How to bath your Dog

Eeeek!—you just caught a whiff of something not particularly pleasant, and you have a good hunch where it is coming from. However, because you are not sure how to bath your dog and you are apprehensive in taking on the task, you are in denial; it could not possibly be your dog. So, you sniff one more time just to make sure your nose is not playing tricks on you. Sniff. Yep, you are sure—it is your beloved, and at the moment, stinky dog. As much as you love him, truth of the matter is, if he stinks, chances are, you really do not want to hang out with him. The day you have been dreading has finally arrived. A bath is definitely in order.

Most dogs have the “stinky syndrome” when not bathed and groomed regularly. They are a magnet to dirt and odours. This holds particularly true for dogs that actively play outside. They may roll on something that smells bad or encounter an animal such as a skunk. Other sources of bad odour for dogs are infected ears and anal glands.

It is common to feel apprehension and dread when bathing your dog for the first time. Planning, reading resources on how to bath a dog and preparing the items you need in advance can help you gain the confidence you need to give your dog an enjoyable bath. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to bath your dog.

1. Prepare the items you will need.

Before even turning on the shower you should have already gathered all the items you will need to bathe your dog. These items may include:

  • Dog shampoo and conditioner – Visit a local pet store to get a hold of a dog shampoo and conditioner. A good brand is one that contains a veterinarian recommended formula. Avoid products with additional fragrance. If anything, go for fragrance-free ones. They are not too overpowering to your pooch’s sensitive nose.
  • Brush or comb – A suitable brush or comb depends on the dog breed.
  • Cotton balls – These are important to prevent water from going in your dog’s ears. Some breeds are prone to ear infection, and this is an effective way of preventing it.
  • Plastic pitcher or any plastic container – You can use this to rinse or wet your dog if you do not have a removable showerhead available.
  • Drain screen – Since dogs shed, a drain screen is important in sparing you from an overpriced plumbing service.
  • Towels to dry your dog and keep him warm (and to help stop him shaking water everywhere!)

2. Brush and comb your dog’s hair.

This is an important step prior to bathing your dog. By brushing and grooming your dog’s coat, you can remove tangles and matts and loose hair. This will help make bathing your dog a breeze. It also minimises shedding. After brushing or combing, you can gently insert the cotton balls in your dog’s ears.

3. Put your dog in an unfilled bathtub and run the water.

By putting your dog in an unfilled tub, you are giving him time to adjust. Turn on the faucet to start filling up the tub with lukewarm water. Also, if possible, find another person to help you with the bathing. An assistant can lovingly encourage and embrace your worrisome pooch.

4. Start washing and wetting your dog systematically.

Begin washing the neck area thoroughly with a generous amount of shampoo and water. This action is an effective flea barrier. It stops fleas from escaping to your dogs face or ears. Try as much as possible not to wet your dog’s head to delay him from shaking.

Proceed with systematically washing the dog’s entire body. Systematic washing lessens the possibility of you missing a spot. Armpits, groin, belly and between toes are often neglected parts. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Follow with a good conditioner. You can repeat the process if you feel your dog needs more washing. Make sure you rinse your dog thoroughly to avoid skin irritation.

5. Carefully wash your dog’s face.

You can use your hands or wash cloth to shampoo your dog’s face and ears. Be careful so as not to get shampoo in your dog’s eyes. Rinse and re-rinse as needed.

6. Dry your dog.

Take the cotton balls out. Prior to drying your dog, let him shake himself dry. You can then use big, fluffy towels to dry your doggy completely. For longhaired dogs, you can use a hair dryer. Make sure there is no heat and it is set at a low setting. Dogs are sensitive to temperature change. If a dryer is not available, dry him up by patting and not rubbing, to avoid tangles.

If you have followed these steps to a T, expect to see a very happy and clean-smelling dog. Keep him inside and in a warm, cosy temperature until he is dry.

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