“It’s a dog, it’ll be fine.”
It’s a phrase people chant at you whenever you express your concern over your dog sitting outside in the cold or rain. You know deep down that your dog will be okay, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you see those big, sad eyes looking up at you from the cold outdoors.
But what about washing them? Is it okay to leave a soaking wet dog outside in winter when it’s cold?
Essentially, it’s not good for your dog’s health to be soaking wet and cold for a long period of time. It can bring their core body temperature down and leave them at risk of skin infections or hypothermia – particularly for long-haired pooches that can take a while to dry.
Five pet grooming tips when washing your dog in winter:
1/ Use a waterless dry natural dog shampoo
A waterless shampoo will allow you to keep your pup’s coat clean, healthy and smelling yummy without actually having to bathe them. Check out Houndztooth’s Frankie & Felix’s Blend No.5 Waterless Shampoo for Cats and Dogs, which uses a manuka honey oatmeal blend along with plant-based ingredients to keep your dog’s coat beautiful without the water. Simply work the shampoo into the dog’s coat and towel dry to lift excess dirt and remove any moisture. We also recommend using either Stella’s Blend, Hugo’s Blend or Charlie’s Blend Conditioning & Deodorising Sprays between washes, which helps to keep the coat and skin moisturised and less smelly.
2/ If you want to use water, make sure it’s warm
If you decide to go for a water bath, heat up the water! Your dog is happy to jump into a lake full of icy cold water, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like warm and relaxing water, too. Warm water will also help them keep their body at the right temperature when drying. After using a shampoo from our grooming range, follow up with either the Stella’s Blend, Hugo’s Blend or Charlie’s Blend Conditioning & Deodorising Sprays to help keep skin healthy and avoid it drying out in winter.
3/ Dry your dog with a towel
The beauty about drying your pup with a towel is that it obviously soaks up a lot of the excess water, but it’s also a good opportunity to give your fur baby a bit of a massage while rubbing it down.
4/ Keep your dog inside
After washing and towel-drying your hound, keep them inside on cold days until they are completely dry. If your dog is anything like ours, they’ll do ‘zoomies’ or ‘hoonies’ around the house, trying to dry themselves off. It might be best to restrain or contain them to one area of the house so they don’t knock your favourite treasure off the mantelpiece! Ideally, it would be good to use a blow dryer, but not all dogs are fans of hairdryers and they should only be used on the lowest settings to avoid burning your best friend.
5/ Wash your dog earlier in the day or before a walk
If it’s going to take a while for your dog to dry, wash it earlier in the day so that by the time nightfall comes around, it’s dry and not going to try and sleep in a wet coat. Otherwise, wash them before a walk or run at the park so they can use all that excess energy and dry themselves off while running around.