How to Properly Bathe a Dog
Bath time, your dog might think, is among the worst things that could happen to them, in close competition with going to the vet. In spite of their reluctance to be bathed in most cases- you’re extremely lucky if you’ve found one with a rare temperament who enjoys being doused and scrubbed- it is vital that you regularly subject them to this. While this sounds like a simple task, there are several questions that will arise once you actually set out to do it. How often should you bathe your dog? Where should they be bathed? What should you use to give them a bath? Is the help of a professional required? We will be answering all these questions, and more, for you.
How often should dogs be bathed?
In the case of most dogs, a bath once a month should suffice. There might be exceptions for specific breeds, depending on your pet’s affinity for puddles and ponds. If your breed has a longer coat than most breeds, then they might require a bath twice a month. Certain breeds, such as Basset Hounds, have oil coats because of which they may require bathing as often as once a week. The frequency with which breeds with smooth coats such as Beagles and Wiermaraners need to be bathed is much lower. Breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees have coats that are water-repellent to an extent, and thus they must not be bathed often in order to retain the natural texture of their coat. Certain breeds have double coats, such as Samoyeds and Malamutes, and thus they must also not be bathed too often. Instead, their coat should be brushed regularly which allows excess fur to be removed and their natural oils to be well distributed. For certain breeds which have coats that are less manageable, you can consult a veterinarian to devise a bathing regimen that, is best suited to their needs.
Inspect your dog’s coat carefully to determine whether the condition it’s in requires cleaning, or whether your pet can avoid this calamity from befalling them for some more time. If your pet has spent time exploring the great outdoors and as a result of their adventures has returned mud-worn, then bathing them would be extremely beneficial to both their hygiene, as well as your home.
In the case of puppies, experts recommend that they start to be bathed as early as eight weeks old so that they become accustomed to the process. At that age, products like shampoos and conditioners aren’t needed. They can simply be gently washed in lukewarm water. Bathing a puppy is a lot like bathing an infant. You must use the same level of care. Avoid scrubbing, softly run your hands over their coats, and slowly pour water. Once they turn three months old, you can start using bath products on them.
Where should they be given a bath?
The next question that arises is where should your fur baby be bathed. If you’re the parent of a small dog who will fit in your sink, you can bathe them there with a detachable nozzle. For slightly larger dogs, one can use either a bathtub or invest in an inflatable tub meant for dogs. Having a designated dog bath area would save your family tub from dirt and grime, but as long as the area is one which your pet can safely enter and exit, either is fine.
Which products should you use ?
Before the dreaded ( by your dog) ritual begins, ensure you have all the products you require by your side. It would be rather challenging to chase a dripping wet dog around the house. Depending upon the weather, choose an appropriate water temperature. Extremely hot or cold water shouldn’t be used. Try to gauge the temperature that would be most comfortable for your dog from their reaction. A safe option is a lukewarm water if you’re still unsure.
The products you use to bathe your dogs must be carefully chosen. Human products do not suit dogs, so as luscious as your hair might get from your shampoo, using it on your pet would be harmful to them. Shampoos made for dogs have a specific PH balance catered to their needs. If you’re giving your puppy a bath, you must use a shampoo specifically for puppies of that age. Puppy shampoos have a PH balance which matches that of a puppy's eyes. This will ensure that no pain or irritation is caused to your pup.
How do you bathe a dog step by step?
While the procedure of how to bathe a dog might seem basic or self-explanatory, we’ll share some tips to make the experience as pleasant as possible for both you and your pet.
Be gentle and try to coax your dog or place them in the bathing area. You could always use treats to help bring them there and alleviate some of the fear they may be feeling.
Before you bathe them, it is helpful to brush their coat. This will remove the loose fur and dead skin.
Diluting the shampoo helps it lather up better, and reduces the chances of it being reactive and causing irritation to your dog's skin. Dog shampoo is usually thick and concentrated and this could make it easier to apply. You could mix shampoo and water in a dispenser or in a bowl and then apply them to your dog.
Experts recommend shampooing twice so that all the dirt gets removed. You can use a loofah to help scrub your dog well, but make sure you don’t make the process painful for your pet. Since they might already be confused and uncomfortable, try to put them at ease by massaging them and coaxing them. Try to make the experience as pleasant as you can for your dog, or they might negatively perceive the process and be more reluctant the next time, making it more of a challenge for you.
Use a conditioner after shampooing your dog. Because shampoos tend to strip out the moisture from your dog's coat, conditioner is an important step that rehydrates and prevents their skin from drying out. Rinse well to make sure there’s no residue on your dog’s coat.
You must wash your dog’s face even more carefully to avoid hurting sensitive areas like their eyes, their nose, and the inside of their ears. It’s best to use a washcloth rather than applying soap and water directly. Use a washcloth dipped in soapy water first and gently clean their face. Then use one dipped in clean water to rinse the soap off.
If your dog is facing any particular skin issue, such as irritation or dry skin, consult your veterinarian and use products made specifically to treat that condition.
Having two people during the process, one to hold your dog steady and comfort them, and one to actually carry out the process, makes it a lot smoother.
While some dogs love water, most are afraid of it. In case your pet is one of them and is terrified at the very sound of the faucet turning on, be sure to use plenty of positive reinforcement throughout the process. This can include giving them treat, praising them, and maybe even keeping one of their favorite toys near them. The more pleasant the experience is for your dog, the easier it will be to bathe them the next time.
Following the bath, you must try to towel dry your dog as well as you can. After that, you can dry your dog using either a hair dryer or it can be air dried. While using a hair dryer, make sure the heat setting is very low. There are hair dryers made especially for dogs which ensure that the temperature does not exceed what’s safe for them. If you’re air drying your puppy, make sure that they aren’t cold or getting shivers. You should brush their coat as they’re drying to prevent matting.air drying your puppy, make sure that they aren’t cold or getting shivers. You should brush their coat as they’re drying to prevent matting.
Bathing your dog often can be tedious and unpleasant for both you and them. Dry baths are a way to keep them hygienic and clean between baths. There are several dry-bath products in the market. Waterless shampoos detangle your dog’s fur and treat your dog’s skin. They are available in foam, powder, and spray forms. While selecting a product, ensure that it is made of non-toxic ingredients and won’t harm your dog if they lick its own fur.
What’s the process of administering a dry bath to your dog?
The first step is to brush your dog well and remove any loose dirt and fur.
Spray or dust the shampoo on them, avoiding their face. Rub the shampoo under the fur, onto the skin. Let it remain on them for a few minutes and try to prevent them from licking it off.
Wipe them down with a towel after the shampoo has been on your dog for a specified number of minutes.
We hope these tips help you keep your fur baby as clean and fluffy as can be! To know more about how to take care of your dogs check out the blog section for more tips and tricks.
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