The Best Way To Wash A Dog - Tips, Tricks and Hacks
Is your dirty dog stinking up your house? It might be time for a bath. While it may seem obvious to many how to bathe a dog, there are definitely tips, tricks and hacks to giving your dog a great bath. Keep reading to learn how to bathe your dog properly and most efficiently in your bathroom with less hassle and fuss:
If your dog loves getting a bath, then you are lucky. For those of us who have dogs that don't enjoy getting a bath as much, there are ways to make bath time a little easier.
Obviously, if you have a dedicated space for bathing your dog or a doggie bath tub, it makes bathing your dog much easier. But if you don't have a few hundred dollars and a few hundred square feet to spare, you can still wach your dog with ease.
Whenever you are going to give your dog a bath, try to build positive associations for your dog with taking baths. Give him lots of hugs, treats and praise to make sure that when he thinks he is going to get a bath, he will grow to like the idea of baths. My vet suggests that every time I bathe my dog, I turn on a particular piece of pretty soothing music. After awhile, the dog will associate the music with a bath and hopefully all the great treats he'll be getting.
To make bath time easier for you, it is really important to make sure your dog is tired before you take him for a bath. If your dog is tuckered out from going for a long walk or playing all day, he will have less energy to struggle or battle with you in the bathroom.
It is really helpful to have someone else help you when you are bathing a dog. So if you have someone who can help, don't hesitate to team up with them when it's bath time.
Here's are some more tips for how to best wash your dog:
How To Bathe Your Dog
1. Pick The Right Shampoo
Some folks use their own shampoo on their dog. You can do that but it is better to use a shampoo designed for dogs. If you do use human shampoo, try to pick one that is really gentle and free of fragrances and allergens.
For best results, pick a shampoo that works best for your dog's particular needs. The shampoo you choose should be gentle on the eyes, like baby shampoo. If your dog has flees or another skin problem, choose a shampoo that will help treat that. One of my favorite lines of dog shampoos is made by Earthbath All Natural Shampoo. They smell great, are all natural and work wonderfully on my dog.
2. Brush Your Dog Before Bathing
For the best results, brush your dog prior to bathing him. This is the perfect time to check for any potential skin or coat problems, such as fleas, ticks, or rashes. If you find anything, call your local vet.
If you don't brush your dog daily, you may want to consider doing so. It takes only a few minutes and a quick brushing will help keep your dog clean and his fur smooth and untangled. It also really helps with minimizing the dog hair all over the house as well. One of my favorite dog hair brushes is Christina's Dog Brush. It is one of our top picks for some of the best products for your dog.
3. Prepare The Bath First
Before you bathe your dog, make sure you have all the supplies ready and everything set up. These supplies include shampoo, a sponge or rag or doggie bath brush, a small bucket or pitcher and lots of towels to dry off the dog, you and the floors.
Once you've gathered all the supplies, place them somewhere where they won't get disturbed by the dog. Next, it's time to fill up the tub or sink. Be sure that the dog is isolated in the bathroom before you start running the water. Fill up the tub with about 3-5 inches of warm water.
Make sure your tub is not too slippery. Your dog needs to be able to comfortably be in the tub without slipping. If you need to, put down a non-slip bath mat like this extra long one or a big towel on the floor of the tub to make the tub less slippery for your dog.
If you don't have one, a shower hose may be a really great investment. If you don't own one, think about getting one of the Rinse Ace Shower Sprayers. It's not perfect but it has a really long hose and a button to spray water only when you need it. It's cheap and and it is really helpful at bath time. Highly recommended!
It is usually a good idea to make sure to shut the dog in the bathroom or otherwise confine your dog so you don't run the risk of him running around soaking wet all over your home. If you have a problem with keeping your dog in the tub, you may want to consider getting a tub restraint. I have never used the Stay and Wash Bath Tub Leash but my sister swears by it for her puppy. It costs about $10 bucks and reviewers gush about how well it works and it can be used for dogs up to 90 pounds.
4. Wet And Shampoo The Body
Place your dog in the tub and use a bucket of warm water to wet his fur. Once he's wet, apply the shampoo from front to back, avoiding the head for now. Start by scrubbing his back, and then his tail, his back legs, belly, chest, and finally the neck. Massage the shampoo in a circular motion to get him cleaner. If your dog likes massages, massage him a little so he likes baths more.
