Everybody knows how to wash a dog, right? No hard feelings, though you’re doing a good job already, these tips can make your work easier, faster or last longer.
Every now and then, Veterinary dermatologists are changing the grooming rules. The rule which currently prevails is that weekly bathing isn’t a bad idea at all.
Forget the old rule which states that washing wipes out the oils from the coat so it should be done only every six months or, perhaps, even less.
There are two major things to consider when washing your dogs is how often and how to go about it.
The short answer for the first question – ‘Not too often.’ Sure, dog’s coat needs its natural oils to remain soft and silky and to keep from getting brittle or damaged. But, use your head.
A good rule of thumb is to wash your dog when he is noticeably smelly, stinky or has skin allergies or a minor skin infection.
Recent researches suggest that there are benefits for most of the dogs when we increase the bathing frequency.
The benefits include reduction of allergies, the scratching, and itching that drives everyone crazy and skin infections (at least as effective as some medications).
Washing is a good opportunity to check your dog’s skin. You can feel all over for rough patches, scaly areas or lumps. If you find any, contact your vet. Keeping dog well groomed is an indispensable part of living together happily.
More to the point, do you really want to share your bed with a stinky, soiled dog?
Before Your Dogs Gets Wet
Brush your dog
Brushing before a wash helps the coat clean and work out mats before they get worse by the water. Gently cut out or pick apart any mats before the bath and remove the loose hair before it clogs your drain.
Stock your station
Before starting the cleaning, make sure you have all the things you need. It’s wearying to start bathing a dog only to realize the towels or shampoos are on the other side of the house.
Don’t turn your back on a wet dog unless you enjoy chasing a soaking wet pup; get your supplies before you bring in the dog.
Start With These Things
- Towels(more than one)
- Handheld spray or Hose for the taps if using a sink or bath
- Bathmat or any mat clean to stand on if outside
- Brush, Face washer or sponge
- Hairdryer if you need a quick dry
- Ear cleaner, Cotton wool, Nail clippers
Get The Right Shampoo
Check with your veterinarian for a product that works best for your lovely pet, and always use a pH-balanced pet-friendly shampoo designed especially for dogs. Don’t use human shampoo on dogs.
A dog’s coat is different from human hair and has different requirements. If your dog has skin problems, you’ll likely need a medicated shampoo that will address his condition.
Conditioners are not required, except your dog has particularly dry hair.
Place A Nonslip Surface
Put a non-skid rubber mat or towel in the bottom of your tub. Your dog will feel more secure if he isn’t slipping all over the place and giving him something to sink his toes will help relieve his fretfulness about baths.
Protect The Eyes And Ears
Take precautions not to let water into your buddy’s ears for the entire duration of the wash. Avoid lathering your dog’s head as shampoo may get into the eyes.
Select A Location
Selecting a location for the wash should be based on the dog breeds, breed size and time of year. A washtub, a laundry sink or even the bottom of the shower works fine for puppies and small breeds, while large breeds need the bathtub.
You can use a hose if it’s warm outside. During a nice sunny day, you can wash your dog al fresco and a walk or nice game of fetch afterward is an excellent way to stop them rolling in the dirt and will speed up the drying process.
Make sure the water is lukewarm and fill the sink or tub with water before you bring in your dog. The sound of flowing water adds to stress for a non-enthusiastic bather.
Getting Down To Business
- The most important thing is to ensure a comfortable water temperature-not too hot or cold.
- Use a leash if you need, but escort your dog to the water, offering a treat and good cheers en route. Don’t lose your temper when you see resistance from your dog — for reluctant bathers, an association with your fuming voice won’t help. Theatricality and deception are good methods, put him in the tub with as little drama and get started.
- We recommend, if your dog is thick or double-coated then you pre-mix some shampoo with water and then apply it. If not, you can end up with a wad of shampoo in one place for a long-haired dog.
- Use a hand-held sprayer and drench your dog absolutely, down to the skin with lukewarm water. Remember to test the heat on your arm before spraying your dog.
- Make sure to avoid the eyes and the ears. Most of the dogs boast water-resistant coats, so a complete drenching is typically essential to infiltrate the hairy coat. Do not forget to rinse skin folds or crevices and the feet of your dog.
Tip: Your buddy will intuitively want to shake the water off. Soothingly hold his muzzle with your thumb and forefinger so that he will be at ease. A dog begins to shake from the head to back, and if he can’t turn his head, he can’t shake his body either.
However, once you’ve towel-dried him the best you can, allow him in a “shaking permitted” zone, and let him have a go.
- Begin shampooing at the neck and all the way down his body to toes and tails. Place a sudsy barrier at the base of the head to prevent any dreadful hitchhikers, ticks, and fleas, from hiking up the hills … ooh, ears. Keep your attitude upbeat and keep the praise coming for your dog.
- There is a three-towel trick; Place one towel in the bottom of the sink or tub to prevent slipping and provide traction. The second one, an anti-shake towel-wrap it over the wet dog (before rinsing or between washes) to prevent him from soaking you and the walls. The third towel is the proper drying towel.
- A Word about Blow Drying – If you want to try blow-drying, make sure to use a dryer with very low or no heat. Self-service tubs have a forced-air dryer but be careful that these dryers are powerful.
- And if your pup gets anxious or nervous, you should stop. Only turn up the heat if your dog tolerates and don’t forget to avoid the eyes and ears.
- Congratulations — you’re done! Give yourself a treat, and you’ll probably get a slobbery kiss in return. Your buddy might be a bit tuckered out, so a nap may be necessary. Put your feet up and relax, if you want. Or, if you’re feeling a sense of accomplishment, maybe, next you should bathe the cat.