Through this guidebook, you will understand the dog’s perspective on bathing, the kind of essential and supplies you will be needing, learn the one by one steps to gently wash your dog and extra carefulness you need to show while cleaning them.
Washing is a vital aspect of falling under general pet care. Dog Bathing intends to remove debris, unpleasant odor, dirt that your pet has accumulated on their coat.
It also includes the benefit of gaining clean skin, untangled & removal of dead hair, a purge of parasites & lice, with fine shiny hair texture.
Canine holding special medical attention may have washing under their treatment plan. Hence, besides maintaining hygiene, washing allows the parent to identify and monitor skin irritations, cuts, and lumps.
Preparing yourself for a dog bath
Good preparation is a must. Whether you are bathing your dog indoor or outdoor, you have to move every essential and supply to the desired location which is reachable to you. Whether washing your dog inside your bathroom or garden, you have to get everything from shampoo to conditioner. Keep it right next to you so that while you are following every step of dog bathing, you get to access everything easily. Place the shampoo/ soap, towel, conditioner, in a clean dry area. Put your dog treat safely inside your pocket so that you can immediately feed them when needed.
Understanding bathing from a dog’s perspective
Noisy and cold-water faucets, funny-smelling shampoo, and strong hands rubbing their coat. May be bathing not be your canine’s favorite activity especially if the activity is confined to a tub.
Dog Bathing Frequency: How often should you wash your Dog?
Unlike humans, your dog does not need frequent scrubs. Therefore, factors such as skin conditions, coat type & its length, odor & dirt level determine the frequency of washing your dog.
According to ASPCA, if your dog is fairly tidy and is cleaned regularly, washing is recommended not more than once in three months. They also state that too much dog bath can strip their natural oils from your dog’s coat and decline its natural shine.
However, here are some basic guidelines:
• Dog Bath once in three months works for most of the dogs who stay indoors, stay away from rolling in muds.
• Dogs with oily coats may need washing once a week.
• Dogs with short hair and smooth coat do fine with less frequent wash.
• Canine with water repellent coats should be cleaned once in a month to preserve their natural oils.
• Dogs who swim frequently can be washed once in every two months.
• In summer, 1-2 bath is fine once a month. However, if your dog smells gross, then washing your dog once a week is ok.
• In winter, you can bath your dog once in two months.
Likewise, a full shampoo dog bath is not recommended more than once a month. However, if your vet has suggested for frequent washing of your dog, then we suggest you follow their instructions or use mild soap or shampoo to prevent skin irritation. Large and outdoor dog breeds such as german shepherd or Labrador Retriever may require more frequent bathing.
Essentials & Supplies Required to wash your Dog
• Soap or shampoo – Use the soap or shampoo which you like or as suggested by vet depending on the coat length, skin condition, or medical issue of your pet. Do not use Human Soap or Shampoo on your dog. You cannot wash your dog with dish soap.
• Dog conditioner – You can use a dog-formulated conditioner to make the post-bath brushing easier. Studies state that using conditioner closes the hair cuticles and restore moisture, hydration, and elasticity of coat. You are assured to get a shiny and healthy coat. Remember to avoid using Human conditioner on Dogs.
• Bathing tub or bucket or water pipes – To wet and clean the dog after shampooing them, you will be needing bucket or water pipes or bathing tub to thoroughly rinse their coat.
• Comb or brush – A comb is needed before wetting the coat to remove the dead hair and to untangle the hair. It is also needed to brush the hair after your dog coats dry up.
• Water – Use mild water to wash your dog for the best results. Using too excessive hot water can burn your dog’s skin while using cold water can frighten them or irritate their sensitive skin.
• Towel – Dog usually prefer to shake excess water for drying. Here we are suggesting towels to you, as a splash guard.
• Dog treats or toys – To keep your dog engaged while you are concentrating on the washing section, we suggest treating them with their favorite dog treats or toys.
• Oils – For the shiny and smooth coat, you can use mild oil which holds no skin sensitivity.
• Rubber mat/ shoes/slipper – This is needed to protect yourself from slipping and injuring yourself from fatal water accidents.
• Strong dog leash – Nylon leash or good collar to control your dog while bathing.
