Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is It Bath Time For Your Dog?

Do you smell your dog before he even enters the room? Maybe it is pet bath time. Lifestyle, activity and breed of dog all determine how often you should bath your dog. If you are uncertain how often to do dog bath check with your veterinarian or a good dog groomer. They will able to give you advice on how often to bathe and when a puppy should start getting a bath. Bathing your dog too often will dry out the skin and deplete healthy oils. Dogs normally do better with dog baths when they are started out young. They may never enjoy a bath but will learn to tolerate. Keep treats handy for after the dog bath to reward their good behavior.
dog bathWhen you are ready to start bathing there are things you should do and get ready before starting the bath. The dog should be brushed well removing all mats and foreign bodies from the coat. If you do not remove mats they will only become worse once the hair gets wet. Next you should have purchased a good dog shampoo. You may want to choose the shampoo for the purpose of the bath if it is not just a routine bath. Do not use human shampoo on your dog as the PH is different and not good for the dog's coat. Other items you should have ready are a washcloth, cotton balls, several large towels, a conditioner if your dog has a long coat and a few treats for his good behavior. You may also want to have ready a nylon collar or leash if you don't think your dog is going to be cooperative.

You should only consider washing your dog outside if it is a warm sunny day. When bathing inside consider a bathtub or shower so you can close the door and the dog will not escape to other areas of the house while wet. Place a rubber mat in the tub or shower so the dog will not slip. A detachable shower head is ideal but if not available get a large plastic pitcher.

Cotton balls should be placed in the ears so water will not get into the canal which may cause infection. Always remember to remove the cotton balls after the bath is completed. Start by spraying warm not hot water just behind the ears thoroughly wetting the coat. You never want to spray your dog in the face. After you have gotten the dog's coat wet you will apply the shampoo as directed and massage into the coat. Never put shampoo on the face where it will get into the dog's eyes. Start at the neck and work your way all the way down to the tail, behind the front and back legs, neck, chest and groin area. After you have shampooed rinse thoroughly starting at the neck and working you way again all the way to the tail until the water is clear. You must check all the creases and pay attention to the paws. Residue shampoo will cause irritation to the skin. Now take a warm wet washcloth and wash around the eyes and mouth. Remove the cotton balls and wipe any dirt from the ear flaps.

Be prepared the dog is going to be ready to shake at this point. Let him remove the excess water by shaking. Pat dry with towels if you rub particularly long haired dogs this is going to cause matting. If you need to use a dryer there are dryers especially for dogs. Dryers for humans may get too hot to use on your dog. Finally don't forget dog's treat!