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Proper Dog Bathing Techniques

If you care about your dog, you should learn the proper procedure for dog bathing which can make life much easier for you and your dog. Your dog should only get a bath when heís dirty and/or smells or you suspect he has fleas.

Most dogs donít really care for bath time. This is why knowing proper dog bathing techniques will help ease your dog into the bath time procedure.

When bathing your dog, if you plan to wash him in your tub, get him used to going in and out of the tub area by making a game out of it. The tub should be empty at this point. Once heís comfortable with entering the tub, slowly get him accustomed to being around water by having him hear the water running and then have him enter the tub with very little water in it.

Grooming is an important part of the dog bathing procedure. Introduce the grooming tools to him by having him sniff them. Be gentle when using the grooming tools for the first time because a bad experience, such as a nail being clipped to short or yanking on matted hair with a comb could have your dog running in the opposite direction every time its bath time. Investing this time will save you much grief later on.

Dog bathing procedure

Before you begin bathing your dog, make sure you have all the tools you will need for dog bathing and grooming. These tools are: Plenty of towels, hair dryer, comb or brush, cottonballs, ear wash, ear powder, cotton swabs, nail clippers, toothbrush, mineral oil, toothpaste, a small pitcher, blunt scissors, mineral oil, a stripping knife, dog shampoo and a few treats wouldnít hurt either. You donít want to leave your dog alone in the middle of a bath to get grooming supplies. The thought of what you might find when you come back can be quite scary.

Another thing you should do before dog bathing is brush him thoroughly. Remove all mats with a stripping knife, or for more stubborn matting, use a pair of blunt scissors because bathing can make matting worse.

Be sure to place a rubber mat in the tub (if you donít already have one) to keep your dog from slipping and sliding. He could get injured. For smaller breeds you can use a rubber basin. This can keep dog bathing from being a backbreaking experience. The tub should only be filled up a few inches.

Assuming youíve accustomed him to the bath area, it should be no problem getting him into the tub. If you have trouble getting him in, you can try using a harness and a leash (different from the leash used to take him out). If he attempts to bite, use a muzzle until he gets comfortable. Hopefully, you wonít have to use it all the time.

When starting your dog bath, wet your dog use a small pitcher or a detachable nozzle. Do not get water in his face, this can scare him and make him afraid of water. Use a washcloth with a mild soap to clean his face.

Dog shampoo is recommended for dog bathing. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER CLEANING AGENTS, such as dish washing liquid, detergents, or human shampoo, which can strip your dogís skin of its natural oils leaving it dry and chaffed. Use a dog shampoo that is appropriate for your dogís breed, age and type of fur.

With a cotton swab, apply mineral oil around the eye area. This will protect his eyes from irritation.

Pour the shampoo from the back of his head down to the tip of his tail and lather. You may have to apply more to each of his legs and paws. Lather him up good and try not get shampoo in his eyes, nose or ears. Donít forget to clean his belly. If your dogís ears donít flop over, put a cotton pad in each ear to keep water out. Donít forget to take them out when youíre done.

Using a small cup, gently start to rinse his face avoiding as much as possible, getting water in his eyes, nose and ears. Do not use a detachable spray nozzle. This may be too aggressive initially. You can, however, use a spray nozzle for rinsing the rest of the body. Be sure to rinse a few times in order to get all the soap off the body because leftover soap can cause a skin irritation.

Once heís been rinsed thoroughly, wrap him in a towel and towel dry him in a playful manner. This will help make dog bathing a pleasurable experience for both of you.

You will want to groom your dog after drying him because dogs tend to be very restless when they are wet. Use a hair dryer at a low setting to fluff dry your dog. If the weather is warm, you can lay out a few towels outdoors for him to lie on and leash him in the sun. He will use the towels to rub his ears against and the towels will keep him from getting dirty all over again. If you plan to put him outdoors, you may want to groom him first if you can keep him still.

Grooming your dogís coat, ears, eyes, nails and teeth is part of the bathing routine. You will find more information on grooming through each of the links above. Remember, if grooming your dog is too much of a hassle, leave it to your groomer and just have him groomed more often.

Remember, dog grooming won't be a hair-raising experience if you take the right approach.

About the Author: Nancy Settecasi, Owner of Happy K-9 Dog Care
Proud owner of Cookie and Skippy, Cocker Spaniels, Dog-lover

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