Some people swear by a shampooing massage brush like this one. I personally prefer a small sponge as I don't like switching from the brush to the rag when cleaning my dogs face. I also found that if you premix the shampoo with water together in a empty squirt water bottle, it can help speed up the shampooing process.
One tip I have not tried yet is to smear some peanut butter on the top of the tub. You dog will stand around distracted and happily licking the tub and give you some time to do a good cleaning. (via Rover)
Image by Perry French, Flickr
5. Wash The Head And Face Next
This part is important to help your dog stay clean, however you should only use shampoo that won't sting the eyes (it will say so on the bottle). Use a warm damp rag or sponge and gently rub the shampoo around the face and under the chin. When doing this, be extremely careful not to get any shampoo in the eyes, nose, ears, or mouth. If you think your dog will wear one, you can try using a shower cap to protect your dogs ears and when appropriate use it quickly to cover his eyes for a moment when washing parts of his face. You can also try sticking some cotton balls in your dogs ears to try to keep water out of them.
6. Rinse, Rinse and Rinse
If you have the shower sprayer, once your dog is shampooed, drain the tub and use the sprayer to rinse your pet.
If you don't have a sprayer, drain the tub and refill it with clean, warm water. Use a bucket or pitcher to gently rinse the shampoo from your dog's fur until the water runs clean through, and then rinse one more time. To rinse the face, cup water into your hands and gently drizzle over the soapy areas. You can also use a wet rag to gently rinse the soap away. Drain the tub once the water is clean looking.
If you feel up to the challenge of extending bath time, you may want to try soaking your dog in a baking soda mixture to make your dogs fur extra super fluffy. You just need to mix in 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a gallon of warm water. Right before the final rinse, soak your dog (the body only) with the baking soda water and then do your final rinse.(via PetGrooming)
7. Dry Your Dog Off Thoroughly
Lay a towel over your dog's back and gently rub him dry. Once the towel has soaked up most of the water, you can use a hair dryer on a cool setting and a dog brush to finish the job if you need it to help get him dry. Start by drying the thickest areas of fur, and then work out to the areas that aren't as thick. Some dogs will be scared by a hair dryer so try to use the lowest setting and if possible use a really quiet hair dryer like this great one.
I love using microfiber towels to dry my hair after a shower and I also use a good microfiber towel for my dog. If you haven't tried one, you really should. These towels are super absorbent so they take less time to dry off the dog and they are not as thick or bulky as normal towels so they are easier to use and more precise. I actually love them so much that I have several of them tucked in a basket by my front door and in my car. I think they are perfect for drying off my dog whenever he gets wet. Remember the better you dry your dog, the less water there will be on you, your bathroom and your walls.
8. Give Your Dog A Hug And Set Him Free
When you are done, make sure to give your dog a ton of praise and some tasty treats so that he loves taking a bath.
If you can, place your dog in a contained space with a pet treat dispenser to coax him to stay in one place waiting for his treat while he finishes drying off.
9. Clean Up After The Bath
You and your bathroom will likely look like a hurricane hit your home. I keep some really huge beach towels especially for bath time that I lay on the bathroom floor and then I lay an old king size flat sheet over it to make cleaning up the floors much easier. Just pick up the wet sheets and the towels underneath it and voila, the bathroom floor should look pretty good.
If you have a dog with lots of hair that can clog the drain, think of lining the tub drain before the bath with a baby wipe or used Bounce sheet. You put the baby wipe or Bounce sheet on the drain and plug it up, and when the water drains, you just pick up the sheet now covered in dog hair and throw it in the trash. (via KohchakPuggle)
For cleaning the tub, I find the best thing to do is to just let the tub dry out first. Once it is dry, you can then easily wipe the tub dry with a paper towel. If you try to clean it when it is wet, I find it pretty impossible to pick up all the dog hair all over the place.
Congratulations, you are done.
Now your dog will feel great, and your house will smell a little better.
Bathe your dog as often as you feel necessary. A good guideline is to bathe your dog once a month depending on how stinky your dog gets. If you bathe your dog too often, you can dry out his coat and skin. If you don't bathe often enough, your dog and your home may smell and your dog is more likely to have problems with skin infections. Just use your nose and eyes to tell you when your dog looks like he needs a bath.
I hope you find my tips helpful. Please share this post if you do?
Also, please share any tips and tricks that I missed? What do you do to make bathing your dog easier and better?
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