Picking the right kind of shampoo, soap, and conditioner to wash your dog
The important rule of picking cleaning essentials is to limit the choice of your product. When selecting the product for your canine firstly consider your dog’s skin type and age. If you are unsure you can always take professional assistance from your local vet. We also suggest you check the FDA, certification, and components of the supplies.
Medical experts state that few of these harmful components of D-trans Allethrin, Resmethrin, S-Methoprene, and Pyriproxyfen.
Here we shall be guiding you on picking an appropriate soap, conditioner & shampoo.
Suitable shampoo for your dog Bath
In a market, you are offered several products that assure you to gently care about your dog coat. There are shampoos for fleas, ticks, infections, with soothing effects ready to cure every skin condition. However, choosing a mild and gentle hypoallergic shampoo is mostly advised by the local vet.
Soap for your canine
A good soap cleanses your dog’s coat and prevents hair loss. When buying a dog soap, you must search for the ones which have no chemical components, artificial colors, preservatives, alcohol, and fragrances. Experts state that fragrance can irritate your dog while added colors can ruin their skin and hair. For unmanageable skin issues in your dog medicated soaps are always recommended.
Best conditioner to choose from
When buying a conditioner for your dog, you must keep in mind your dog’s age and skin kind. Focus on conditioner which is suitable for your dog skin and contains anti-bacterial properties, as this soothe the infection (if present any). If your dog has fungus or fresh cuts, please take vet consultancy before using conditioner.
Oils to add nutrients & volume to your dog’s hair – Natural oil for rejuvenation helps to exfoliate dead skin cells. Likewise, it also serves as an excellent moisturizer to lock the follicles and revitalize the softness of your pet hair.
13 steps to gently wash your dog
Bathing your dog is not rocket science. Instead, it is a consistent procedure that needs to be followed one by one from setting up to clean up. Hence, with this guide, we make sure to ease out the bathing process for you and your canine.
Step 1 – Place your dog in the bathtub or outdoor location
Gently lift your dog inside your bathtub if you are bathing them in it. Proper lifting is important as you may hurt your back, or your dog while placing them. If you are using a garden or outdoor area, make sure the floor is hard and non-slippery. Be careful in the case of teacup dogs.
Step 2– Treat them with their favorite Dog Treats, chews, or Toys
While you get busy cleaning, then you can keep them busy too, for that you need to keep them occupied. If you have a packet of their favorite dog treats, give them one. If you are making them a bath in tub give them their favorite toy to play with. Some chew toys such as dog chew himalayan are good to improve your dog’s overall health while keeping them busy and happy for an extended period of time.
Step 3- Use a leash to control your dog’s Excitement
Dogs are active beings. No doubt they get anxious to find out what you are going to do with them. Hence, tying a strong nylon leash, or a comfortable collar will allow you to control your dog and keep them steady. If you are bathing your dog in a tub, the leash will prevent your dog from jumping off your tub. If your dog is too aggressive to bathing, you may temporarily use mouth cover for dogs.
Step 4 – Brush your dog’s hair with a comb
Take a brush or comb to remove dead hair, mats, and tangles. While brushing, make sure you do not aggressively pull their hair as they are likely to feel irritated. It is always a good idea to give them a nice brush before wetting them.
Step 5– Place a rubber mat or wear rubber shoes/slipper while washing your dog
Wearing a rubber slipper/shoes or placing a rubber mat prevents you from slipping. As you will be using lots of water the shoes you are wearing may not have a rubber sole to protect you from falling. An extra carefulness does no harm. Here, using dog shoes can be a great option.
Step 6 – Wet your dog using warm water
Let us fill in the bucket or tub or water pipe with warm water to wet your dog. Wet your dog from head to toe including the chest, neck, back and front side, tail, and legs. We are bathing the whole area so that we can lather their coat smoothly.
Step 7 – Evenly shampoo or soap your dog’s coat
Take a shampoo or soap in your hand. Start with the dog’s chest and gradually move to their legs, back, neck, and belly.
Step 8 – Gently rub and massage the shampoo/soap with your hands
Now it is time for you to do a little bit of hand exercise, as you need to gently rub and massage the shampoo or soap. From the chest, rub your dog’s front and back, belly, legs, and finally the tail. If the shampoo or soap is insufficient to rinse your dog and repeat the process of soaping and massaging. You can also use your pet’s brush to help the soap evenly spread in your dog’s skin. Use soft hand while you are massaging with your brush as there are chances of you scratching their sensitive skin. Brush your dog in such a way that it prevents irritation and hair knot.
