For most dogs, “bath time” is a dirty word. More than likely, your pal even knows how to spell it. And he can probably also second guess your game of charades as you creep silently around the house, stealthily retrieving a towel from the closet and grabbing his special bottles of shampoo and detangling conditioner.
A bath needn’t be an ordeal. It doesn’t take much to turn it into a nice quality time experience for both of you. In fact, with the enormous variety of aromatherapy and organic dog products available, you can turn bath time into a doggy spa experience.
Start by making a special canine aromatherapy candle part of your bath ritual. Light it in advance and place it in the bathroom so that its calmative effect fills the room. You can now find candles designed specifically to remove that wet dog smell that tends to linger long after the dog has gone.
Slipping and Sliding
One of the main reasons your pal may resist the tub is that he probably doesn’t feel secure slipping and sliding on the wet surface of the bath or shower floor. If you put down some rubber mats, he will instantly feel more comfortable. There are now various portable dog baths that can be used both in your tub or outside on the lawn. If you decide to go this route, make sure you purchase a tub with a stopper to let the water out.
Never let your pal jump in to the bath by himself. If you have a large dog, enlist help to place him in the tub and continue playing with him before getting down to the main event. It’s a good idea to get some special extra squeaky bath time toys such as a rubber duck or a koi fish to distract him while you get going with the water and shampoo.
Head to Toes
Dog shampoos are categorized by skin types or relevant skin conditions, such as dry flaky skin or hot spots, rather than by hair type and texture. Never use human “tearless” or “baby” shampoos on your pal, as a dog’s skin has a different Ph factor that is different from yours.
After wetting the coat, begin shampooing at the neck and work your way down his body. Use a sponge to work up a nice lather. He will enjoy the massaging motion too. Don’t forget under his tail and between his toes. One shampoo should be enough unless his coat is very dirty.
Many owners are reluctant to wash their dog’s face for fear of getting shampoo in their pet’s eyes. Instead, use special facial products such as a blueberry facial cleanser designed for these sensitive areas. Don’t forget to put balls of cotton in his ears to stop excess water from getting in, but remember to remove them afterwards too! Your pal won’t mind if you use a soft damp face cloth to wipe his nose and inside his ears.
It’s a good idea to rinse everything off his face before proceeding to the rest of his body. If you are applying a moisturizing conditioner or detangler, once again begin at the neck and work it down to the tail. A wide-toothed rubber brush is a great way to move the conditioner efficiently through your dog’s hair. And remember to keep rinsing until he is squeaky clean. Any remaining products could cause his skin to itch afterwards.
The Best Bath Time Accessory
Probably one of your best bath time investments is a doggy bathrobe. They come in all sizes from Chihuahua to Great Dane. Basically the design is nothing more than a body-shaped towel with a belt. By placing it on your pup and tying it securely in place while he is still standing in the tub, you will automatically stop him from shaking water all over the place.
Because of the noise factor, hairdryers, like vacuum cleaners, probably rank high on your dog’s hate list. Most people dryers are far too hot and will burn your pet’s skin even on the lowest heat setting. Consider investing in a special low noise pet dryer. Depending on the size of your dog, you can get one with a stand or with a clip that attaches to a counter. This way, you will have both hands free to brush out his coat and get him dry quickly.
It’s a good idea to bathe your dog once a month. Consider a weekly bath if your pal has a very active outdoor lifestyle.