There are likely a few dogs that have never had a bath in their entire life, and it would be fair to assume that these pets do not have a pleasant smell. Dog owners often ask how often they should give their canines a bath. Unless your dog has skin problems, there is no specific time limit required to bathe a dog.
However, a big factor to consider when deciding the frequency of bath times is how dirty your dog becomes on a regular basis. Bathing once each month is fairly common for an indoor dog, but outdoor dogs require more frequent bathing times, depending on their coat conditions.
Before giving your beloved dog a much needed bath, you will need to make sure that the following necessities are conveniently located and everything is ready.
- Towels: Placing a towel in the bottom of tub before running your dog’s bath water can help keep your dog safe. You will also need a towel to lay over your dog’s back when you remove him from the bath and rub him dry..
- Dog Shampoo: Select a mild shampoo that owners approve of, as many dogs are allergic to shampoos that contain chemicals. If your dog is suffering from parasites, you may need a Permethrin shampoo for lice or fleas. The best way to choose a good dog shampoo is to consult your dog’s veterinarian or a professional groomer.
- Hose: A snap-on hose attachment can help you rinse your dog thoroughly after every bath, and help prevent soapy build up on his coat. Those nice long hoses and convenient sprayers can help when you hold the sprayer upside down, rinsing the dog’s belly and reducing general irritations.
- Hair dryer: After bathing, you can use a hair dryer and dog brush to dry and brush out your dog’s lovely coat. It is necessary, especially in the winter, to help your dog by caring for his lovely fur.
Before bathing, you can place one large cotton ball in each of your dog’s ears to prevent water from entering his ears. Always begin bathing your dog at the head and work your way down in a direction that is moving towards the tail, away from the dog’s skin.
- Saturate Your Dog’s Coat
The first step in dog bathing is to thoroughly wet your dog’s coat, as this rinse will help remove some of the debris and dirt hidden in the coat. Using a cup or small bucket to pour water onto your dog’s coat, following with a bath spout or shower head that will help you clean all parts of your dog’s body with ease.
- Lather the Dog’s Coat with Pet-Approved Shampoo
After completely saturating your dogs’ hair with water, you should begin applying shampoo at the base of your dog’s neck, moving downwards, towards the tail. When you are shampooing, use your thumbs or fingers to massage in a circular motion, making sure the shampoo gets into all of your pet’s creases, such as under the front legs and neck. You will need to thoroughly scrub areas that are prone to getting dirty.
Be careful to avoid getting water into your dog’s eyes, ears or mouth. If accidental ingestion occurs, follow the instructions on the side of the shampoo bottle. Always use a good pet shampoo and conditioner, and if your dog is prone to skin problems, consider the organic options available online.
- Rinsing Your Dog’s Coat
Most dogs have coats that are much thicker than human hair, requiring you to be more patient and thorough by using your fingers to help the water to pass through the coat and remove all of the shampoo.
Rinse your dog again and again, until the water from his coat no longer contains soap residue. To clean your dog’s face, use a wet washcloth to wipe away water. Rinse your dog well or the shampoo residue can make your dog itch.
- Rubbing Your Dog Dry
The last step is drying your dog’s hair. First, use a towel to dry the dog as best as you can, or if your dog has very short hair, allow his coat to dry naturally. For long haired dog breeds, it is necessary to rub the hair dry with a towel or use a hair dryer, remembering to dry the inside of his ears. If you want use a blow dryer, allow your dog to get used to the sound and air, using a lower heat setting to avoid burning your dog’s skin.
Matters Needing Attention
It is very important to develop good bathing and grooming habits with your dog. Before taking an actual bath, you can introduce the bath tools you will use, allowing your dog to sniff each item. Your dog will also need to get accustomed to the sound of running water. As your dog become less timid about bath time and more accepting of these new things, praise him and supply positive reinforcements, such as treats.
Give your dog time to trust you, so that he will allow you to touch his shy areas such as paws, nails and mouth. You should attempt to do these actions several times each day to let him get used to your touch. Don’t forget to give your dog rewards and praise when he cooperates.
No matter which shampoo you use, even if it promises to be safe around the eyes, never let the shampoo get into your dog’s eyes. When you have to lather your dog’s head, you should hold the dog’s chin upward while pouring the water backwards, toward the neck. Never let the water run down over the face where you cannot protect your dog’s eyes from the soapy water. After rinsing his head, you can rub your dog’s face with a washcloth to dry the excess water.
Putting a cotton ball inside each of your dog’s ears can prevent water from getting inside them. Ear cleaning is usually the last step in giving your dog a bath. It is important to clean your dog’s ears when they are dirty, because wax or debris left in your dog’s ear canal can cause an ear infection. After bathing your dog, apply ear cleaner to two cotton balls and swab out the earwax and debris. Then, use a clean dry cotton ball to swab and disinfect the outside part of each ear.
If your dog tries to get away, or exhibits behaviors such as trembling, drooling, freezing, growling, snapping or even biting, your dog has a fear or strong aversion of water or taking baths. In this case, you should contact a professional animal behavior expert or veterinarian for help. Never punish or yell at the dog or he may associate this negative action with taking baths also.