Bathing our four-legged friends can sometimes be a stressful occasion, hence we often put it off or leave it to the professionals. But if you follow a few simple steps when you wash your dog, you should at least be able to get through the experience without getting soaked to the skin and without causing too much stress to your pooch:
Gently groom your dog
If your dog enjoys being groomed, then this is a great way of helping to calm them down and soothe them before you begin the bath. It’s also a good idea as it can help get rid of dirt, grime and matted fur that may make washing them a little tricky.
Decide where you will administer the bath
A bath tub or shower may be ideal for larger dogs, but if the weather is clement, take them outside and simply do it with a hose or large bucket of water.
Make your dog feel comfortable throughout the whole process
This is often best achieved with a second person, one who can focus on stroking and soothing your dog while you do the washing. Most dogs are a little anxious at least when being bathed, and so to get them feeling safe and comfortable is important if you ever wish to repeat the procedure in the future with minimum stress. Water temperature and ensuring that their paws don’t slip around will help minimise their stress levels, too.
Careful of their eyes and ears
It’s a good idea to put a cotton ball gently into your dogs’ ears before you begin pouring water to prevent any of it going in, and while most dogs hate getting their heads wet, if you must do this, try to shield the eyes and pour the water gently for minimum discomfort.
Wet thoroughly, lather well and rinse properly
Dogs with long or thick fur will need to be thoroughly soaked before you begin lathering them up with shampoo, otherwise the bath simply won’t be effective. Don’t forget to wash in every doggy nook and cranny, as dirt, dust and other smell inducing particles can easily gather in these creases. Once you’re satisfied that the shampoo has been rubbed into every inch of your dogs’ body, be sure to rinse every last drop of the shampoo off, as leaving any on will make your dog itch and may even cause their fur to become matted when it dries.
Dry off well
A brisk towelling may be all that’s required for some dogs, depending on their coat type, while others may require a quick blow dry. This is essential if the weather is cold to prevent your dog from catching a chill, but in the summer months they’ll usually dry naturally in next to no time.
If you prefer to get your dog washed by professionals, then there is absolutely no shame in that, particularly if your dog really smells and simply will not let you bathe them without creating a ruckus! The health and condition of your dogs’ coat is paramount, and if you need to seek help in cleaning it, then so be it. There are many professional
companies and individuals who can help with this, and some pet sitting services will offer this in their packages.