Just like with people, you will probably find it easier to get things done with your dog if you set a regular time and day for it. Even though they can’t read calendars, our furry friends have a way of keeping track, so setting up a routine for baths will make the whole process go more smoothly.
In addition to knowing when you will wash your dog, it helps to be able to have some sort of routine way of doing it each time. This will make it less time consuming and more enjoyable for you and your pet.
Before starting the water, make sure you have everything you will need close at hand. This includes dog shampoo, brush, towels, and in some case dog conditioner. The specifications of what type of shampoo and conditioner to use depend on the breed, age, and any illnesses the dog might have, among other things. This is something you should talk to your vet about, if your dog seems to be reacting badly to regular shampoo.
It relaxes your dog to brush his or her coat for a few minute before getting wet. This also makes it easier for you wash your pet’s full fur and skin, because it helps prevent it from matting. At this time, you can also check for ticks or any irregularities on the dog’s skin that might be of concern. Make sure your dog is thoroughly soaked before applying shampoos or other concoctions. Be careful not to get shampoo near its eyes. The easiest and most effective approach is to start at the top and work down and backwards, so start with the top of his or her head and then make your way down the back to the tail, and also down the legs. Some areas have thicker fur, so you will need to spend more time working the shampoo all the way through these parts.
Follow the directions on the bottle, of course, but pay attention to your dog’s reactions as well. It is unwise to get the inside of a dog’s ears wet, because it can lead to ear infections. Your best tactic here is to wipe them out with a warm, damp cloth.
Rinsing is important because if any shampoo dries onto the dog’s fur or skin, it will cause itchiness that will be irritating as well as potentially harmful. Run water through your pet’s fur until it comes out complete clear, and don’t be afraid to use some thumb and finger massage to work out any stubborn bits.
You should lay a towel out on the floor and also over your dog. First, you can get as much of the moisture off of your dog by rubbing, but then you should consider using a hair dryer. Adjust the temperature so that you won’t be making your dog too uncomfortable. Small dogs should almost always be dried this way, but big dogs usually only need help from a hair dryer in the winter.
Be sure to brush as you dry, in order to prevent unnecessary tangles. Also dry inside the dog’s ears, even if you don’t think they are wet. Using your towel for sensitive areas is wiser than poking the hair dryer in your dog’s face.
No matter how dry the dog might be, the chances are good that it will shake itself off regardless, so be prepared. If done right, bath time can feel like a luxury for your dog, complete with massage and brushing.