How To Bathe Your Dog: Tips For Beginners
Dogs are one of the most honest and loving friends. And just like every other animal, they indulge in processes and activities that help them get cleaned up.
As a dog owner, you play a huge role in making sure your pup maintains good hygiene. One way you do this is by giving your pet a good and effective bath. Just like humans, when they begin to smell, a bath is very well needed and a next cause of action.
Bathing your dog doesn’t only solve the problem of bad smell but it also does many other vital, necessary functions for your pup. Let’s highlight some below:
- Regular dog baths reduce the risk of deadly disease/sickness by taking off germs and bacteria.
- They help you get rid of old oils and any parasites that may cling to the body of your pet.
- A good dog wash gives a shine to your dog’s skin and coat, which adds to the aesthetic appeal of your pet. His fur would look all clean and new after a great bath.
- Giving your pup a bath aids in straightening out tangled or matted hair.
- It leaves your dog smelling great and looking even greater. Fragrance is highly underrated for animals simply because attention is given to other realistic needs of a dog. It is however a great and important advantage for your pup’s overall hygiene and aesthetic appeal.
- It serves as a great opportunity to bond.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
Many baths can cause dry skin and irritation. It can also diminish useful natural body oils and may aggravate skin conditions. How often you bathe your dog majorly depends on a couple of factors:
Your dog’s activity level
This is one of the major factors that determine how often your dog should have a bath. Some pups spend most of their time indoors while others are running and playing outdoors.
Outdoor canines pick up more dirt from their environment, while pups that stay indoor are typically more protected from dirt and grime. The more activities a dog carries out daily, the more frequent their bath times will need to be. It’s similar to when you take a shower after lots of running or a full on exercise.
The most active dogs should be washed at least once in two weeks. Of course, if your dog gets into a puddle or gets on some mud, food, or product that soils the coat on their body, they’ll have to be washed immediately even if they had a bath not too long ago.
Coat or skin type
Breeds with long or curled hair like the Yorkshire Terrier will require more frequent baths than others. This will keep their hair from tangling or matting over time.
It’s recommended to bathe every four to six weeks, with regular brushing between baths to maintain the dog’s coat. Dogs with no hair on their bodies need to be washed more often because they do not get rid of bacteria by shedding.
Breeds like the English Springer spaniel or the West Highland white terriers who have mostly oily skin require more frequent washes too to help their oil buildup.
Allergies or skin conditions
Dogs with allergies or a skin infection have to bathe with a medicated shampoo, according to the vet’s prescription and depending on how serious the infection is. Treating external parasites on your dog will require you to scrub them more often.
Your health and comfort
You can also give your dog a wash depending on how soon you get bothered by their smell, or when they bring in certain allergens along with them from outside.
Tips On How To Bathe A Dog
Most dogs aren’t particularly fond of water and do not like to be bathed. They however still require a good wash time and to help you, here are a few tips on how to easily wash your dog:
- Determine the best place to have a bath. It could be a sink for smaller dogs or pups, a bathtub, or your yard. Pick a place that’s familiar to them too.
- Take time to prepare. Get the shampoo, towels, brushes and all the supplies you might need close to you so you don’t have to leave your dog unattended to get them. You could come back to them licking the shampoo. Also, wear casual clothes that wouldn’t mind dirt or getting soaked.
- Don’t forget to brush their coat to remove tangles and prevent the tangles from matting while bathing. Matted hair is harder to handle.
- Water temperature is important. The water should be warm, ranging from 36.5 – 40.5 C. This is because warm water cleans your pup better and provides a comfortable bathing atmosphere for him.
- Get your dog in a comfortable position. Some people prefer to tether them, especially if you’re bathing them outside in a yard. Use treats to get them off to a good start.
- Pour the warm water over your dog to soak their coat, and afterwards, apply a shampoo. Be careful to avoid their eyes and face.
- Massage the shampoo into their fur adding water when necessary to get a lather or foam. This is supposed to feel very soothing for your dog.
- Let it sit for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing it out with water. Leaving some shampoo in can cause skin irritation.
- Repeat the process, but this time scrub your dog using a loofah sponge. Pay attention to areas like the paw pads, armpits and bellies.
- Massage a conditioner into their coat. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse away.
- Use a washcloth to clean your dog’s face. Dip it in soapy water, clean their face and then dip it in clean water and use it to rinse.
- Dry your dog thoroughly with a towel. Make sure to pay attention to dogs with heavier coats. This prevents damp spots in the undercoat which can lead to hot spots or acute moist dermatitis which causes sores and pain.
- You can dry them further with a dog hairdryer or a human dryer set, not using heat.
- Reward your dog. This encourages them to cooperate during baths in the future.
Bathing is just one part of grooming a puppy and ensuring they have good hygiene. To stay in top shape, dogs also need you to:
- Clean their ears with a dog ear cleaner or a 50/50 solution of distilled water and white vinegar.
- Trim their nails with a dog nail grinder.
- Cut their hair when it gets too long.
- Brush their coat often.
It is advised to start bathing your dogs when they’re younger to help them get used to it. It is also always helpful to have someone assist you with your self-service dog wash. Four hands are always better than two.
Take note of bath times with your pup and be intentional about using such moments to bond, play and build intimacy with him. To clean your dog is special, as well as vital for his hygiene. These tips would help in getting you a good experience for every time you wash your dog.