Giving Dogs A New Leash On Life...One Click At A Time

Today is: Wednesday January 17, 2018

Bathing your dog

Before you bathe your dog, you should brush him thoroughly. This remove loose hair, removes mats, and improves the performance and effectiveness of the shampoo. To make brushing easier, you many want to spray a detangling spray on his coat.

When brushing your dog, start at his head and work towards his tail. Use firm, but gentle strokes. Don't pull through the mats, as this is very painful and may make him be aggressive. For dogs that have thick coats brush against hair growth.  Then brush again for a second time.

Before bathing, you should apply an ophthalmic ointment to protect his eyes and insert a cotton ball into both of his ears to prevent water from getting into the ear canals.

You should use shampoo made just for dogs. There are many shampoos made today. Carefully choose the shampoo that meets the needs of your dog. If at all possible, do not use shampoos made for people. They contain harsher detergents and could damage hair or aggravate sensitive skin. In the past, giving frequent baths was generally not recommended. However, if you use the appropriate shampoo, you can bathe you pet as frequently as once a week, or more, and not damage his coat.

You will need to first decide where to give the bath. For small dogs, a kitchen sink or laundry tub will work fine. For larger dogs, the bathtub or a portable tub will work best. Outside hoses could be used, but caution should be exercised so that the water is not too cold or hot. Water should be lukewarm for the shampoo to work best and for the best comfort for your dog. Place you dog carefully into the desired bathing area. Hold your dog's collar firmly.  Then slowly pour lukewarm water over his body, making sure to avoid his head.  Apply shampoo throughout his hair. Rub the shampoo into a lather and massage it into his skin.  To help keep him calm, you should praise him often.  Using a damp washcloth that has a little shampoo on it, wash his head, being careful not to get any shampoo into his eyes. Rinse the shampoo off completely, paying special attention to places that may be difficult to rinse, for example, between the toes or armpits. If necessary, apply a second shampoo application and rinse completely. If you want, you can next use a conditioner, this will leave a soft, manageable, and a shiny coat. 

Next, you will need to thoroughly dry your dog off. It is especially important not to let your dog out in colder weather or in drafty areas, if he is wet. Squeeze all of the excess water off of your dog. For shorthair dogs, use a towel and rub the hair vigorously first with the grain, the work against the grain. For longhair dogs, stroke the coat gently with a towel, going with the grain. Make sure to frequently brush him, so that he does not tangle. You could also use a hair drier, with warm air, never hot. If using a blow drier, work from the underside of his coat to the end of his hair. 

Remember to keep your dog warm and away from drafts while his hair dries. Also, try not to let your dog outside while he is wet. A damp coat is like a magnet for dirt.

This site and its contents are intended to serve as basic informational purposes 
 --not a substitute for-- 
professional veterinary care!


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