Welcoming a pet dog into your life comes with some care and responsibilities. One of them is grooming and bathing care. Bathing and grooming your dog is an important part of keeping our dog clean and healthy.
For dogs with healthy skin and coat, the main reason to bathe is to remove unpleasant odour and/or accumulated dirt on their coat. Further benefits include helping to remove loose hair, scale and debris, and improve the hair coat’s shine. For dogs with certain skin irritations, bathing may be part of the medical treatment plan recommended by the veterinary.
How Often You Should Bath Your Dog?
How often to bathe your dog will depend on his individual needs. Generally, bathing is required when the dog has an unpleasant odour or have accumulated dirt/mud on their coat. So, if your dog smells normal and is not dirt, then bathing may not be necessary at that stage. It’s not recommended to bath dogs too frequently because this can dry out their hair coat and skin, causing problems. Bathing only when necessary will help prevent the skin drying out as the natural oils on the skin and coat won’t be stipped away too frequently. Dogs with skin problems may need a specific bathing schedule as part of their treatment plan. You vet will give you advice.
What Type of Shampoo to Use?
To bath your dog, you should use only dogs shampoo, specifically designed for them. Dogs have sensitive skin and their pH is different from the pH of human skin, which means human shampoo products shouldn’t be used on dogs. For dogs with a healthy coat and skin, vets recommend using a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo for dog. For dogs with special skin conditions, a specific type of dogs shampoo may be prescribed to help manage or treat specific skin problems. You can also consider using a mild and gentle hypoallergenic rinse-out conditioner after shampooing to help prevent dryness on the coat and skin.
To make sure that is no reaction or irritation to the shampoo or conditioner, test patch a small amount of the product first. If your dog’s skin becomes irritated , ask your veterinary to recommend a different product with less probability to cause irritation.
Where to Bath Your Dog?
There are a few circumstances that will determine where to bathe your dog.
For some dog owners, bathing their dogs outside in the backyard on the ground may be the easiest way – medium to large-sized dogs can be quite heavy to lift. This can also be a great option for dogs who try to jump out of the tub. Some people choose to use a garden hose set on low pressure. Make sure to always test the temperature of the hose water as in summer the water can be quite hot as first, so you will need to wait until it cools down before using it. During the cold weather, buckets filled with warm water may be necessary as the water from the hose may be too cold.
For other owners, a bathtub or a dog tub may be suitable. Observe your dog. If he seems upset, it may be a better idea to try outdoor bathing instead. When using a tub, make sure to always supervise your dog and be there with him. Let the water run down the drain so the water doesn’t fill the tub. This is an important measure to prevent drowning.
Using a showerhead attached to the tub is ideal, otherwise, you will need to use containers or buckets of water and a ladle. Check the water temperature to make sure it’s comfortable and warm ensuring it’s not too hot or cold. Consider using a low flow and light water pressure only. Place a non-slip mat to the floor of the tub to prevent any sleeping or injury. This will help your dog to feel more comfortable as dogs like to be secure on surfaces. To make the whole area less slippery, place a few non-sleep mats next to the tip and around the bathroom.
How to Help Your Dog Enjoy Bath Time?
To teach your dog to be comfortable during bath time, pat and stroke different parts of his body. Praise and reward him for being a good boy. Start slowly, patting him on the chest area, then shoulders, sides and along the back, gradually working towards other areas such as each leg. Once you notice your dog is comfortable with this, try briefly lifting up a paw, one at a time. With time you can extend this to gently touching the footpads and nails, as well as other areas of the ear flaps. Make sure to always to praise and reward your dog for calm behaviour. This will make him less likely to react when you touch him in these areas while bathing.
When the real-time to bath your dog arrives, do it slowly and with plenty of praise and tasty dog food treats for him being tolerated during the process. And always be calm and speak to your dog in a positive tone – this will help him be more relaxed. After bath time, reward your dog with a delicious dog treat to finish the activity in a good tone.