If you’ve just finished bathing your dog, you may feel like you’ve earned a blue ribbon or a medal. Successfully bathing and grooming your pooch without inflicting water damage to carpets, floors or furnishings can make you feel like you’re the winner for the latest indoor sports event. Three cheers for you! You won!
If you haven’t started yet or if you’re wondering if there’s an easier way, take a look at these top tips for bathing your pet:
1. How often? This depends on your dog. A mischievous Westie that’s attracted to the latest disgusting smelly substance may need baths more often than a couch potato sort of Greyhound. For the sake of your dog’s skin, baths shouldn’t be more frequent than once a week. (In the case of disgusting smelly exposure, you may need to improvise a bit.) A more fastidious dog could go three or even six months between baths.
2. How big did you say? Where you bathe your dog depends on the size of your dog. A terrier breed fits nicely in the kitchen sink. A Golden Retriever belongs in the bathtub, or on warmer days, a kiddie pool or large plastic tub in the back yard.
3. Timing’s everything. If you have the luxury of time, introduce your dog to the bath gradually. Put her in the tub or sink when there’s no water. Give her a treat. She’s so smart! Then get her out (or give her the command to jump out) before she can think about jumping out herself. On another day, add a wee bit of water to the sink or tub and repeat the exercise. Finally on the last day, you can bathe your dog. Slow and steady is a great approach.
4. Preparing your tools. Having everything you need within reach is crucial. A stack of towels, a small bath cloth, specialty pet shampoo, pet brush and cotton balls are all practical. A non-slip mat helps Scoundrel keep his footing secure. If that’s not available, a towel in the tub or dishtowel in the sink can also suffice.
5. Can’t I just use baby shampoo? Please don’t! The pH of your skin is very different from the pH your pet’s skin. Even baby shampoo can dry out your dog’s skin which can lead to other problems.
6. Just before the immersion. Brush your pet before he’s wet. The knots are much easier to handle dry rather than wet. You’ll also manage to get a good bit of loose hairs out before they end up in your kitchen or bathroom plumbing pipes.
7. Where are my ear plugs?? Actually, cotton balls are all you need to protect your dog’s ears. Put them in her ears to keep them dry. Wet ears can lead to all sorts of problems.
8. Just right water is perfect. Warm water – not cold or hot – is best, and smaller dogs can become chilled easily.
9. Shake your booty. With apologies to K.C. and the Sunshine Band, it’s a given that your dog is going to shake, but you want to have a little say about “when.” A hand on your dog’s back as you’re getting him out can prevent him from shaking himself and showering everyone (and everything) in close proximity. Towel him off as best as you can and lead him to a safer place to shake off the excess water.
10. Location, location. Remember how you thought long and hard about where your dog is best allowed to shake? If you made it to the back yard, monitor her closely to keep her from wallowing in your flower bed. Some clean dogs are simply drawn to dirt.
If you haven’t started yet and you’re not sure you want to, another great approach is to make a grooming appointment for your dog with one of the Town N Country Pet Spa’s top notch pet groomers. We’d love to hear from you!