If you’re a dog owner or you’re planning to become one, it’s very important for you to know about the bathing care your pet requires. Bathing the pooch won’t only keep him healthy and clean, but your home as well.
Step #1 – Protect the Ears
As you probably already know, wet dog ears are a perfect environment for the development of all kinds of infections and diseases. That’s why it is of crucial importance to protect your pet’s ears before giving him a thorough bath.
Do this by putting cotton balls into his ears – they will keep his ear canals dry during the process. Be careful not to push them too deep as they might get stuck inside which will require an urgent visit to the vet. Just secure the cotton balls enough to prevent them from falling out during the bathing.
Step #2 – Use the Right Shampoo
A mild shampoo that has been manufactured specially for the dogs is undoubtedly the best choice. Try to find one that features a neutral pH balance, and avoid artificial colors and fragrances as they have an adverse effect on the pup’s skin. Don’t even think about using your own shampoo to wash the pooch. Human shampoos can disrupt the pH balance of the dog’s skin, which leads to the appearance of viruses, parasites, and bacteria.
If your pooch has a skin condition, like a rash, using a tree shampoo is a good idea. It can be very helpful for some variations of skin irritations, but it’s vital to prevent this shampoo from getting inside the pup’s mouth. When consumed, the tea tree oil is highly toxic.
We should also mention that some shampoos are quite helpful with flea infestations. If your pet has fleas, try to find a bottle of shampoo that contains citrus oil, pyrethrum, or pyrethrin.
Step #3 – Guide Your Dog into the Tub
An important factor for this step is to teach your pet a particular signal that he’ll associate with the bathing time. If you just pick up the pup and get him to the bathroom, he will probably be shocked, and he’ll start to struggle and panic. That’s why it’s important to tip him off with a particular phrase – being prepared for the thing that’s about to happen should keep him relatively calm.
However, if your pup panics before the bathing time, he’ll almost surely try to run away. Avoid chasing him – he’ll think of it as a game and won’t stop running. Try to trick him with his favorite treats, and then simply take him by the collar.
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Once both of you are inside the bathroom, close the door and let the pooch sit down on the towels next to the tub. Reward him with a treat for his good behavior and then slowly lift him into the tub. Proper lifting technique is essential here – you don’t want to hurt yourself or your pet. Place one arm under the dog’s chest and the other under his hind legs and then use your knees to carefully place the pet in the tub.
Step #4 – Apply the Shampoo & Start Scrubbing
Avoid washing the pup’s face or the head, as the shampoo can sting his eyes. Once you wet him from the neck back and fully saturate his coat (this can take a while), it’s time to apply the shampoo.
If your pooch has an especially thick coat, you might want to take a small cup and mix water and shampoo in it before applying it. This will allow you to get an even latter in all layers of his coat. You don’t have to do this with short-coated dogs – simply pour the shampoo over their bodies.
You don’t have to use a sponge for applying the shampoo, as using the hands is a better idea since it allows the owner to check the dog’s body for inflammations or bumps. To remove the dirt from the pet’s face or head, take a damp washcloth and carefully wipe it away.
Step #5 – Work from the Neck Down
Shower the dog’s shampooed body and thoroughly rinse it from the neck down. It is of crucial importance to remove all of the shampoo from his coat – if some of it stays in the coat, it’s guaranteed to cause pH imbalance that leads to skin irritations.
To make sure that there’s no shampoo left, you can simply run the fingers through the coat. Keep rinsing until all of it is gone and occasionally squeeze the coat to check if soap is still coming out of it.
Step #6 – Dry Right
Drain the water from the tub and wrap your pet’s body with a towel. A regular cloth should do the trick, but a highly absorbent microfiber towel will make the whole drying process even faster. Draping a towel over the pup’s body will prevent him from shaking and thus getting water everywhere around the bathroom. Carefully rub him down with a towel (a word of advice, though – rubbing with a towel causes matting in long-haired breeds).
Some people prefer to dry their pet’s fur with a hairdryer. You can do this, but make sure that the heat setting is not too high or you’ll burn the pup’s coat. Avoid pointing the device at your pet’s face.
That’s it – your beloved four-legged friend is now clean and dry! Don’t forget to reward him with a treat for his good behavior, as that is guaranteed to make each subsequent bath a lot easier. Your pet will associate the bathing time with good things, and won’t fear it anymore –he’ll begin to love it instead!
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