Like most pet parents, you have probably experienced times when your dog has come in the house smelling less than pleasant. Dogs love getting dirty and are thrilled to find something stinky in which to roll. Pet parents, however, are not thrilled at the prospect of giving their dog a bath. Fortunately, bathing your dog is simple, and with the help of these tips and tricks, can even be fun.
- Get Your Pooch Into the Tub
Unless it is very hot outside, most dogs will appreciate being bathed with warm water in the bathtub, as opposed to the frigid water of an outdoor hose. If you have a small breed dog, you can simply lift the dog into the empty tub and help to steady him with one hand throughout the bath. If you have a large dog, he will need to be taught how to jump into the tub on his own, unless you can comfortably and safely lift him. Once the dog is in the tub, work on the command “Stay” and encourage the dog to remain seated as the tub is filled.
- Turn on the Waterworks
Before bathing your dog, consider plugging his ears with oversized cotton balls in order to avoid drenching the delicate ear canal with water. You may want to put on a bathing suit. To gauge water temperature, test it on the inside of your wrist - the water should be pleasantly warm but not hot. Keep in mind that your dog will not appreciate water that is as warm as you may like it for your shower or bath. Once the temperature is correctly adjusted, start wetting the pooch. Begin on his legs and provide plenty of praise as you work over his body, avoiding sensitive areas like the face, nose, eyes and ears. Make sure the bathroom door is closed; if he suddenly bolts, you want to keep the mess to a minimum.
- Lather the Dog’s Body
To get your dog fresh and smelling great, use a half-dollar sized dollop of pet-friendly shampoo and gently work the gel into a lather over the dog’s body. Massage the dog’s coat in circular motions using the tips of the fingers in order to ensure that the shampoo reaches the skin. Avoid getting shampoo into the dog’s eyes or ears and keep a clean towel on hand to wipe away any accidental dollops that land on the animal’s face.
- Rinse the Dog
Washing a dog is much like washing a car - start from the top and work your way down. To ensure your dog is free of suds, use a small bucket or a detachable showerhead to start at the dog’s neck and back. Work the water down the dog’s body until there are no more suds evident in the runoff.
- Towel Dry
When your pooch is clean, it’s time to towel dry the dog in order to avoid a wet mess all over your house. Rub the dog vigorously to sop up the maximum amount of water possible and be sure to provide ample treats and pats in order to reinforce the fact that bath time is fun. Don’t be surprised if he does a vigorous shake or two to help speed up the drying process.
Bathing your dog can be a frustrating experience, but we hope these tips make it more fun and effective. Please share any bathing tips you have below.
Photo ©iStock.com/Pamela Moore