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How to Bathe Your Dog

Bathing is an important part of the grooming process. How often your dog should have a bath depends on several factors, including what type of coat he has, how much time he spends outside, and simply how dirty he gets. Really, it will be up to you to decide when to bathe your dog. Some dogs need a bath every two or three weeks, while other dogs can wait up to six weeks. And even a dog that can normally wait six weeks for a bath should get a good scrub after two weeks if he’s especially dirty for some reason.

Some dogs love the water, while others hate it. Depending on your dog’s feelings, bath time can either be a happy, fun time or a messy, not-so-fun time. If you have a dog that does not enjoy baths, you can try to help him through the process by talking calmly to him or even singing. The sound of your voice should help to soothe him.

If you live in a warmer climate and have an outdoor space, you may want to wash your dog outside, using a garden hose. If you wash your dog inside, placing a rubber mat in the bathtub or shower stall will give your dog secure footing and keep him from slipping. Be prepared for the fact that bathing a dog is a messy job and every inch of your bathroom is prone to some splashing! Have plenty of dry towels handy to wipe down the room when the bath is over.

Gather together a mild dog shampoo, cotton balls, and a washcloth. Place your dog in the tub and saturate him with warm water (placing a cotton ball in each ear should keep the water out), making sure to wet him right down to the skin. A spray attachment may be helpful at this time, to make sure you wet every area of his body. Apply some shampoo, and start scrubbing, working the shampoo into a nice lather. When cleaning the face, use a damp washcloth and be careful not to get soap into his eyes. Then rinse his entire body thoroughly with warm water, being sure to get rid of every last bit of soap. If you’d like, you can follow this with a conditioning rinse.

Once you are finished rinsing your pup, allow him to shake off any excess water, if possible. Then, towel dry him thoroughly. If his coat is very thick, you may want to use a hand-held blow dryer on a low setting to make sure he’s really dry.

Books on this Topic:
Groom Your Dog Like a Professional

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