How to Shampoo Your Dog
We all want our little furry little friend to smell and look good, so bathing them is essential. But even though some dogs get stinky quite fast and require weekly bathing, other dogs can go without a bath for over three months.
Also, most dogs are not fond of taking baths. If you don’t take proper steps to calm your dog, then your four-legged friend might get scared. You don’t want to end up battling your dog to get him clean.
If you’re wondering how to wash your dog, then we have some great dog bathing tips that you might find useful.
Top Dog Bathing Tips
- The first time you bathe your dog will require some extra precaution, since he is likely to remember the experience and respond to the next one accordingly. If the experience were fun, they would willingly jump into the tub next time. If it were difficult, your dog might run away from the bathroom.
- Yes, bathing your pooch is essential, but you should not do it too often. Assuming that a bath will help your friend look extra clean, you might actually cause some unpleasant skin irritation.
- The dog's skin can produce oil that makes the coat look shiny and healthy, similar to how a human’s skin produces oil that makes hair look lustrous. If you start shampooing too often, then the natural secretions can get altered, in turn damaging their skin and natural oil production. It may even soften their coat, reduce the insulating properties, and your pet will be vulnerable to humidity and cold.
- If your dog spends too much time outside and if the area has dirt, then you may need to bathe Fido at least once in six weeks. In case you have a double coat breed, then you can shampoo them once in four months, and if your pet has soft coats, then bathing twice a year will be good enough.
- If you really want your dog to look clean you need to understand that shampooing is just one of the steps. To avoid a horrible odor, you will need to follow a daily grooming routine. You must brush their coat vigorously every day, since it’s good for their skin and fur. This helps to remove bugs and dirt without removing natural oils.
Related: Should My Dog Be Using CBD Shampoo?
How to Wash Your Dog - The First Shampoo Session
The first time you take your fur baby for a dog bath, you need to be careful, patient and introduce the idea before you actually start cleaning. Your dog may take some time to be comfortable but to make the process easier, you may offer them treats and even praise them.
When you plan to comb them, do not start with the process straight away. The strange object (comb/brush) might scare them, and they may begin to bark in fear. Allow your pooch to sniff the tools and understand that it will not hurt them. After combing, offer them treats and praise them.
When your dog sees running water for the first time, he might get scared. That means you need to be patient, keep trying, and keep encouraging your dog to get close to the bathing area, and as he takes small steps closer, keep rewarding and encouraging him.
Before you start shampooing
What most people do is take their dogs to the bathing area and start shampooing immediately. This might not be a good idea and can traumatize your pooch. If your little companion has thick and large fur, then you need to brush them to get rid of all those nasty tangles. Do this carefully, as you do not want to hurt your pet or damage their coat with excessive pulling. During the process, if you notice any ticks, remove them using a tweezer.
Some pets love playing, are very active, and may rub themselves against sticky substances like pine sap, paint, or tar when they play outside the house. If anything like this happens, before shampooing them, you need to soak that area with vegetable or mineral oil for a minimum of 24 hours. If this oil-technique does not help, then you may have to trim the fur in that area.
Make sure the grooming area is clean. Remove any such items that your dog can easily reach, leading to extra messes. It will be best to get everything in place before you start the shampooing process. First, dress in old clothes, since you are going to get wet. Then, keep the following things in the bathing area –
- Cleaning supplies including shampoo (one that is formulated for dogs only), dryer (preferably one that is created for dogs), comb, sponge, brush, cotton balls, and towels
- Soft brush to clean around the paws
- A nylon color so that you can control your dog while bathing
- Treats, to make your dog better in case they get agitated
If your dog gets anxious, they may scratch you or their surroundings, and it will be wise to check their nails, and if they are grown, trim them. The ears are often sensitive, so you can use cotton balls to protect them. Make sure they are big enough to not get stuck in their ear canal.
The process begins
While bathing your pet, you need to keep checking the water level and temperature. The water must be slightly warm and should only be within the knee level. If your dog does not get inside the tub, you can lift and cautiously place Fido in there.
Use the water sprayer at low speed (as you need to allow some time to your dog adjusted) and then spray his shoulders and back. Do not wash the head until he is completely relaxed and never spray water directly to the face. As far as his eyes, mouth, and nose are concerned, just use a washcloth to clean.
After his fur is wet, you need to start applying shampoo along his back and massage down to the skin. You may use a rubber brush to make the cleaning session effective and more comfortable. After applying shampoo on the back, proceed towards his neck, paws, legs, and tail.
It will be a good idea to offer treats occasionally to keep your dog happy and waiting patiently. After you have completed the scrubbing process, then it's time to start rinsing. If you have a detachable spray nozzle, things will be a lot easier. Always check the spray on yourself before spraying it on your dog to make sure the temperature is right. While spraying water on his head, do not forget to cover his nose and eyes.
Next, spray water on his body, paws, and legs. You need to keep rinsing until you notice the water runs clean, and there is no shampoo residue on his coat. Even if a little shampoo remains, it can cause allergic reactions and irritations.
What to do after shampooing
Before you take your dog out of the tub, gently squeeze the extra water out of his fur using your hand. Next, cover his body with a large towel and keep patting and pressing gently to absorb as much water as you can. Never opt for heavy rubbing as that can lead to massive tangling. Do not forget to remove the cotton balls from his ear and remove any water present. This is to prevent potential infections. Take your pet out of the tub, and he will shake himself dry to get rid of any excess water.
Now, you need to use a hairdryer, especially if your dog has curly or long hair. With that fur texture, towel drying might not be adequate enough. The air setting should be warm and not too hot as that will dry out the skin. Keep in mind that you should never blow the dryer directly to Fido's face. You can opt for automatic dryers but handle that carefully, and keep checking the temperature every 10-15 minutes. After your canine companion is all done, then allow the fur to dry naturally.
Things to Avoid
Once your dog gets used to the process of bathing, then it will no longer be a hassle. This may take time but you need to be patient and the results will be rewarding. If you never want the bathing process to be challenging for your little friend, there are certain things that you need to avoid, including:
- Some groomers may say it is vital to cleanse the pet’s anal glands while cleaning him, but this can be scary and painful and should be avoided.
- Do not use shampoo around the eye area as you may hurt your dog.
- While bathing your pooch for the first time, do not pour water on his face if he is already anxious.
- Do not bathe your pet daily, as it will lead to dry and irritated skin.
Take Home Message
If you follow these tips and tricks for dog baths, then shampooing your dog will be super fast, easy, fun, and a process that both you and your fur baby will enjoy. You will experience excellent results and receive phenomenal praise on the way your dog looks and smells. In fact, he will be the most attractive animal on the planet.
Don’t forget that using the right products is just as important as the process itself. Check out our CBD Oatmeal Lavender Shampoo with organic, dog-friendly ingredients.
Related: 10 Best Dog Shampoo Brands of 2019