Bathing a dog can sometimes be messy, time-consuming, and tedious. But regular bathing makes your dog to maintain a healthy coat and skin. It keeps your dog clean and makes it parasites and flea free.
In this article, I will share with you some amazing tips that will make your dog bathing routine easier and fun.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
This is a common question most dog owners ask. But when you bathe your dog, you have the opportunity to check for fleas, bumps, and other abnormalities. You tend to see these things easily when your dog is wet.
It is somehow difficult to determine how often you should give your dog a bath. But how often you bathe your dog depends on certain factors – Dog’s breed, size, type of coat, health, lifestyle, etc.
How often your dog bath depends on the breed. For some dogs, bathing once a month work for them. But some dogs need regular bathing like once a week. Example of such breed is Basset Hounds; they have an oily coat.
Also, short-haired breed like Beagles and Weimaraner have smooth coats, and may not need frequent bathing.
Type of Coat
Sometimes, how often you bathe your dog depends on the type of coat it has. This doesn’t mean that dogs with shorter hair shouldn’t bath always.
In fact, breeds like Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli that are hairless require more care. When you have any of the breeds above, you need to bath them once in a week.
Most times, the more hair your dog has, the more care it requires when you are cleaning it. But long-haired breed like Puli doesn’t require frequent bath like other breeds. This is because it doesn’t have a doggie odor.
A dog’s lifestyle will also determine how often you bath it. If your dog is the type that always plays in muddy water and other areas outdoor, it definitely requires more bath.
But if your dog is the indoor type, you probably don’t need to bath it frequently irrespective of the breed.
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How to Bathe A Dog?
Dogs that bathe regularly are healthier. Below are some of the tips on how to bathe a dog.
You Need Shampoo and Other Supplies
Before you think of bathing your dog, you need to get the right shampoo. I would recommend a dog shampoo or baby shampoo. This will help to prevent suds from stinging your dog’s eyes.
Skin dryness and irritation are likely to occur whenever you bathe your dog. So, I think you should use a hypo-allergenic or natural shampoo to reduce such potential reaction.
Also, you need a non-stick bath mat to keeps your dog from slipping and sliding too much inside the tub.
You need to use a clean towel to dry your dog after bathing. This will help your dog to get dry fast and reduce the tendency of shaking water on you.
Brush Your Dog Before Bath Time
Most dog owners don’t take this seriously. You need to brush your dog very well before the actual bath commences. This will help to get rid of tangles and excess hair.
Decide on A Bathing Spot for Your Dog
Bathing can sometimes be uncomfortable for dogs. But when you are consistent about it, your dog will be calm over time.
It is advisable to pick a spot for bathing your dog and stick to it. This will prepare their mind towards bathing. It is better you pick a pot outdoors. The place you are choosing should be a sturdy and flat surface.
Put Cotton Balls in Your Dog’s Ear before You Start
Cotton balls help to prevent water from entering your dog’s ear. You must exercise caution to ensure that your dog’s ears don’t get wet. Otherwise, they can develop ear infections.
Generally, when you put cotton balls in your dog’s ear during bathing, its ear canal will remain dry.
Remove the Dog’s Collar
People often make the mistake of bathing their dogs with collars on their neck. If you do this, you will not be able to keep the neck area clean.
As a rule, don’t leave your dog unattended to whenever you are bathing it. If you are bathing it outside, it should be on a leash using a nylon collar.
Use Lukewarm Water
Dog’s skin is not like ours, and hot water can burn them easily. Lukewarm water is recommended when bathing your dog. I mean the water shouldn’t be too hot and too cold.
Clean from Bottom to Top, Rinse from Head to Tail
It is advisable to start bathing your dog from the bottom to the top. This will prevent soap from dripping into their eyes and ears.
So, start from the feet and bath the dog gradually to the face. But when you are rinsing, you should start from the head. This will enable the shampoo to wash down and leave a sensitive spot in the dog’s body.
