Dogs need to be bathed to maintain hygiene and keep up grooming standards. Bathing helps them avoid health and skin issues. These can include bacterial and fungal problems. Of course, there will be times when your dog needs a bath because it is caked in mud or it has rolled in something smelly.
Basic bathing helpful hints
- Before you start, make sure the dog’s coat is thoroughly brushed. This will remove any knots and tangles. Try to brush outside so fur and loose hairs stay outdoors and not in the home.
- Choose the most ideal place to wash your dog. When it is wet they tend to shake off the excess water. You don’t want flying water splashes damaging your home.
- Showers are probably sufficient but some people like to use a bathtub. Just make sure the dog can stand comfortably so you can saturate the animal’s coat.
- Prepare what you need including your choice of dog shampoo and towels. The latter is for both putting on the ground and for rubbing the dog dry.
Bathing the dog
- Let the water run and test the temperature on your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot. It should be lukewarm.
- Wet the dog but don’t saturate.
- Lather with the dog shampoo. It should be one that is appropriate for your dog. Make sure you rub the back end and buttocks. Avoid the eye area or the mouth. You don’t want the dog ingesting any shampoo. It tastes awful!
- Rinse the dog well and make sure all the soap is removed.
- Some owners use a dog conditioner. This is optional. Sometimes it can help with longer coated dogs who are more prone to knots.
- If you have a screen, allow the dog to shake off the water.
- Stand the dog on a towel.
- Rub the dog down by wrapping a towel over the dog’s back and rub the coat in the fur’s direction from front to back. Beware, many dogs love to play tug-of-war with the towel.
- Drying should be achieved within 15 minutes.
- With the towel method, rub-down the dog’s fur until the outside layer is completely dry. The inner layer should also be dry enough for you to run your fingers through. If the dog is inside and the temperature is warm, leave the dog slightly damp, enough for the dog to dry off itself near a heat source.
- Make sure the inner legs, the dog’s stomach, the rear end, and the dog’s tail for any damp areas and make sure these are all dry. This will avoid any untoward issues. A pair of drying mitts also would help to get to the more delicate areas of a dog’s body.
- Dogs must be dry in those areas where they lick themselves.