One of the most dreaded things in caring for a dog, aside from taking them to the vet for shots, is bathing—at least for many dog owners. However, it doesn’t need to be a chore when you follow some tips that will make it a pleasure (yes, you read that right) to bathe your fur baby. So, sit back and scroll down to see the ten tips to make bath time a cinch.
Make Bathing Your Dog Easier
Everyone should know how to bathe a dog, right? It’s not that hard. You get the dog in the bath, lather some shampoo on them, and then rinse them off. Easy peasy, right? Well, it should be, but some dog breeds will fight tooth and nail to even go in the bathroom, let alone the tub. When you follow the following tips that include having the right shampoo, towel, finding the right time, and more, your dog will welcome bathtime.
Keep reading to learn the ten tips on bathing your dog.
Ten Tips to Ensure a Pleasant Bath Time
Veterinary dermatologists used to suggest bathing dogs less often, so it didn’t strip the natural oils from a dog’s coat. Now, they’ve changed their tune and say weekly bathing is a good idea and even beneficial. Here are ten tips to make sure dog bathing is a fun and bonding experience.
- Get the right shampoo. Just like humans, it’s important to find the right shampoo for different breeds. Some dogs have sensitive skin and need a shampoo that accommodates it. Finding the right shampoo may just involve calling your vet and getting their advice, or checking online for your breed and getting suggestions from other pet owners or vets. For instance, oatmeal shampoo is great for dogs that have sensitive skin and need a gentle formula.
- Consider a bath tool, such as the Kong Zoom Groom, that helps reduce shedding right in the tub. It works by loosening fur already to drop, so it goes down the drain and not on your carpet or furniture. What’s great is that it works deeply into your dog’s skin, giving them a gentle, relaxing massage.
- Protect their eyes and ears. Yes, that should be self-explanatory, but many times, we put our hand or a washcloth over our fur baby’s eyes to keep water and shampoo out of them. Does it really work, though? And, we don’t cover their ears, for the most part, which is partly why they shake afterward to drain their ears. Instead, talk with your vet about getting some bland eye ointment and then showing you how to apply it. Also, put a cotton ball in each of their ear canals to prevent water from getting in them, and then remove them after the bath.
- Brush your doggo. A great tip is brushing your pup before you bathe them. This works because it helps the shampoo get deep into their coat and works out any mats before the water bunches them up. Gently cut out or pick apart the mats before you bathe them.
- Get a dog towel. Amazon or other pet stores sell dog towels that absorb water much better than regular towels. Microfiber ones work great and sop up water like a sponge, making it much better to towel-dry your Lab that will generally take a couple of towels or a large beach towel. Get a few, one for draping over the dog right after rinsing, allowing them to shake and not get you, the walls, or floor wet. The other is for drying them after.
- Block the drain. Putting a ball of steel wool in the drain before bathing catches the dog hair, so it doesn’t plug up the drain; this is especially helpful if you have a large dog that sheds heavily.
- Offer a reward. Yeah, I know this is debatable, but it does work. For dogs that absolutely hate the water, (yes there are some) offer a small dog treat after their bath. Before long, they will remember that the tub equals getting a treat, and they will happily jump into the tub. Just ensure you’re ready to follow through because dogs are smart, and they will expect it every time.
- Attach a sprayer. Get one you can easily attach to your shower head, and that’s adjustable. This way, you can control the water volume and how you bathe them with the different streams that fit best with your dog. A little Pomeranian probably won’t like a flood of water and instead would do better with a misty type shower-type stream.
- Use warm water. Don’t put the temperature too hot or too cold, so your pet is comfortable. Excessively cold temperatures can cause them to shiver and take longer to dry. Conversely, using hot water can dry out your dog’s skin too much, resulting in itching and lasting discomfort. The perfect temperature is about 100 degrees. Remember, if it feels warm on our skin, it may be too hot for our pet.
- Be prepared. Have you done this before? You get the dog in and rinse him, but then realize the shampoo is somewhere else. Or worse, you have none left. Before the bath, ensure you have the supplies needed, so you do not need to grab the towel when your dog is finished, and then you’re struggling, trying to keep a sopping wet dog from getting out of the tub.
The Best Time and Way to Bathe Dogs
Even though this isn’t necessarily a tip, it’s still good to know the best time and way to bathe your dog. If she’s tired and has been sleeping, chances are she’s not going to be too happy about getting up and immediately experiencing a shock to her system. Wait until she’s active and then be excited about bath time. If you’re excited, she’ll most likely be as well. If she resists, don’t get angry with her, but gently coax her, remembering to give her a treat after so she associates the bath with a reward.
Bath time can also be relaxing if you take a few minutes and massage his neck while you gently lather in the shampoo. Dogs also love scratches in the back of their ears and being told they’re being good for cooperating with you.
Dogs hate the smell of shampoo, so the citrus or floral scent that may smell heavenly to you just makes him irritated. If you’ve ever noticed that after a dog’s bath, they immediately roll over the carpet or go outside, it could be because they’re trying to get rid of the smell. So, get a shampoo that doesn’t have a lot of fragrance.
Drying your Dog
When you dry dog, pat their fur, instead of rubbing it, so it prevents uncomfortable friction. Plus, pat-drying absorbs more water into the towel. You can try using a blow dryer—if it’s on a low setting and doesn’t scare your dog. If you have a long-haired dog, this is a great way to save you time and from your dog rubbing their fur all over the end of your comforter or your carpet.
Also, to prevent shaking before you can dry him, gently hold his muzzle with your thumb and forefinger. Since a dog starts shaking from his head and back, his head won’t be able to rotate; moreover, neither can his body, which prevents him from beginning to shake. Once he’s dried, allow him a place to shake all he wants, without getting you or the carpet wet.
Plush Paws to the Rescue
If, after your fur baby’s bath, you’re ready to take her on a short road trip, consider getting a seat cover for your car. Her damp fur won’t get your seats wet, and the hair stays on the seat cover instead of your seat fabric. Contact us to learn about our seat covers, ranging from small, med, to large, with a variety of looks to complete your car decor.