The preparation for giving your dog a bath is nearly as important as the actual bath itself. In order to have the best bathing experience possible for both you and your dog, you need a plan. Bath time for your dog can be fun.
Bath Time For Your Dog, Before The Bath Begins
Step one is to gather up all the necessary elements for a canine bath. You do not want to be halfway into the bath and realize that you do not have a product you need. Leaving a dirty, wet dog shivering in the tub while you leave the room to get a necessary item is asking for a disaster. I will leave that mess to your imagination.
In Preparation For Bath Time For Your Dog
You should start by giving your dog an exhaustive brushing to guarantee that its coat is clear of mats and tangles. Check as well for any ticks, fleas or areas of skin irritation before placing him in the water.
You should already have prepared the area in which you will give the bath. Cover any portion of the area that must not get wet. It is only natural for a dog to shake off excess water and they often do it at the worst time and place. To avoid frustration and water damage to an area, cover it before placing the pup into the sink or the tub.
Prior Exposure to Equipment is Helpful
If you have previously acquainted your dog with the hairdryer, the sound of running water and the tools you will use for bathing, he won’t be afraid of them. This will make giving the bath easier on you and more pleasant for him.
Here are a few more recommendations to help you keep bath time for your dog pleasant:
Choosing the correct shampoo
1) Use a shampoo with a pH balance suitable for dogs. Human shampoos have a pH that will dry and irritate their skin.
2) Find the appropriate shampoo for your dog… are they allergic? Do you want a shampoo and conditioner in one? a brightener in case your dog’s fur is a light color? Calming shampoo with essential oils for an anxious pet? Is their coat long and silky or thick and course?
3) Pick a shampoo without manufactured chemicals. These shampoos are harsh and irritating and they will be absorbed into their skin and yours. Some may be carcinogenic and, after years of frequent use, make your dog ill. They can be toxic, especially to dogs with either kidney or liver problems.
4) If you only use a natural shampoo with the correct pH balance you can bathe your dog as often as you wish.
Right before the bath
Brush! Brush! And brush some more! But, only brush with the correct kind of brush or comb designed for your pet’s coat. If you are not sure which brush to use, ask either your vet or a professional groomer for their advice. Careful and frequent brushing removes dirt, loose hair and stimulates natural oils.
Take time to investigate long coats. This is a nice time to check their skin and coat for issues you may not have previously noticed. It also feels good to your dog and helps to build a stronger relationship between the two of you.
Again, Preparation Makes Bathing Your Dog Easier and Safer
6) Having everything prepared in advance makes the entire process go easier, faster and safer.
7) Keep the water lukewarm to barely cool and make sure his fur is wet down to the skin. Most dogs do best if they enter the tub with a few inches of water already in place. Running water as soon as they enter the tub often frightens them. Once they adjust to being in the water, if necessary, you can slowly add more water to the tub.
For thick coats, a bath brush can help get the shampoo all the way down to the skin. Remember to wash the underside, paws, and rear. Avoid soap around eyes, ears, and mouth.
At that point Rinse! Wash! and Rinse some more. Any shampoo left could cause skin irritation. Be especially careful with dogs with undercoats. Some coats require conditioning products. These must be carefully rinsed out as well.
8) If using a towel to dry you don’t have to rub aggressively. They will shake regardless of how much water you absorb from their coat. If their skin is sensitive for any reason, you’ll just irritate it further and make him uncomfortable. Just absorb the excess water and they are ready to air dry.
Using chamois towels is another alternative. It dries faster than a terry cloth towel and leaves their coats gleaming. Follow the same process as with a towel. Using an old tee shirt is also a very good option.
Sometimes, Heat is Required to Do the Job Right
You can use a hairdryer for drying their coat. There are special dryers on the market for dogs now because they require a low-temperature setting.
If you use a regular hair dryer, use the lowest, most gentle setting possible. Keep the blow dryer moving and several inches away from their skin. It is easy to burn their skin and to damage their coat as well.
Air drying after a gentle toweling is best but, sometimes, it is necessary to dry the dog’s fur more quickly. Certain coats are exceptionally thick or long and hold on to water more effectively than others.
Some canine coiffures (doggie-dos), cannot be accomplished without the help of heat and styling products. That is more for a professional groomer to tackle than for this article.
9) This is a tolerable time to clean ears since they will be wet and easy to gently swab. Be sure to check for a bad-smelling ear. This can be an indication of an infected ear. Look carefully for ear mites as well.
10) Doggie bathrobes are not just cute, they are practical. They keep the majority of the water off your floors and furniture and they shield your dog from being chilled if the room is cool.
Giving your dog a treat to entice them into the tub and/or to exit the tub is an easy way to help them consider bathing a positive experience.
Alternative products for bathing for your dog
Several alternative product dog sites offer assistance to those who wish to take advantage of Chemical-Free, Non-Toxic products for the physical and mental well being of their dogs.
Thanks to Pixabay for photos that did not come from my personal collection.