14 June 2023
Regular bathing is an important part of maintaining your dogs overall health and hygiene. While some dogs may eagerly jump into the bath or happily stand by the hose for a wash others (Purdy) may not be so keen on bath time! Take a look at our step by step guide with useful tips to make the bathing experience a positive one for you and your dog.
• Some dogs don’t like baths so make sure that you have everything in reach and laid out ready. You will need, dog friendly shampoo, towels, a non slip mat or towel if in the bath or shower, a brush or comb, cotton balls for their ears and some treats to reward your dogs good behaviour.
• Brush your dog before a bath, this helps to remove any tangles or mats and reduces the amount of loose hair that ends up in the water. It also provides an opportunity to inspect your dogs skin for any abnormalities or irritations.
• Choose a suitable location for bath time. Some people like to bath their dogs in the bath or shower, we opt for the hose connected to a mixer tap so that we can get a suitable temperature for Purdy but be outside so that when she shakes (which happens several times during a bath as well as after!) she doesn’t plaster the whole bathroom in wet dog!
• Protect your dogs ears from water entering them and causing discomfort or infection by placing a small (not too small) amount of cotton balls in each ear. Be sure not to push them too far inside as they should be easily removable after the bath.
Once you have made the necessary preparations, it is time to begin the actual bathing process.
• Make sure the water you are going to use either from the shower, a jug or the hose is at a comfortable luke warm temperature for your dog. Using a handheld showerhead, jug or hose gradually wet your dogs coat with lukewarm water. Start from the neck and work your way down, being careful to avoid spraying water directly into your dogs face. Use a gentle, reassuring voice with lots of praise for your dog throughout the process.
• Once they are wet from neck to toe, using a specially formulated dog shampoo that is gentle on their skin and free from chemicals. Taking a small amount of shampoo gently massage it into your dogs coat, starting from the neck and working your way to their tail. Be cautious around their sensitive areas like the face, ears and genitals.
• Thoroughly rinse your dogs coat to remove all traces of shampoo. Ensure that no shampoo remains as it can cause skin irritation or itchiness. Use the handheld shower, jug or hose whilst making sure to avoid their eyes and ears.
End on a good note
Gently squeeze all excess water from your dogs coat. Use a clean, absorbent towel to dry your dog, starting with their head and working down to their tail, be careful at this point there may be a risk of zoomies so be prepared! For long haired dogs you may need to use a hairdryer on a low, cool setting to avoid overheating or discomfort. Keep the dryer at a safe distance and continuously move it to prevent focusing heat on one area. Offer plenty of praise, affection and a few treats to reinforce positive associations with the bathing experience. Playtime can also act as a reward and distract from the urge to rub against furniture or roll in the garden!
Tips for success
• Maintain a calm and soothing demeanour throughout the process. Dogs can sense anxiety so stay relaxed and calm to help keep them at ease.
• If your dog becomes too stressed, consider using dry shampoo formulated for dogs and slowly building up to proper bathing.
• Watch out for the wet dog shake and stand back!!
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