There’s nothing more daunting than giving your dog a bath, especially if it’s a new puppy that has never been washed before. Dog commercials like to make it seem as if bathing your dog is the simplest most intimate time you two could ever spend together, but for most of us, it’s a nightmare. The truth is that, giving your dog a bath can be a downright awful process, but it has to be done, and not to worry, I’m here to walk you through ways to make this process less tedious.
Bathing your dog at home can be a simple and less time-consuming procedure if you prepare beforehand, and remember, there’s no need to bathe your dog more than every three months. So let’s get to it, here are 10 easy steps to ensure that bathing your dog will be more pleasurable than stressful.
10 easy steps to bathing your dog
1. Prepare – Be sure to prepare everything beforehand so that the process will be much easier and quicker. Items such as dog shampoo, towels and a rubber mat for the dog to stand on, should already be in place before you attempt to bathe your dog. It’s also important to brush your dog before giving them a bath. Brushing your dog allows all the excess dirt and matted hair to be gone before getting in the tub, so that the bathing process goes much smoother.
2. Use warm/lukewarm water – Depending on the temperature, use either warm or lukewarm water to give your dog a bath. Cold water may be harmful to the dog, and for smaller dogs can cause health issues; warm water may be too hot for the dog depending on the temperature outside. If you’re bathing your dog outside, the same rules apply, choose the temperature of the water you’re about to use based on the weather outside.
3. Give your dog a treat – Giving your dog a treat will make them believe taking a bath is something enjoyable, and make them more excited to have a bath. You may also use this method to coerce them in to getting into the tub. Because of this, the next time you want to give the dog a bath, they will cooperate. Try to get the dog into the tub then offer them a treat or snack as a job well done.
4. Talk to your dog – Your pet associates your voice with either approval or disapproval. Speaking to your dog in a proud happy manner can significantly boost their mood and contribute to bath time being a more enjoyable experience. Use your happy voice to convince them that they’re doing something good, rather than something scary.
5. Use a dog shampoo – Using a dog shampoo will ensure that the dog’s fur will not be dried out during the process. Dog shampoos are specifically made to cater to dogs, and most if not all contain ingredients that moisturizes and protects the dog’s fur from harmful and drying ingredients found in human shampoos. Using a dog shampoo will increase the likelihood of your dog enjoying the bath, and can make a major difference in the bathing process.
6. Wash from the neck down – Dogs are extremely sensitive creatures, and getting soap in the eyes or ears can cause severe irritation and ruin your dog’s bath. Washing from the neck down ensures that all the fur is cleansed without irritating the rest of their body. This can be easily done by using a sprayer or using a bucket filled with warm or lukewarm water. The dog’s face can be wiped clean with a washcloth afterwards.
7. Be gentle – While washing your dog, use soft gentle circular massages to cleanse their fur, while talking to them in a positive approving tone. It’s important to be gentle with your dog so that you won’t accidentally scratch their skin or cause any harm to their fur. The gentleness also allows them to enjoy the bath, rather than be afraid of it. When wiping their face with the washcloth, use soft circular motions around areas such as the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
8. Rinse thoroughly – Ensure that you rinse all the shampoo out of the dog’s fur thoroughly. Leftover shampoo that dries in the fur of the dog can cause severe skin irritation and reduce the possibility of you ever getting your dog into a bath again, so ensure that you rinse the dog thoroughly and remove all traces of dog shampoo that was used.
9. Air Dry – While a blow-dryer might be the most convenient method for you, air-drying is much more safe for your dog. Air drying also cuts down time in the the bathing process and allows the dog some control over what is happening. A blow-dryer might scare your dog in to never taking another bath again. It is important to note that if your dog is already used to being blow dried, it is fine to go ahead and use this method, but if this is their first bath, skip the blow-drying step and go for air-drying.
You can also use the alternative method of drying your dog with a warm towel, but be careful, afterwards they might flash all over you.
10. Reward your dog – Treat your dog after the bath by either playing, petting or giving them a snack. This allows your dog to associate taking a bath with doing something good and honorable, so that next bath time they will cooperate more easily. By being cool, calm and happy with your dog, they will feel pride in what they’ve just done, and this will allow bath time to be one of intimate bonding between you two, just like the dog commercials.
There you have it, 10 simple steps that will ensure that the next bath time for you and your dog will be more pleasurable, and easy. Your dog will associate this time with doing a good task for you, which will make them more willing to cooperate. After all, who says those dog commercial baths are impossible?