You are in the right place! Dogs don’t normally like bath time at all, but it’s important to clean them regularly. As a new dog owner, you will have many things to learn. One of these is learning how to bathe your dog without getting yourself soaked in the process. This guide will look at some of the top tips for bathing your dog so you can clean your dog easily without causing your dog any unnecessary distress.
Don’t Bath Too Often
There’s no point in bathing your dog more than you really need to. Most dogs require a bath once a month, or more often if they get themselves mucky in the back yard or on a walk. Certain breeds might need more or less bathing. Basset Hounds for example will need bathing every week or so due to their oily fur. Check with your Vet to find out just how often you should be giving your dog a bath.
Top Tips for Bathing Your Dog
Don’t just throw your dog into the bath and start washing straight away. You need to prepare your dog’s coat for washing. If there is any matted fur then this needs to be dealt with first. Carefully and gently comb your dogs coat to remove any mats and make the fur as smooth as possible. If there are any stubborn areas of matted hair then these might need to be cut out.
If you don’t feel confident dematting your dogs coat then you might need to book a grooming appointment to get this done properly.
Collect the Bathing Supplies
One of the most important of all dog bathing tips is gathering the essential supplies before starting the process. No matter you are at home or at a groomer, all the necessary equipment must be at your arm’s length.
Make sure the spa equipment is close to you and the kit includes tools like brushes, towels, treats, a blow drier, a leash, conditioner, shampoo, facial wipes, and some extra pieces of washable cloths.
Towels play a key role in minimizing the water splashes, controlling the vigorous movements, and keeping the balance of the dog (when used as a tub floor mat) during bathing.
Get your Dog Used to Bath Time
Dogs need to have a chance to play around in the water if they want to. Make sure you use a gentle reassuring voice so you don’t make him anxious. You might also find it easier to fill the bathtub with some water before they get in so they don’t hear the sound of running water which can make them worry.
Only bathe your dog when you have plenty of time to do so. It’s not something that you can possibly rush. Trying to rush brushing and washing your furry friend will never end well. It will end with both of you being frustrated and annoyed.
Make Sure Bath Time is Comfortable
Make bath time as pleasant as possible for your dog. You don’t want to give them any more reasons to hate it. Try to avoid hosing them down in the garden unless absolutely essential. Your dog will much rather prefer a bath in the house. Depending on the size of your dog, a bathtub or sink can be used. It will be much easier to use a showerhead or flexible tap. Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot.
If you are bathing your dog in your bathtub then they might hate slipping around. Try putting an old towel in the bottom of the tub to provide a nicer surface for them to stand on. Also, have a towel on the floor ready for after bath time, and another towel to wrap them in.
If you don’t have a bathtub in your house, then you might want to invest in a dog bathtub. These are plastic tubs in a variety of sizes to suit different breeds of dogs. It’s possible to get some collapsible tubs which take up less space.
Use The Right Shampoo
Although it might be tempting to use your shampoo on your dog’s fur, it’s not a good idea. Human shampoo, even shampoo for sensitive skin isn’t suitable for dogs. Dog’s fur and skin are actually very different from humans. Make sure special dog shampoo is used to avoid any discomfort.
Thoroughly massage the shampoo deep into the dog’s coat. Make sure the shampoo is completely rinsed out as any leftover shampoo could cause irritation.
When choosing the shampoo you might want to read reviews online. There are also some specialist shampoos for different breeds. White hair breeds like a bichon frise for example would benefit from special whitening shampoo.
Place Steel Wool On The Drain
To prevent major clogging in the drainage, use steel wool that acts as a hurdle for any woof or hair trying to enter the drain. This little tip is a bonus as it can save you a lot of time and money.
Make sure the whole body of your dog is completely wet with water before applying any shampoo. Some dogs have double coats and thick layers that may be dry at the time of bathing. Through washing before lathering will benefit you and your dog during bathtime.
Head To Toe Lathering
While bathing a pup, follow a simple technique. Start lathering from the neck, then move towards the back and end with the feet. This method ensures that you don’t have to bathe them again and again. Use plenty of water to double wash the body parts such that there is no shampoo or conditioner left. Wash them until all the dirt is removed.
You don’t want your dog to get too cold so make sure you towel dry after washing. Then it’s best to allow their coat to air dry. if you are using a hairdryer then make sure it’s set at a low temperature. Dog skin is fairly delicate and can burn easily using a standard human hairdryer.
There are also hairdryers designed specifically for dogs. These are cooler and won’t hurt your dog while drying. If you are planning on bathing your dog at home regularly then this would be a wise investment.
If you are air-drying be prepared for the standard shake. It’s impossible to avoid this so try to keep them on a hard floor if at all possible to minimize the cleanup.
Reward With Treats
Dogs would really rather not have a bath at all. So you will have to bribe them throughout the experience with lots of treats and praise. Although this is unlikely to make them love bath time, it might make them dread it a little bit less.
Also, give your dog plenty of time to play after bath time. This will give them time to vent the frustration of being washed. Some dogs quite enjoy playing tug of war with the towel. Others just want to run and hide somewhere and have some time to calm down.
Lots of praise and rewards will teach your dog to associate bath time with things they love which should make it a lot easier to coax your dog back into the bathtub next time.
Avoid Shampooing the 2 Es (ears & eyes)
Since shampoos and conditioners are chemicals that can irritate your fur baby’s eyes and ears, keeping them at a distance will ensure a smooth bathing session.
The water entering the ears can also cause infections in the future (and no one likes it). A quick hack is to place a cotton ball in your pup’s ears so that they remain dry. Gentle usage of ear and facial wipes for critical regions also keeps the shampoo from entering such parts.
Knowing When To Call In The Professionals
It’s all well and good to try and do everything yourself, but you also need to know when to ask for help. One of the top tips for bathing your dog is to know when to call in the pros.
Professionals will offer a wash and blow-dry at reasonable prices. They can also provide a full groom, nail care, and tooth cleaning. The best thing about calling in the professionals – you don’t need to lift a finger yourself. What’s more, you still get to benefit from your dog’s excitement when you pick him up. You just don’t need to deal with the actual washing process.
Certain breeds will be very difficult to wash at home. Especially dogs which have long hair. Poodles, for example, regularly need a professional groom.