How Bathe Your Dog.
How to bathe your dog, hints on location, equipment needed, choosing a shampoo and cleaning up the area afterwards
Your dog smells and you need to give him a bath. Where do you start? How about with choosing the place to bathe your dog?
A tub is good, if he will fit, but then you have to worry about hair in the drain. A sink is good for small dogs, but again hair in the drain is a problem. A child's wading pool in the backyard is good. Then your only problem is keeping fido clean after he is wet. Think about your choices and make the best one for you, and your dog.
If you decide upon the tub, then you might want to stuff an old pair of pantyhose in the drain to catch the hair before it makes a clog.
Now gather your equipment. It is much easier if you have everything together before you start. Even dogs who like water hate baths for the most part.
Here is a list of things you will need:
A leash and coller
A jug, or other container for pouring water
a blow drier (if your dog doesn't object)
brush/comb for your dog
When choosing your dog shampoo look for a commercial shampoo for dogs that does what you neeed it to do. Do you need to remove ticks or fleas, or is it for odor control? Don't use a shampoo designed for people on a dog, their skin is far more sensitive to the chemicals and your shampoo could give it a case of dermatitis. If you can't decide then talk to your vet.
Brush your dog before starting. This will help prevent mats, remove loose hair and make it easier later to get all the hair clean. If you find any areas that need extra attention (like oil/tar or gum in the hair) go ahead and pre-treat the area with shampoo to loosen it.
Now that you are ready, put fido in the warm water, remember to check with your elbow before adding your dog. Make sure that you praise your dog and talk softly. He will be anxious enough, a harsh tone, and yelling will make him harder to control. Use the leash to hold him in the water. Wet him down completly, avoiding getting water in his ears. Fluff the hair to get his skin wet. You can use a wet wash cloth to wash his face and jaw.
Apply the shampoo generously to his coat, rub in, and massage. Try to make sure you get all the way to his skin. Avoid his face and ears. If you are using a shampoo for tick and flea removal then leave the lather on for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Giving fido a dog treat (if he will take it) helps to make this a more enjoyable excercise for him and will help him to become resigned to baths for the future.
Now rinse your dog. Make sure to use warm water, and to fluff the hair so that you leave no shampoo residue to irritate his skin later. Use the jug to pour water again avoiding his ears.
Place a large towel over the dog and stand back. He is going to shake, and water will go everywhere. If you hold the leash you can keep him from running off and having to play the catch the wet dog dog game. Towel dry your dog, and if he will allow it (some dogs enjoy the blow drier, others are terrified) blow dry him, with a low heat setting, avoiding his eyes and ears. Give him frequent words of praise, and treats.
Now that he is dry brush is coat out, to avoid mats and to remove loosened hair. You can use cotton swabs to clean/dry around your dogs ears and eyes, but do not use in the ear canal.
Your dog will more than likely become very excitable after you have finished, and run around rolling and rubbing against things. This is normal. Stay out of the way, and enjoy the clean, nice smelling dog.