The Dog Wash Basic Guide You Didn’t Know You Needed!
This seems like the fastest way to get your dog to play an impromptu game of hide-and-seek. Regardless if they like them or not, it is important to give your dog baths. It is important for your dog to have a healthy coat of fur, and will avoid skin irritation. Believe it or not, bath time can be enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Here are a few little tips and tricks to remember next time you need to wash your dog.
When considering how often to bathe your dog, you must take a couple things into consideration. First, what breed is your dog? Dogs with shorter hair generally require less baths than those with long fur. Long haired dogs are more likely to trap dirt and debris in their coat, and require a little more maintenance. Their behavior and breed are important factors impacting bathing frequency too. Some breeds of dogs tend to be lazier, while others tend to be more active and likely to get into the dirt. Some even have a disposition to having greasier skin and fur, needing more attention.
Generally, one bath per month is sufficient to keep your furry friends clean. Use your instincts when deciding if your dog is in need of a bath as well. If they smell bad, then it is probably time for a wash. If your dog’s coat seems to be oily or you can see dirt in his or her fur, then you probably need to give your dog a bath. It is important to regularly wash your dog in order to help them be comfortable with washes as well. It can be a very stressful experience for some dogs, and regular baths will help alleviate the fear involved with baths.
Where to Wash Your Dog
Depending on the size of your dog, you have plenty of options for washing locations. If you have a small dog, you can pretty much wash your dog wherever you feel comfortable. A large sink that you are OK with putting a dirty, wet dog in and has a drain catch would work perfectly. If there is no sink available, often times people will use the bathtub and shower to wash their dog. Having a handheld shower head can prove invaluable when getting an even rinse, and having control of where the water goes. Large dogs needing a bath usually do well in a traditional tub like this.
If there is no tub available, there are often dog washes in the community that are available. Otherwise, if there are no other options, a hose will work fine. Make sure the weather is good, and you are not trying to wash your dog in a sandy area. Also, be mindful of the water temperature. Dogs do not like to be cold, and nobody likes getting sprayed with a hose. If it is warm outside and the weather is nice, it can be an enjoyable experience for a dog to get washed in the sun and fresh air.
As with nearly anything in life, there are steps to washing your dog properly. By following a set of steps and doing it the same every time, you are ensuring the highest quality bath. Not only will it make it easier for you to remember how to keep your pup clean, but having a routine will also calm your dog’s nerves. Make bath time a positive experience. Have treats on hand to reward your dog for good behavior and being patient.
Always be sure to brush your dog before the bath. This helps knock dead fur away and prevents clumps from forming in their coat. Dogs with long fur especially need to be brushed regularly. Long fur can get matted and catch dirt, dust and debris in it. This can cause skin irritation for your dog. Dandruff and peeling skin can also develop if you do not brush or wash your dog.
- Brush your dog before getting them wet. This will avoid clumping and allow the soap and water to do their jobs.
- Gently place a cotton ball in open ears. This will prevent any water getting in and causing irritation. Some dogs, such as the ones with floppy ears, may not need this step.
- Using lukewarm water, give your dog a nice rinse to get his or her fur all ready for the dog shampoo. Dogs don’t like to be cold just as much as you or I, so using water that you would bathe a child in is a safe temperature bet.
- Apply the dog shampoo. Make sure it is specifically for dogs, as human shampoo can dry out their skin. Also, work from bottom up when applying shampoo and lathering. This will avoid getting soap into your dogs eyes, and will hopefully reduce shaking off.
- After working the dog shampoo into a good lather, rinse from top down. Work from head to tail, and rinse until the stream of water is clear coming off from your dog. Be aware of your dog’s ears and eyes throughout this process.
- Dry off your dog. Using an air dryer to blow dry your dog’s fur is recommended for a quick and even drying process. Make sure the air coming from the air dryer is not hot at all, as this could burn your dog. The good old fashioned towel is also a perfectly acceptable way to dry off your dog, and can avoid a mess when they shake off!
Make sure you reward your dog for doing such a great job in the bath! Having treats on hand throughout the process can help train your dog to not be apprehensive of bath time. This can also be a good time to bond with your dog as you show them that a bath is not a bad thing!