Giving a dog a bath can be very simple, or one of the hardest things you do for your pet! A general rule of thumb is to do everything you can to create a calm, easy situation to help avoid doggy escapes or any unnecessary stress for either your dog or yourself!
Before getting started, know that bathing your dog too often can have negative effects. Your canine’s coat has oils that keep it healthy and warm. Shampooing too often removes these oils and can dry and irritate its skin. There is no real agreed upon time frame for how often you should bathe, as dog’s coats and skin vary so much between individuals. However, check your dog’s coat during the times between baths to make sure it hasn’t gotten dry, or coarse, or the skin irritated.
Get all supplies ready and in the room before you start the bath! If you have to leave your dog alone to go get supplies, it is much more likely to jump out or panic.
Make sure your bathtub has a non-skid surface in it so your dog doesn’t slip around and get stressed out. This can make the whole bathing process harder for the both of you!
Block the tub’s drain and have a drain strainer on hand for when it’s time to empty the tub. Your pet will likely lose enough hair during the bath to completely clog the drain otherwise.
Get a shampoo that will work well for your dog. Shampoos meant for people can often irritate dog skin or cause dryness. Many pet stores offer specific products meant for dog bathing or your vet can recommend one. Some trial and error may come into play to see which one works best for you.
Brushing your dog before a bath helps lessen the amount of fur that will get into the water and also works out mats before they get set in by the water.
Use warm water to fill the tub. However, make sure the water is not too hot for comfort! A warm bath can feel good on your pet’s body just like it does for people and can offer a more therapeutic experience for them.
Make sure the tub is filled before bringing in your dog. The sound of the faucet can add more stress to the situation and even scare the animal.
Be as positive as possible when you begin bathing your dog and throughout the entire process. Have a soothing calm voice and offer treats to keep the dog distracted and happy.
Get your dog completely wet before applying the shampoo to make sure you can achieve a proper sudsing. Lather up the pooch, avoiding places like eyes, muzzle, and ear canals.
Rinse your dog thoroughly!!! Getting all of the soap out of a dog’s fur is important to avoid irritation.
When it’s time to come out of the bath, cover your dogs body immediately with a dry towel to avoid a wet mess with your dog shaking off to dry itself.
Many dogs do not enjoy being blow dried. However, if your dog doesn’t mind and you choose to use a blow dryer, make sure to use it on the coolest setting. Otherwise, you could hurt your dog’s fur or skin.