Bathing and grooming a dog should be fun for both the recipient and the owner, however, an older dog that might have joint problems, vision impairment or arthritis may find essential bathing a chore or even downright painful. To avoid causing any unnecessary pain it is important to learn the best dog grooming and bathing techniques to make your dog wash a happy time.
There are two options for washing your senior dog. You can take him to a pet spa where the professionals will have specialist equipment. Phone them up to see if they use a dog bathtub designed for older dogs, similar to ones that elderly people use.
If you choose to bathe your dog at home then it doesn’t have to be a hassle or a chore and can be a symptom-relieving exercise that soothes and relaxes your dog.
Vets and groomers will be able to advise the best shampoo and conditioner for your dog dependent on their coat, skin and joints, and the best dog grooming techniques for his specific problems.
It is widely said that washing your dog more frequently that once a month can damage their coats and cause dry skin. This is a fact that is widely disputed amongst vets and professionals but it should really be up for the owner to decide. Show dogs are groomed and washed very regularly, which appears to have no effect on the glossiness of their coats. Nevertheless, just as with human hair, is over washing a good idea? Washing too often is proven to remove the natural oils and, as any hair-conscious person will tell you, can make it go straw like and coarse.
When washing a dog, it will always be best to keep it to a minimum. This way you will not be risking causing any skin conditions, although, those dogs with skin conditions, may require extra bathing to relieve itchy or sore skin. If this is the case your vet will be able to advise you.
A clean pet will be a happy dog and the best dog grooming routine is one that will keep your dog free from dust, dirt, mites and pollen. Always ensure you brush your dog before washing. This will break up any secretly matted dirt and bring it all to the surface ready for effective cleaning.
A do it yourself dog wash kit should consist of a good, coat specific, brush, doggy or vet prescribed shampoo – never use human shampoo as the PH balance is too harsh – a nice towel, treats for good behavior and toys to distract a not-so-happy dog.
When bathing a senior canine always be extra gentle and with those with joint problems lift as much as possible instead of asking them to jump. Use a shallow tub outside if need be for larger dogs to give both you and the dog the best dog grooming experience possible..
For those with a visual impairment let them hear you running the water as you don’t want to startle them when placing them in the bath!
If you want to run a bath, rather than just shower your dog, then make sure the water is shallow and warm, not hot and not too cold. Place your dog into the shallow water and gently massage the water into their body, use a shower or jug to properly rinse the dog and allow for maximum cleanliness.
Proceed to clean the dog using your normal routine. Avoid getting water and shampoo into their eyes and ears.
When drying, towel dry them thoroughly and if using a hairdryer make sure it is on the lowest setting and hold it away from their skin so they don’t get burned. Most dogs will not like the noise and feel of a dryer but with positive reinforcement they can get used to the sensation. This is sometimes a must for thick-coated dogs that will need washing during the cold months.
Always praise a dog for good behavior and use toys to help a nervous dog get used to the experience.
Blowing meat-flavored bubbles will definitely distract your pet once they get a sniff of them and they will enjoy trying to catch them in their mouths.
Although the food might make a mess and get a little soggy give your dog a Kong when showering, but don’t put it in standing water. A food motivated dog will be more intent on eating the food rather than playing up whilst he is having a wash. This also works really well outside.
Buy floating toys for your dog to play with. The movement of the dog will send them floating away and once they are safely in your pet’s grasp he will have fun chewing them.
The best dog grooming routine and the frequency of washing for elderly dogs is entirely the owner’s choice. Some will want their dog to be washed once a week, some dogs may need it that often, whilst other owners may prefer to only do it every six weeks or so. As long as the right equipment is used then you really can’t go wrong.
For more information about Dog Grooming, check out the highly recommended
Secrets To Easy Dog Grooming today!