Bathing is an activity that is usually part of a regular grooming routine and sometimes out of necessity after a dog has rolled in something nasty. Even if you rely on dog groomers to bathe your dog at regular intervals throughout the year it is important for you as a dog owner to learn how to wash your dog in case of an emergency.
It is important that before a bath you brush out your dog’s coats. Especially vital for long coated breeds, and those with a double layer coat. Even those with short coats will benefit as it stops dirt from getting trapped near to the skin. Shampoos will cleanse your dog but brushing will pull the dirt to the surface ensuring the bath will be as effective as possible.
A pet spa won’t wash your dog every time you take him in. Too much regular washing removes the natural oils from the coat, and dries the dog’s skin, which can cause skin complaints. Washing should be kept to a minimum. Working dogs, dogs kept outside or ones that are being constantly exposed to dirt, sand or grit will need washing around every six weeks, or perhaps more frequently. Double-coated dogs need a bath as little as three times as year and smooth coated breeds can go for even longer.
Obviously dogs like rolling in smelly substances that need to be cleaned off as soon as possible. This means that if you can’t get to a dog wash you will have to wash your dog at home.
Getting dogs used to bathing and water from an early age as possible will help accustom them to the idea of baths and mean that any emergency bathing can be undertaken with little stress to you or the animal.
Putting the dog in the bath, tub or even basin without water and giving them treats and rewarding calm behavior will teach your dog that bath time is not a bad time!
When you wash your dog, be sure to make bath time into a game with toys and doggy bubbles.
Use dog friendly shampoo to wash his body first, lathering the shampoo and ensuring you don’t miss any part! His legs can be awkward to do but they get really dirty so persevere until you have washed them thoroughly. Don’t forget the tail!
Then wash his head and ears, cupping your hand to ensure no water leaks into the canal. Be quick, as you don’t want to irritate his eyes.
When it comes to rinsing, this should be the longest part of the process, as a dog’s coat retains a surprising amount of shampoo. Rinse, rinse, rinse and then rinse again!
Dog dryers can be bought for the home but a vigorous toweling should do the trick just as well. A large fluffy towel and lots of praise will guarantee your dog enjoys his bathtime!
Knowing how to wash your dog skillfully, and getting it used to being bathed at home, will also help the dog groomers the first time you take your dog to a pet wash. To groom a dog that is calm and comfortable in the water will be vastly more enjoyable for you, the professional and the dog.
Salons like Top Dog Grooming Spa all aim to deliver the best service possible and they want the dogs to have as good a time as they can. If your dog is relaxed in the water then not only are you sure your money is being well spent but you know that a trip to the groomers will be viewed as a positive thing in your dog’s eyes. This will definitely help if it comes to something that your dog really hates, ear cleaning or toenail clipping for example. A place that already has positive associations may help when it comes to performing these tasks.
If you don’t want to take your dog to a salon then dog grooming at home, including bathing, is a great way to save money and build a good relationship with your dog. Petting, stroking and brushing all reinforce the bond you share with your companion.
You can easily wash your dog in the family’s bathtub, a special doggy tub, a sink or basin or even for large dogs just on the driveway or garden, as long as the weather is warm enough.