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HomeFarming News10 top tips for bathing your dog
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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10 top tips for bathing your dog

Bathing Your Dog

Being so close to the Christmas holiday season, winter always draws families together.

With our canine friends being a family favourite, pampering your dog is crucial throughout the chilly months.

So, Martin Smith and his team of specialists at have, therefore, revealed the best advice for bathing your dog at home this winter.

To achieve this, they looked into a range of online tips and tricks, identifying the ten most crucial procedures for keeping your dog clean and warm after a messy day out.

  1. Turn up the heat in your home

Your home’s heating needs to be increased before bathing your pet.

The potential of catching hypothermia is the main worry while bathing your dog in the winter, and the warmer your home is, the less probable it is that your dog will become chilled.

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  1. Morning baths are the best

It is recommended to bathe your dog in the morning in winter, so they can dry off in the afternoon when the sun has reached its warmest.

This prevents them from having a wet coat in the evening when it is typically colder.

  1. Pay close attention to your dog’s paws

Examining your dog’s claws frequently is more important because in the winter, as your pet is not as active, you may notice that their nails seem to grow longer.

Long nails make it difficult for dogs to retain a firm hold in the bath, which can lead to them falling over.

  1. Brushing your dog before and after the bath 

Your dog’s fur should be brushed both before and after washing. All dog breeds shed occasionally, so it is advisable to remove any extra dead hair before shampooing.

Before bathing, brushing your pet’s hair will help remove any matting and tangles, making the process simpler and more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

  1. Cotton balls are perfect for dog’s ears

Dogs dislike getting water in their ears; therefore, they may shake off mid-bath in an effort to get the water out.

This can be avoided by inserting a little cotton ball into your pet’s ears during bathing, making the experience more relaxing for your dog.

  1. Make sure the temperature is slightly below 37°C 

Firstly, it is not recommended to give your dog a cold bath as it is bad for their health.

It is best to slightly warm the water in winter; this way, they will be comfortable, feel relaxed and enjoy their bath.

It is crucial to be careful with the water temperature and ensure it is 37°C / 98.6°F or slightly lower to avoid burning them, especially with puppies and elderly dogs, as water that is excessively hot can strain your pet’s heart.

  1. Avoid getting water in their nose

Firstly, it is essential to gently mist your dog’s face but keep water away from the nostrils.

The best technique is to tilt the head up while paying great attention to the nose.

If there is too much water inside the nostrils, the risk of choking increases.

  1. A good dog shampoo matters

Although it is not necessary, it is important to select the best dog shampoo for your particular breed to avoid allergies and skin disorders.

To lower the risk of an allergic response, the RSPCA advises trying a small amount of shampoo on your dog first to test if there is any reaction.

  1. Rinse and Repeat

Bathing your dog does not have to be a drawn-out process.

Rinsing your dog off fast but thoroughly is important to prevent leftover suds which can irritate your dog’s skin.

Rinsing quickly also means that your dog spends less time exposed to the chilly air.

  1. Drying your dog

After you have finished bathing your dog, blow-dry them with a hairdryer set to the lowest heat setting.

The dog’s coat will be warmed and fluffed, keeping them comfortable as they dry.

Holding the dog in place with one hand, move the blow dryer back and forth over the body while keeping the nozzle at least six inches away to avoid burns.


During winter, it is essential that dogs are bathed in the safest and most comfortable way.

A warm bath can create a favourable affiliation towards water and the bathtub.

It also allows those frosty morning baths to become a lot easier for the dog and more manageable for the owner.

Ensuring great care is taken with the temperature, monthly baths can be great as they encourage dogs to produce their distinctive scent, which they use to communicate with other animals, and lowers their risk of getting a chill.

Other articles on That’s Farming:

Vet: ‘Any change in appetite or temperament while your dog is in heat is perfectly normal’

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