It can be a tricky business bathing a dog, especially if it is for the first time. Most owners end up with a flooded bathroom and are invariably more wet than the dog! AnimalTalk brings you some bathing tips.
- The bottoms of most tubs are slippery, so it would be advisable to use a rubber mat or a towel on the bottom of the tub.
- Leave a collar on your dog or have a helper nearby, especially in the case of a first-time bath.
- Most dogs do not enjoy having water poured over their heads and it’s really not the safest or best way to get the face and ears clean. So instead, gently wet the face and ears. Use a cotton ball inside of each ear to prevent water splashing inside.
- Bath the dog from the neck back and use a soft facecloth or sponge to clean the face.
- The water temperature should be comfortable. Wet the dog all over from the neck down, not forgetting the belly and groin area. If you do not have a sprayer, use a container and slowly pour water over the dog. Get the coat as wet as possible before applying the shampoo.
- Wash right down to the paws, making sure to get the belly and the legs, and under the neck. Two washes should suffice.
- It’s really important to make sure the dog is rinsed properly. Dried shampoo can cause irritation, so take your time and rinse thoroughly.
- Now you can use your soft cloth to clean the folds on the face. Use the facecloth to clean inside
the ears without letting water get into the canals.
- Use a clean towel to absorb most of the water and then use another dry towel to wrap your dog in, and rub dry as much as you can before proceeding to blow-dry. Dogs with long hair should not be rubbed as rubbing can cause matting.
- If your dog is used to blow-drying you can now proceed to blow-dry – always ensuring that your dryer is not on a very hot setting, as this can burn the dog. If it is a first-time bath, proceed with caution. Dogs can be very afraid of a hair dryer, and we want this to be a fun experience. A good dog parlour is experienced at this and most parlours have the equipment to deal with bathing correctly.
Text: Michelle Roniak, owner of Le Pawtique, and Lyn Picot, owner at Tailwaggers
The full article appears in May issue of AnimalTalk.