Step 9 – Thoroughly wash out your dog with warm water
After completing the soaping process, gently rinse them. Use your hands to massage the shampoo out with the water. Repeat the step till the shampoo or soap is completely gone leaving no slippery traces.
If you are using tub drain some water off the tub while you are cleaning them with fresh water. Water your dog from the head, run the water down back their head while you clean the reaming residual of soap by your hand.
Step 10 – Evenly use conditioner in your dog’s hair
Next, apply a suitable dog conditioner. Repeat the soaping process by replacing it with the conditioner. After applying throughout the coat, let it sit for 2-3 minutes. You must rinse the coat until the conditioners are completely cleaned. You must check your dog’s coat and feel them. If it is slippery sticky rinse them. Use your fingers to part the hair to ensure no residue is left on their skin.
Step 11 – Use a towel to either dry them or safeguard yourself
Firstly, carefully lift your dog out from the bathtub (if using one). Immediately, wrap a towel if you do not want them to shake water on you. Most of the dog’s preferring to shake the water and dry their coat, while there are few who still enjoy being pampered. If your dog is the second one, use a towel to wrap them. However, if your dog falls under the first one, allow them to naturally dry their hair instead of using a blow dryer or human hairdryer.
Step 12 – Oil the hair for your dog’s shiny hair texture
After drying, pour a moderate quantity of oil in your hand. Rub it with both of your hands and massage them on your dog. Use gentle hands and cover every hair of your dog’s body. Avoid the skin holding infection as adding oils can further worsen the bruise or cuts.
Step 13 – Brush your dog’s coat to get rid of loose hairs
We are almost done. Now, you need to take the comb to brush their coat. You must softly brush their hair as we have already removed the dirt their skin gets light. Brush the hair in a more evenly way to distribute the oil properly, at the same time combing also remove dead and loose hairs.
Safety & Precautions
By now you must exactly know when your dog needs a blissful bath. But there are certain do’s and don’ts that need to be followed during your dog bathing routine. The type of bathing product and absolute negligence can overly affect your dog’s well-being. Your dog’s health cleanliness is a critical piece; hence, we shall highlight the safety and its protection measures while bathing your dog.
Never try to use soap or shampoo in your dog’s eye
While you are busy washing your dog’s face, do not use the supplies near your dog’s eye as it can irritate them. So, extra carefulness is a must when you are cleaning your dog’s facial skin.
Be careful with ear, and mouth area of your dog
While you are busy washing your dog, you have to be attentive when you are cleaning zones near their ear, nose, and mouth. Pet experts, Bishop Jenkins state that a dog’s ear canal is ‘L’ shaped. If water gets inside, it gets trapped and cause an ear infection. We advise you to use minimal products and also shut your dog’s ear either by using your thumb. According to Medical News Today, if your dog swallows soap or shampoo liquid it may cause difficulty in breathing, severe stomach pain, swelling of the throat, and tongue. So, while cleaning them make sure to close their mouth.
Do not use human soap/shampoo while bathing your dog
According to the American Kennel Club, human skin is of 5.5-5.6 PH balance which is acidic. While dog skin is of PH balance 6.2-7.4, which is normal. Hence, when you use human shampoo or soap in your dog, it disrupts the acid mantle. The after consequences of such is that it will leave your dog attract vulnerable skin diseases, infection, parasites, and bacteria. It will also make their skin dry, which can make them repeatedly scratch their skin.
Don’t even think about Bathing your dog with a dish soap
Risius Family Veterinary Service strictly warns on not using the dish bar for bathing your dog. They state that dish soap can cause itchy, painful, and severe skin infection.
Do not use dry shampoo as a replacement for bathing
Dry shampoos are made from clay and starch powder. These shampoos absorb excess oil from the fur and skin. Study shows that dry powders attract a high amount of natural oil which effectively destroys your dog’s natural antibacterial barrier. This also holds the risk of clogging, contributes to building environmental toxins, and increases hair fall. So, replace dry shampoo with effecting bathing.
I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed the new and improved guide for dog bathing. Never hesitate to share your interesting stories. Also, if you have any concerns or questions related to your dog, comment below, or do write your queries at email@example.com, we will get it addressed asap! Have a nice time!