How to Properly Bathe Your Dog
Bathing your dog is a challenging job especially when most dogs prefer to skip this process. However, as a dog owner, you need to stand your ground and make sure that you bathe your precious dog properly. Bathing is definitely good for the health of your dog’s skin and coat, and cleansing thoroughly will make your sweet canine companion smell great and clean.
WHEN TO BATHE YOUR DOG
Dogs don’t need to take a bath every day like humans do, but they do need to be washed regularly. For the precise number of times per month to bathe your dog, you need to consult with your dog’s veterinarian, as it depends on the breed and size of your dog. But, generally, most dogs need a bath at least once a month.
If you happen to have a dog with an obviously oily coat such as a Basset Hound, then you need to bathe your dog frequently, as often as once a week. For dogs with short hair or sleek and smooth coats like Weimaraners and Beagles, they can live with a less frequent bath times, such as once every two weeks. Some short coated dogs like Basenjis are quite particular with their personal hygiene, so they seldom need a bath, but should still have one about once a month.
Dog breeds that have water-repellent coats like Great Pyrenees’s and Golden Retrievers need to bathe infrequently in order to make sure that their coat’s natural oils are preserved. They can take a bath about twice every three months. And for dogs that are blessed with very thick, double coats like Malamutes, Samoyeds, and other Northern dog breeds, it is better if you regularly brush their coats rather than bathing them. Brushing will remove loose and dead fur, and the process can help distribute the natural oils that allow the dog’s coat to stay shiny and healthy. These dogs can take a bath once every two months, and maybe even less.
However, if your beloved dog loves to play in the mud puddles or likes to run around in the dirty roads, or simply likes to play outside all day and come home dirty, then you no matter what breed your dog is, or how thin or thick the coat is, you’ll probably need to constantly bathe your dog to prevent smells and dirt in the house, and to avoid ruining your dog’s lovely coat.
WHERE TO WASH YOUR DOG
You can wash your dog inside your bathroom using your bathtub, or you can use your laundry tub or sink, as long as your dog will fit into it. You also have the option to use a portable doggy tub that is collapsible and can be used inside your laundry room, or outside in your yard. It is helpful to use a detachable shower nozzle to bathe your dog, as it provides flexibility in your bathing. This will also make your dog’s bathing experience smooth, compared to using a garden hose outside your house. Though a garden hose is fine when your dog is really very dirty, make sure that you do this rarely, since most dogs hate to bathe in the cold, and the fast streaming of the water can potentially hurt your dog, especially for smaller dogs.
HOW TO PROPERLY BATHE YOUR DOG
When giving your dog a bath, you might not have the full cooperation of your canine companion, but you need to stay tough and perform this task with confidence and poise.
Before you start bathing your dog, take the time to brush your dog’s fur, and make sure that there are no tangles or that your dog’s fur is not matted. Your dog’s skin could get irritated with matted hair because it holds water in. Remember to put cotton balls into each ear of your dog to avoid acquiring infections and irritations. However, if you cannot untangle your dog’s matted fur, bring your dog to a professional dog groomer for immediate attention.
Always use lukewarm water when you bathe your dog. Dogs’ skin can easily burn, so make sure that the water you use has the same temperature as that of a baby’s bath. For larger breeds of dogs, use much cooler than lukewarm water to bathe them, since their skin can easily overheat.
Make it a habit to talk to your dog calmly as you bathe them, in order to engrave in your dog’s mind that bathing is not torture, but it is a good bonding time for you both.
Always use a dog shampoo when you bathe your dog, and never use detergent or human soap. Dog shampoos are gentler than human shampoos, and they can cause less irritation to your dog’s skin. Gently lather the shampoo all over your dog’s body, but avoid putting shampoo around their face. If your particular breed’s coat would benefit from dog conditioner, you can also use this. However, consult your vet before using conditioner and make sure that you are using a dog conditioner.
When it’s time to rinse your dog, ensure that you rinse thoroughly, and repeat rinsing a couple of times until you are satisfied that there is no shampoo residue in your dog’s coat. Leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation and coat dryness.
Air-drying is usually the course of action to dry your dog after washing, but if your dog has thick fur, you can use a dog blow dryer, since this product is developed with low temperatures that are perfect for your dog. If you use your own blow dryer, make sure to use a low heat setting to avoid drying out your dog’s skin or burning it.
When the bathing process is over, make it a point to reward your dog for the job well done by patting your dog on the head, or giving him a special dog treat. This will make your dog more amicable the next time you bathe them, as your dog will be expecting a special reward from you after the bath.