry your dog if it gets wet or rained on during your walk. Damp fur can lead to skin infections and hot spots.
If you own a water-loving dog, such as a Labrador, you should invest in a towel designed specifically to dry canines, such as a Labrador, you should invest in a towel designed specifically to dry canines, such asThe Absorber. This towel can take in more water than a standard bath towel, which will speed your dog's drying time. Reach out toDog Lover’s Towelfor more information.
Provide Your Pet With Interactive Toys
The pet toy industry has been working hard to address the needs of your bored canine. Some of the interactive products it has created for dogs include puzzles that force a pup to paw and lift pegs to access hidden treats and rubber Kongs, which can be filled with treats and frozen. There are even pet cameras on the market that will allow you to talk with and dispense treats to your dog.
Imagine being a young child locked alone in a room day after day. You probably would go a little stir crazy, as well. If you have a job that requires you to spend long hours away from your home, consider taking your pet to a doggy daycare where it can run and play with other pups. The upfront cost for doggy daycare may be a bit higher than other options. That said, think of the money you'll save if your pup is too tired to chew your shoes or gnaw on the legs of your expensive dining room table.
Become a Regular at the Dog Park
Some active breeds may require more than an on-leash hike around the block. For these dogs, only a wild and crazy high-speed romp will do. Though as any pet owner knows, allowing a dog to run free can be a hazard to its health. A safer option is to take your high-energy pup to a dog park for regular exercise and socialization. Your dog is bound to be exhausted after rough-housing with its fellow canines.
Remember, most canines are eager to please their owners and would rather not be considered a "bad dog." These activities will give your fur baby the chance to succeed.
You've given your pup a good shampoo and scrub down, and now it's time to get fluffy — well, fluffy and dry. Did you know that there is an art to drying your furry friend? For example, some dogs with thick or double coats can develop nasty skin conditions if the fur near their skin remains damp for a lengthy period.
The following are the pros and cons of the four most popular ways to dry a dog after a bath:
"My Jack Russell Terrier stinks, even after a bath. We're talking destined-to-be-picked-on-by-the-classroom-bully stink. I bathe my dog every week and he still stinks (although it's now a combination of ""da funk"" and lavender. Why does my dog stink after a bath? Is there a special stink-removing dog soap I should be using? It just keeps getting worse!"
~Jake in Buffalo, New York
Oh, Jake…we feel for ya!
Few things are as frustrating as persistent dog odors that just won't go away. Imagine how ol' ""J.R."" feels hanging out at the dog park with his friends! That's why we found the solution for “J.R.” on why his dog smells so bad even after a bath.
Luckily, we have a bad news/good news situation. The reason why your dog stinks after a bath is likely…wait for it…the bathing.
When we bathe (humans and dogs alike), we strip natural oils from our skins. Those constant baths you're giving your dog are removing natural oils from their skin and coat, which signals their glands to secrete even more oils, and those oils are magnets for dirt, grime, and odor-inducing bacteria.
Stop The Stink
The simple solution to why dog stinks even after a bath is to cut down on dog baths. Most dogs can get by with just a few baths a year. You might want to try a different dog shampoo, too. Look for gentler, more natural dog shampoos…something less harsh and less likely to strip the skin's oils away. Some pet owners favor oatmeal dog shampoos. You can always ask a groomer for their professional opinion, and get a great recommendation to remove that smell from your puppy dog.
Properly Drying Your Dog After a Bath
Make sure youdry your dogafter bath time. Wet fur attracts dirt and grime, just like oily skin. Drying your pup with The Absorber towel will help keep those stinky smells at bay.
The marketing slogan "Calgon, take me away" was a smashing success in the 1980s, and it's easy to see why. There's just something magical about a good soak in the tub. Think about it: After a long week at the office or a grueling hike, isn't a long, hot soak in a bubble bath a decadent thought to you?
My dogs are getting antsy now that winter is here. It's dark and cold outside, so our doggie playdates have been put on hold until Spring. I take my pups outside for walks, but I'm afraid that's not enough to keep them from going stir crazy. Any ideas for cold-weather pet fun to keep my dogs from getting bored in winter? - Angela in Memphis, Tennessee
Keeping a dog from getting bored during the winter is no small feat. Cold weather can dampen your spirits for going outside, and those early sunsets make a night of Netflix on the couch really appealing.
Luckily, we've come up with five ideas to keep your dogs from going stir crazy until the Spring thaw arrives.
