Bathing Techniques for Dogs
If your dog is already familiar with bath time it's just a matter of taking him through a proper bathing technique. If your dog is a novice, you might want to try getting him used to the idea of standing in the bath without water first. You could even make standing in the tub a game that earns him treats.
Brush Before WettingThe mistake almost all dog owners make at one time or another is that they simply try to wash their dog before they remove any matted or loose hair from his coat. Shampoo is a surface cleaning agent and will only clean the dirt it can touch. By not brushing first you'll never wash the dirt that is trapped within the matted fur. You may in fact be tightening the hair making it harder to remove the next time you bathe your dog.
Where to WashLittle dogs are easier, you can even bath them in a laundry or kitchen sink. A larger dog will require a tub. To prevent any clogging be sure to use a hair catcher in the drain. Of course when weather permits, you can always bathe your dog outside in a wash tub or even in the driveway.
ShampooStay away from human shampoo. The pH levels are usually too harsh for a dog's skin and can cause problems later on. Use a shampoo specific to your dog's skin condition. Ask your vet to recommend a good quality brand tearless shampoo. With the exception of medicated shampoos, you should feel free to dilute the shampoo; it will lather easier and of course last longer.
- Start by wetting the dog all over, leaving his head, face, and ears for later. Shampoo his hind legs, tail and be sure to wash the "you-know-where" parts. Continue by shampooing the body, chest, and front legs.
- With extra-care wet the head, face, and ears. Cup your hands over his ears to prevent water from entering the canal. Lather these areas with care because even tearless shampoo is uncomfortable in the eyes.
- Rinse thoroughly, and when you think you've done a good rinse job
- Rinse and rinse again.
- Start Drying
- Quickly wrap the dog in a towel.
- To keep your dog from getting a chill, quickly wrap him in a blanket and towel dry each and every part of his body.
If you can get an extra pair of hands to help, do so. Every little bit helps. All it takes is just a splash of water, a dab of shampoo and a lot of tender loving care to get your dog smelling and brand new. That is, until he discovers the mud puddle next door…