Although bath time for your dog may be stressful and messy, the benefits will make the struggle worth it. For most, the appeal of washing your furry friend is to get rid of odours and dirt. However, the benefits exceed these. Correct bathing can help remove loose hair, scale and debris, and improve the coat’s shine.
The consistency and regularity of baths will vary for each dog. A clear sign of when a bath is due is through their odour and evidence of dirt or mud on their paws.
If you wash your dog too frequently, their skin will begin to dry out and they may begin to encounter coat problems. If you regularly swim with your pooch (pool, creek, or the beach) they will require less bathing as these are natural substitutes.
If this is the first time you are bathing your pooch it may be best to consult your local vet for the most suitable product to use. For dogs with skin conditions, they may need to have a unique cleaning schedule as part of a treatment plan.
No matter the breed you will need to choose a product made specifically for dogs. You should avoid using human care products as the pH concentration is different. When trying a new product test a small amount on your pooch to check for signs of irritation.
For some, washing your dog in the yard may be the best and most practical option. Bathing outside can help you avoiding lifting your pooch into a tub, especially if they have jumped out of a tub before.
If you plan on using a garden hose, ensure it is set to low pressure and test the temperature on yourself. In summer the water from the tap can be quiet hot, whereas, during the winter you may need to fill buckets with warmer water.
For smaller dogs you might prefer to use a bath for bathing. During wash time you will need to supervise your dog, if the tub is too full the possibility of drowning increases. Apply non-slip mats in the tub and in the surrounding area. Dogs like to be standing on secure surfaces so not only will this increase their comfort but it will also reduce their chance of injury.
When training your furry friend to enjoy bath time, teach them to associate bathing with rewards, treats, or things they love. For most dogs washing is uncommon and therefore frightening. Remember to take things slow and easy, ensure they are relaxed and comfortable.
Once your pooch is all clean spend some time grooming them to help maintain their coat.