Bathing your Dog

As soon as you mention bath to some dogs they just run for the hills, others approach this time as a nice pamper session.

Some dogs take to water easily and others do all they can to duck out!  How often you wash your dog depends on his coat and habits.  If your dog likes diving in to muddy water, rolling around on the grass or chasing small animals down their holes, then be prepared to spend a lot of time bathing him.

 When to Bath

Pick a time when you have no other agenda.  It is not practical to squeeze in a dog bath on a busy day.  Attempting to groom or bathe your dog when you are really in a hurry will not make for a pleasant experience for you or your pet.  Dogs are likely to become stressed or agitated doing something they were not interested in doing in the first place, also avoid bathing your dog on a full stomach.  Make bathing sessions as enjoyable as possible, by setting the tone of relaxation to achieve bathing success.  This will pave the way for a positive outcome for you and your pet. 

 

Water Temperature

Use warm water with a spray nozzle if you have one.  These days a lot of people now have a special shower area into their utility or mud room, especially made for dogs.  If you do not have the space in your home, bathing your dog in the bath or outside in warm weather will be fine.  The water should be a gentle spray against his body like a warm rub.  Slowly wet your dog.  Starting from the bottom up, avoid getting water into his nose or ears.

 

Getting the Bath Ready

Gather your bathing supplies in advance and position them so that they are easily within your reach in the bathroom.  You will need 3 towels (2 for drying and 1 for him to grip), shampoo, brush, comb and treats.  You will not want to be looking for things after the bath has started and risk leaving your dog alone to go and hunt for things.  Putting your dog on a lead is a practical step, and will keep him from running off during the bathing session, it will also prevent him from slipping.

 

Avoid Getting Soap in Your Dogs Eyes

Use a clean facecloth to wipe your dogs face, this will help to keep him calm as using a spray nozzle to wet his face can have the opposite effect.  If you accidentally get soap into his eyes be sure to rise immediately as it can cause irritation.

 Ear Cleaning

Always use a cotton wool bud for cleaning inside your dogs ears and not a cotton wool bud.  Do not go further into the ear than what can easily be seen.

 Rinsing

Rinse your dog thoroughly, not rinsing properly will leave your dog open to skin irritations which lead to infections.  If you notice your dog chewing his coat after a shampoo, chances are the soap was not thoroughly washed out.

Drying your Dog

Allow your dog to shake off the water and then carefully towel him dry. Use towel 1 to remove most of the water and towel 2 to wrap your dog snugly and give your dog a hug.  Speak softly telling him well done and, also to continue giving him a wonderful calming experience for his bath time.   If your dog has a lot of hair and you may need to use a hairdryer, do it gently so as not to scare him. If you opt for the hairdryer route, now is the time to use it on a low setting.  You will need to brush the coat first and then use the hairdryer from a distance to avoid burning your dog’s skin.