How To Keep Your Dog Clean This Winter
Cozy sweaters, snowy mornings, evenings nestled up by the fire—there are so many things to love about wintertime. But dirty dogs aren’t one of them! Despite the delights that cool weather brings, it can be tough to keep your canine clean amidst all the mud puddles, icy sidewalks and slushy snow outside. Fortunately, we have some tips to keep your pup pristine while walking in a winter wonderland.
Pick your course carefully
Though it may be challenging after snow or rainfall, try to walk in areas where the ground is as dry as possible (think sidewalks and pavements versus grassy terrain) to keep your pooch free of mud, dirt, rain and snow. But beware of the sidewalk ledge: Walk too close to it, and your pup runs the risk of getting splashed by passing cars! Instead, stick to the side closest to buildings and houses.
If your lucky dog has their own yard to frolic in—rather than needing to brave the elements for a winter walk—try to shovel out a space for them to do their business where they don’t have to walk through snow.
If you get all bundled up in your coziest coat and waterproof boots to venture out into frigid temps, your dog should too! Toss on a doggy coat and aww-dorable hat to keep them insulated from chilly weather. Our Pom Pom Hat features a water-resistant lining so your pup’s head stays dry, and our Deluxe Puffer Coat features a water-resistant shell, micro-fleece lining and rib-knit trim to protect them from the elements. (Even better: You can add on the Attachable Coat Leggings for a full rain or snowsuit!)
It’s also a smart idea to dress your dog in boots so their feet stay dry and warm and their paws stay protected on your winter outings. Walkee Paws Outdoor Boot Leggings not only come with waterproof rubber boots (paw-fect for keeping feet clean and dry), but also have water-resistant legging fabric that prevents your dog’s fur from attracting icy snowballs.
Keep cleaning supplies handy
Prior to heading out for a walk, make sure you have plenty of hypoallergenic bath wipes or microfiber cloths stashed right by the front door. This way, you can wipe down your dog’s paws and coat before they bring the cold-weather yuck indoors. Don’t forget to wipe under their chest and belly (especially if you have a low-rider): It’s a prime location for mud and slush!
Not only does this keep mud and dirt from entering your home, but it also prevents any potential winter irritants—such as salt and harmful snowmelt chemicals—from drying out your dog’s paws and causing them to crack.
Get to groomin’
While a quick wipedown does wonders after each cold-weather stroll, try to give your pup a full-service cleaning once a month to more thoroughly remove dirt, allergens and winter irritants. Be sure to bathe them using an all-natural, just-for-dogs shampoo with hydrating ingredients, or consider using dry shampoo or waterless cleaning mitts if your furry friend hates water.
Whatever option you choose, try to avoid bathing them too often, or else you risk drying out their sensitive skin. One thing you can do every day though? Give their fur a thorough brushing! Not only does this help produce natural oils that keep their skin hydrated, but it also prevents pesky snowballs and ice from matting their fur. And because many dogs shed their lightweight summer coats in winter to help their cold-weather coats come in, brushing them will also help minimize some of the shedding your dog does during winter months.
Speaking of coats: If you have a long-haired pup, you can also clip the fur between Fido’s toes so they don’t get matted with snow, ice and mud. And make sure to trim their nails regularly—since many dogs often take shorter walks in winter, they don’t have as much of an opportunity to naturally file them down on concrete and pavement.