The Best Way to Bathe a Dog

We would generally agree that our pet pooch might actually be our baby, and for good reason:  they thrive on constant attention, are playful, and invariably get up to tricks when least expected.

As humans, we nurture, care and, discipline our furry companions, and in return, get their undying loyalty, love, and attention.

So as a child would need a good daily scrub after playing, you’re probably wondering how often you should be washing your pet. The answer is: probably less than you think.

If your pooch is healthy without a skin condition, “they only need to be bathed if they smell,” says Samantha, a Houston-based vet at a grooming center. 

When we decide to shampoodle our dogs with warm bubble baths, it’s mostly because we want to keep them from soiling our sofas or if they develop a particular doggy smell. A monthly bath ensures your canine stays healthy, clean, and dirt-free.

Following these handy guidelines ensures you go about this bathing ritual correctly and without dread:

Get Rid Of the Knots

Begin by first brushing out your dog's hair as matted hair retains water. Leaving behind even a faint presence of shampoo and water is not advisable as it could result in a skin allergy. If you are unable to untie the knots thoroughly, take the help of a professional dog groomer.

Plug Their Ears

There is always a fear of water entering your pet's ears during the bathing process. It would be best if you kept their ears dry and irritant-free. The only way to prevent uneasiness and ear infections is to stuff cotton balls into both their ears before the bath.

Lukewarm Water Works Best

Dog fur is different than ours. Hot water tends to burn your dog's skin. When it comes to the temperature of their bathwater, keep it lukewarm as you would do for your kid. If you have a larger breed, colder water is desirable as their bodies tend to overheat quickly.

Shampoo Plays a Significant Role

Using your shampoo on your pooch will only make their bath an unpleasant experience as it does not agree with them. Do you want to strip their coat of its natural oils and dry out their skin, causing them to scratch? I bet not. The best thing to resort to is a gentle shampoo that removes unwanted odors while cleaning.

Systematically Work Your Way

To protect your dog's eyes, nose, and mouth from coming in contact with shampoo, hold their face upwards while washing them from the neck downwards. Using a sprayer specially designed for bathing dogs is great. With your hands gently lather and massage the shampoo all over their body, maintaining the direction their fur grows. A damp washcloth works well to clean their face.

Talk to Your Pet in a Calm Voice

For some pets, bathing is akin to torture, so think about how you would talk when trying to comfort a baby. A soft and reassuring voice, saying "sweet pup" when bathing your dog, tells him that you really love him.

Rinse Thoroughly

Thoroughly wash off all the shampoo as leftover soap can cause subsequent irritation on their delicate skin. A couple of consecutive rinses using the spray and your hands ensure that your dog is shampoo-free post the bath.

Keep Them Dry

Your blow dryer may dry their wet bodies in a jiffy but, the emanating heat is too harsh for a dog’s skin. Even the noise of a blow dryer designed exclusively for dogs may take a while for your pet to get used to. At best, you can use an absorbent dog towel to pat them down dry. In any case, your pet is bound to shake off all the moisture present on them without a second thought.

Reward Your Dog

For allowing you to bathe them, you must show your appreciation to your loyal companion. Make it a habit to reward them with treats, hugs, praises, and affectionate petting. When you do so each time, your dogs will willingly cooperate during every bathing session, knowing what awaits them at the end. Go all out to get your canines to enjoy their bath time.

When you have smaller breeds, it becomes easier to bathe them in your laundry tub or bathroom sink. Use the bathtub for bigger dogs. Another feasible option is a portable doggy tub for exclusive use. Avoid using the garden hose to bathe your dog outdoors even when they are filthy, and the weather is favorable. A little consideration goes a long way.

Make the process of bathing your dog a bonding exercise for the both of you.