1. "Play Games, All Sorts"
That's more than just a line from Mary Poppins…games are a good way to entertain dogs during the cold, dark days of winter. A rousing round of hide-and-seek or fetch is sure to cure those doggy doldrums. Bonus: It's a chance to practice training your pooch to sit and stay.
2. Visit a Dog Park
Even when it's cold and gray outside, your dogs can enjoy a playful run at the dog park. While some dog parks close after dark, others remain open in the evening. Your dogs can still enjoy some outdoor play, no matter how much daylight we get.
3. Tricky Treats
Those treat-dispensing dog toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained for hours winter, spring, summer or fall. Simply insert your pup's favorite treat or dry food into the treat ball and watch as your furry friends try to solve the puzzle. You can find these at most neighborhood pet stores or online.
4. Hire a Dog Walker
Pets need love and exercise all year, regardless of the weather. If your work schedule keeps you away from the house for long periods of time, hire a dog walker to help your pets get exercise and TLC during the day. They'll love the attention, and you'll feel better knowing they're getting some playtime while you're at work. Just remember to show them a little love when you get home!
5. Schedule an Indoor Puppy Play Date
Okay, hear us out on this one. While the idea of a gaggle of dogs in your house may sound like a carpet-cleaning bill waiting to happen, inviting your doggie friends over gives your pups a chance to socialize and gives you an excuse for a game night with friends. What's not to love about that?
It gets pretty cold during winter up here in Michigan…does my dog need a winter coat? I know some buy sweaters for dogs, which I’ve always thought was a little silly. Is it safe to take my dog outside in winter without a coat? She’s a Shih Tzu, for what it’s worth.
- Christy in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Brrrr…those Michigan winters are no joke! We give you props for thinking about your dog’s safety in cold weather.
Here’s the skinny: There’s no easy-peasy answer to this one.
It depends on the temperature, it depends on the breed, it depends on the duration, it depends on the…you get the idea.
For most dogs, Mother Nature gives them the coat they need for winter weather. In fact, by buying a winter coat for a dog, you might be conditioning her body to rely too much on the jacket. Dogs’ bodies, like ours, respond to stimuli in our environment – including cold. Cold signals to a dog’s body that it’s time to grow that fur a little thicker.
There are caveats, of course. Shaved breeds have less natural protection against the cold. And even a thick, furry winter coat isn’t enough to safeguard against prolonged exposure to brutally cold temperatures. Never leave a dog outdoors in winter for a prolonged time without shelter.
Just because your dogcango outside in winter without a coat doesn’t mean shewillgo outside. Anybody who has stood on a snowy porch trying to coax and cajole a dog to step outside and go potty knows that all too well. Dogs are like us…most would rather be curled up with a snuggly down comforter than standing belly-deep in snow amid a swirling wind.
Here’s a pro tip: Don’t forgeta towel to dry your dogwhen she comes in from the snow. A dry dog is a happy dog…and a healthy dog!
My Shar-Pei, Audrey, is obsessed with rolling in damp towels. My pup loves rolling in wet towels I leave on the floor after a shower. Sometimes I even find my dog rolling in my laundry. Why does she do this?
- Maggie in Charlotte, North Carolina
That's a great question, Maggie. Although it might seem like odd behavior, it could actually have some simple explanations.
As every devoted dog owner and professional groomer knows, your pets are more than animals to you — they’re family. That’s exactly why you want to prepare for any emergency situations that could arise. What if you’re walking your dog and another animal attacks? How do you respond if a pet you’re grooming swallows a cleaning tool and starts choking? What supplies should you keep in a dog first-aid kit, and why? Knowing the answers to these questions can give you peace of mind that you’re prepared for the unexpected. They may also help you save an animal’s life when disaster strikes.
The Absorber Dog Lover’s Towel has just released their biggest towel in a brand new color. This towel, measuring 22 in x 43 in., is now available in Scarlett.
The Absorber® is made with your dog’s comfort in mind. You can rest easy knowing that when you use The Absorber to dry your dog, the task will be done quickly and efficiently. Our commitment to your dog’s comfort makes Dog Lover’s Towel the leader among super-absorbent towel suppliers for loving pet owners and professional groomers alike.
There's no more need to go through multiple towels, that’s because the Absorber’s natural sponge-like composition goes to work immediately pulling 50% more water out of each dog’s coat than regular cotton or microfiber towels.
Whether you are bathing your dogs at home or running a large doggy daycare, The Absorber will take the dread out of drying. The Absorber is available in 2 different sizes, 27 in. x 17 in. and 22 in. x 43 in., and 4 different colors, Aqua, Blue, Biscuit, and Scarlett. Purchase yours today!