This study aimed at investigating risk factors for new intramammary infections (IMI) during the dry period in untreated cows from herds using selective dry cow antibiotic therapy (DCT). A total of 980 uninfected quarters in 347 untreated cows from 28 herds using selective DCT were included in a prospective survey. A herd-level questionnaire and an individual cow-level recording sheet were implemented to collect data on putative risk factors. Quarter milk samples were taken at drying-off and on day 3 after calving to assess the occurrence of new IMI during the dry period. A multivariate model including a herd effect as random and a cow effect as repeated was run at the quarter level. Interactions between risk factors and the cow infection status at drying-off (cow infected in at least one quarter v. uninfected) were checked. Three risk factors were found significantly associated with the risk for new IMI without interaction (P < 0.05): cows infected in at least one quarter at drying-off (v. uninfected cows) (relative risks (RR) = 1.58); long preceding lactation (>355 days v. shorter length) (RR = 1.62); long dry period (>65 days v. shorter length) (RR = 1.46). One risk factor acted only in interaction with the cow infection status at drying-off: in cows uninfected at drying-off, the risk for new IMI was significantly higher in cows with short teats (RR = 1.21) when compared with cows with long or normal teats, while the reverse relationship was observed in cows infected at drying-off. Risk factors can be translated in recommendations, for instance to have dry periods not longer than 2 months. Moreover, as suggested by our results, the efficacy of selective DCT towards the prevention of new IMI would be improved if all infected cows were detected and treated. Criteria to accurately identify these infected cows should be therefore further investigated.