Bathing a dog sounds simple enough at first until you actually get to try it, especially for the first time.
There are many things that can go wrong and, depending on your pooch, often will go wrong, turning into a complicated process.
But there’s an easy way to bathe a dog, and that comes from the preparation and knowing what to expect, and I also have some unique bathing items to recommend that you probably haven’t heard of.
1. Get Your Dog Ready
If this is the first time you’re bathing your pup, then you need to make him comfortable within the bathroom environment, and familiarize him with tools you’ll be using: towels, shampoos, faucets or anything else.
The best way to achieve this is to train your puppy as you would train him for anything else.
Simply let your dog smell and touch the items with his nose, and reward him with a treat to establish a positive association with the bathroom and bathing objects.
Lure your dog into the bathroom, and when comes it and is relaxed, reward him with treats.
It’s recommended to do this a few times even when you don’t plan to bathe him so he won’t be afraid when you get him into the bathroom later.
You should also give your dog treats while you bathe him for the first few times to make him feel comfortable.
2. Prepare Everything Beforehand
Dogs will be more nervous if their owner is nervous. So if something goes wrong during the bathing process, your pooch is likely to get more anxious.
You can make the bathing more efficient if you prepare all that you need before you start the bath and go through the actions beforehand.
Keep all the bathing objects and products close to you and you won’t have to waste any time looking for your shampoo or brush when you need it.
3. Brush Your Dog Before Bath
Bathing a dog without getting his hair all over the place may sound difficult but it is possible if you give your dog a thorough brush before you start washing him.
That way, you will get rid of any loose hairs and tangled hair and save your drain from clogging. In addition, brushing can help you spot any bumps, rashes, or other issues on your dog’s skin.
Most dogs also enjoy this and brushing often calms them down.
4. Keep Him Safe in the Tub
Make sure that the water temperature is not too cold or too hot. It should be warm and comfortable.
Remember that whatever feels warm to you will feel slightly warmer to your dog, so adjust accordingly.
Start off slowly and give your pooch some time to get used to the situation.
If you’re washing the dog in your own tub, the bottom of the tub will be slippery, so put a towel down to prevent your dog from slipping.
This can also help you support a large dog by preventing him to lose his footing.
Some dogs will always be anxious or scared in the bath. Having someone there to help you by holding him steady and providing additional comfort can be very effective.
That person can also help you administer treats to keep your dog calm.
5. Protect His Ears and Eyes
It is important to protect your dog’s eyes and ears from water and shampoo. When you let water into the dog’s ears, the ears can become infected from moisture.
Use cotton balls to prevent water from getting into your dog’s ears or simply mind the ears when spraying water near them – cover them with your hand.
Do not wash your dog’s ears when you bathe him because it’s too risky. You can always clean them afterward. In fact, cleaning your dog’s ears once a month is enough.
You might enjoy it yourself when taking a shower, but don’t spray or pour water on your dog’s face or over his head. If you absolutely have to wash the head, keep his chin up and carefully rinse toward his back and not down over his face. Never put shampoo on your dog’s head, even if it says that it won’t hurt his eyes.
6. Wash Head to Tail
First, get your pooch as wet as you can before you start applying shampoo, especially if the coat is rich and thick. This will make lathering and rinsing easier.
If you don’t have a sprayer or hose, fill up a container and pour the water slowly over your pooch.
When your dog is wet enough, apply the shampoo. Make sure that you use all-natural bathing and grooming products that will not make his skin irritated or cause any allergies.
Bathe your dog head to tail because that can wash away any unwanted visitors that found a home in your dog’s fur, like fleas for example.
If some of the soap or shampoo ends in your dog’s eyes, just flush them out with water and give your dog some extra treats to help him calm down.
Rinse your dog’s body well, until the water becomes clear. Knead the fur with your hand as you do it to remove any suds.
Once you are done with bathing, dry your dog off with a towel, especially if he is new to bathing. When he gets used to baths, you can try blow-drying his hair.