Dog baths can be frustrating and difficult for the unprepared. It takes only a few minutes to prepare yourself and your dog for a bath. Being prepared will make the experience easier for you and much quicker and more pleasant for your dog. Talking pleasantly to your dog during the bath, telling him/her that he/she is "good" will help keep him/her calm and reassured.
Preparation for dog baths is fairly simple and straight forward. You will want to wear old clothes that you can get wet in and will need a brush and or comb, scissors, a tub, shampoo formulated for dogs, ear cleaning solution, Kleenex, a pitcher, a towel, and a blow dryer (optional). Human shampoo should not be used on a dog because the shampoo covers the entire body, not just the head, and could possibly be unhealthy or even harmful to your dog.
Dog baths are most effective if you brush/comb your dog well first. Wet tangles and mats are difficult to remove. If your dog has mats that won't brush out, carefully trim them out with scissors. Bath time is also a good time to clean your dog's ears. Using an ear cleaning solution formulated for dogs, squeeze a small amount of liquid into each ear and massage the base of the ears for about 1 minute to loosen any dirt or build up deep in the ear. Allow your dog to shake his/her head and then gently wipe out the ear with a Kleenex.
Fill the pitcher with warm water and start the bath by wetting your dog's head and ears first as this prevents fleas from hiding in the ears. Try not to get soap and/or water into your dog's eyes and nose.
Then wet the rest of the body thoroughly. Apply the shampoo in the same manner and, working from the head, work it into a good lather. Rinse your dog well, making sure to get all the soap off. Soap left on the body and fur can cause irritations. The hair should sound 'squeaky' when run through your fingers, if it doesn't, wash and rinse the dog again.
Finishing up dog baths includes a thorough drying with a towel followed by blow drying and brushing. If the weather is warm you can also let your dog air dry and then brush. If you use a blow dryer, be sure to use a low or cool setting so you don't dry your dog's skin out or accidently heat burn your dog. Never use a heated dryer in a kennel.
Dog baths are simple. Being prepared is the easiest way to ensure a good bathing experience for both you and your dog. Just remember to talk to your dog while bathing him/her. Start by brushing him/her out removing any tangles and/or mats, apply water and shampoo to the head first and work back, rinse well until 'squeaky' clean (repeat a second time if necessary), dry completely and brush out for a healthy looking coat.
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