How to Groom Your Dog After Bathing
Your dog’s hygiene doesn’t end with bathing. You still need to groom your dog and carry out some necessary treatment after a wash. Below are some grooming tips you should take note of.
Clean Your Dog’s Ear
After bathing your dog, the first thing you should do is to remove the cotton balls and clean his ears. This cleaning will help remove excessive earwax, thus avoiding irritation.
You can use Veterancy ear rinse to clean your dog ear. You can also use hydrogen peroxide, purified water, etc.
Clean Off Tear Buildup
Epiphora is a condition in which tears overflow onto the face of some dogs. Terriers and Chihuahuas have this condition a lot.
Try to clean off any excess tear buildup on the face of your dog. This will help to prevent irritation or bacterial infection.
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How to Make Your Dog Enjoy Bath Time?
Generally, dogs don’t like bathing. But you can train your dog to enjoy bath time. Below are the steps you should take train your dog to enjoy bath time.
Teach your dog to be comfortable with handling. You can do this by stroking and patting different parts of his body.
Sometimes, praise them for allowing you to handle them if possible, give them rewards. You have to handle this slowly so that your dog will be used to it.
This is a very crucial step. Ensure you introduce your dog to bathing slowly. Give him enough praise and treat for being calm. With this, your dog will associate bathing with positive things. This will make the whole experience great for you and your dog.
Start introducing your dog to the bathing equipment including; towels, buckets, shampoo containers and hoses.
Also, slowly teach your dog how to stand on non-slip mats and reward your dog for standing on it.
Try to take your dog for a walk before bath time. You can start bathing the dog after he must have rested from such a walk.
During such walk, dogs expend enough energy and are likely to be less energetic when bathing them.
Rookie Mistakes Dog Owners Make When Bathing Their Dogs
#1. Wrong Water Temperature
Dog owners often use the wrong water temperature when they are bathing their pets. This may create a negative stimulus for your dog and discourage them from bathing.
#2. Harsh Spray
It is actually easy to bathe your dog with a handheld faucet nozzle. But the sound of running water, as well as the pressure, may upset your dog.
#3. Wrong Shampoo Selection
When it comes to shampoo selection, I think you should always go with a veterinarian recommendation.
The pH balance of a dog’s skin is very different from that of human. And the wrong shampoo selection may just be drying your pet’s skin.
So, dog-specific shampoo is the best option when it comes to bathing your pet. I am sure you wouldn’t want a situation when you start treating your dog of skin infection after a harmless bath.
#4. Poor Soap Application
You can spend hours bathing a dog, and there will still be dirt and oil in the dog’s fur. Reduced soap application is often the reason for this.
Is not all about applying shampoo on your dog’s fur. But you have to agitate the shampoo to be able to track the grime and wash it away.
You can achieve this by massaging the soap into the dog’s fur for a couple of minutes (about 5 minutes). Start with the most sensitive part like the legs before washing other parts.
#5. Bad Brushing Technique
Ordinarily, you should brush your dog at least three times a week. But this can be very uncomfortable and painful for your dog if you are doing it for the first time.
If you decide to do this by force, it can bring about a negative experience for your dog. I think you should take your dog to a professional groomer if there are mats and knots in his fur.
However, after a professional groomer has groomed your dog, you need to be brushing him always. This will make his coat shiner and tangle free.
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Generally, bathing keeps your dog’s fur clean, healthy and parasites free. Even though dogs sometimes find bathing uncomfortable, you can train your dog to enjoy bath time.
But it doesn’t end with bathing, you still need to groom your dog like cleaning the ears and tear buildup on the face.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog, AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
How to Wash a Dog, wikiHow
Simple Tricks to Make Dog’s Bath Time Easier, Faster and Neater, vetSTREET
Wondering How Often to Bathe a Dog? It Depends on These Factors, Dogster
7 Common Bath-Time Mistakes Pet Owners Make, PETMD