How To Get Snowballs Out Of Your Dog's Fur

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

Ruh-roh. It’s all fun and games in the snow until your best fur friend ends up with snowballs all over their fur. Not only can this be annoying for you as you end up with soggy floors, it can be just as annoying (and even painful) for your dog. No worries; if your pup’s fur is bested by Old Man Winter, there are several things you can do to get snowballs out of dog fur. Here are some of our favorites, tried and true.

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Dogs who love snow really love snow. They run and romp and are about the most adorable things ever.

But, the downside of winter fun for your best bud is snow and ice balls getting matted in their fur. It’s weird; you’d think that something as simple as snow would be easy just to brush off, but that’s not always the case. Especially for some of our favorite and hairier breeds like Goldens or German Shepherds, snow in dog fur can be a hot mess. 

Not only can it be messy, it can also be pretty painful for your dog. If the snow is dirty or contaminated with chemicals, it could lead to skin irritation or other health issues if it gets all matted in their fur.

Still, so many dogs love playing in the snow (and we love playing with and taking pictures of them); it’s important to have a plan for getting snowballs out of dog fur before you get outside and your dog has to deal with it.

Here are some tried and true ways to get snowballs out of dog fur.

Begin With Brushing or Combing

This is typically a dog pawrent’s first line of attack when it comes to getting snowballs or ice out of dog fur. A lot of the success with brushing your dog’s fur with snowballs will depend on the type of fur. Some shorter-haired breeds are easier, and they don’t have quite as many snowballs in fur to begin with. A nice, gentle brush with a rubber brush or even a curry comb can be just what the ice doctor called for. Start by using your hands to gently shake their coat and break up snowballs as you can. If you have a dog with longer fur, that may not be as easy, and you’ll want to be careful because snow/ice can be pretty tenacious and make the matting and tangling even worse. If that’s the case, it can be a lot of pain for your dog, so be gentle and patient when brushing.

If you’re using a comb or brush, start at the end of their fur and work your way back toward their skin. Pulling at the mats can hurt, but this will help get rid of any tangles or mats that happened in their wet fur. 

You could also a slicker brush to help if at there are lots of mats and tangles. It has fine wire bristles that can untangle, but the wire bristles can be tough, so be sure to be gentle and don’t pull or tug. 

Wipe With Warm Cloths or Towels

Snowballs in a dog’s fur are just frozen water balls that are matted. The antidote to frozen problems is heat. After a fun romp in a winter wonderland, warm cloths or towels wrapped around fur with snowball mats can feel like heaven to your best bud. Similar to how good a warm shower feels to you, warm cloths can feel like a spa treatment for your dog, while also helping melt the snowballs in dog fur in a gentle way. This will also take some patience, so be prepared for that. An easy way to warm cloths or towels is to run them through your clothes dryer for a few minutes.

Apply Higher Heat

On that same note, consider using a hair dryer to melt the snowballs before you attempt to brush your dog’s fur out. Be sure that you use a low setting, as you’re basically heating their skin as well as their fur, and be mindful of how your dog feels with the noise. Some dogs with snowballs in fur don’t love the noise of a hair dryer, and that’s why warm cloths or towels work better. Still, if your dog is okay with the noise of a hairdryer, using one is a fast, easy way to melt every snowball in a dog’s fur away with little else needed but a nice brush down.

You may be in a situation where you don’t have access to  a hair dryer or a way to warm cloths or towels. If that’s the case, you could always use your own body heat to melt snowballs in your dog’s fur. Hold them close and wrap yourself around him to allow the body heat to melt the snowballs. If you have a towel or blanket, you can wrap it around your dog and allow body heat to help melt the snowballs. 

Try a Trend!

There’s a TikTok trend that dog parents are loving when it comes to getting snowballs out of a dog’s fur. It uses a whisk (yes, a kitchen whisk!) and seems to be a super success for breeds with longer hair. Check out this video of an adorable little Pomeranian getting the ‘Whisk Treatment’ and kissing all those snowballs goodbye!

No matter what way you get snowballs out of a dog’s fur, one of the best things you can do is be preventive. Consider making sure your dog’s regularly groomed during the winter and that hair lengths are not excessively long. Also consider boots if your dog is going out for play, and make sure their paws and pawpads are moisturized with a good conditioner or wax. An ounce of prevention goes a long way, and can make every snowy day a great one.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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