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You should begin bathing your dog while he is still a puppy: he won't be as difficult at bath time if he is used to being bathed. Baths are important in the control of fleas and ticks, as well as keeping him clean and smelling good. Only bathe your dog when he really needs it to maintain the natural oils in his skin. Dogs don't actually require a bath, but if they're to come indoors it is sometimes necessary.

There are a variety of shampoos, conditioners, and bathing supplies available for your pet. If fleas and ticks are a problem in your area, a good quality flea and tick shampoo is recommended. Conditioner can make brushing easier, and it will moisturize your dog's skin. A sprayer hose for the bathtub faucet is also convenient for wetting and rinsing. Old towels you have on hand are fine for drying your dog.

Begin by brushing your dog to remove any mats or tangles in his fur. You should have two or three towels, shampoo, and conditioner within reach of the bathtub. If you walk away after your dog is in the tub, you can expect him to follow. Run approximately three to six inches of warm water in the bath, depending on the size of your dog. A large plastic cup is handy for wetting his fur. Thoroughly wet his coat.

While wetting his head, be sure to place one hand on his forehead to keep the water out of his eyes. Also, make sure to cover the openings of his ears to prevent the water from going in. If your dog has a problem with fleas, begin by shampooing his head and neck. Fleas will usually go to the dogs head while he is in water. Work your way down his back and chest, scrunching the fur in your hands as you go. Doing this will help clean his coat better than lathering alone. His underside will probably need the most attention, so be sure to thoroughly wash this area. When you have shampooed your dog from head to toe, begin rinsing with the tub water.

When most of the soap has been rinsed out, open the drain and begin using warm water from the tap. Be sure to completely rinse the soap out since any left on his skin could cause irritation. If your dog has long fur, try gently ringing out some of the water before taking him out of the tub. Your dog will want to shake, so be ready with a towel to stop the spray. Wrap one of the towels over his back and around his mid-section. Remove him from the tub, and take him to an area where he can be dried and groomed.

Drying your dog may be done with a blow dryer on a low setting, but only if he is not afraid. Otherwise, he can be towel dried. When he is mostly dry, you can finish by brushing or combing him.

Your dog may never come to love a bath, but he will love the attention he gets from you while you are grooming him. Remember, your dog is depending on you to give him the best of care.