Our furry friends may be easy on the eyes, but let’s face it… sometimes they are tough on the nose! In the past, vets used to recommend only bathing your dog once every six months to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. But now, animals pros are changing their minds, suggesting bathing as often as once a week can really benefit some dogs. There are just a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
Items You Need for a Dog Bath
- The Right Shampoo – This is a biggie. Dogs have a different pH balance than humans, so the shampoo we use on our hair will not work well for them. Even worse, it could irritate their skin or leave them dry, flaky and incredibly itchy. Instead, go for an all-natural dog shampoo such as Naturally Pure Dog Wash from Pet Wellbeing. This organic shampoo is free of non-toxic ingredients and is scented only with pure lavender essential oil which will help keep your fur baby calm and relaxed during his dog bath.
- Dog Brush – Brushing your dog’s hair before he gets in the bath is really important. Working out any tangles or matted spots before they get wet is essential for proper cleaning. Opening up the fur with a good brushing will allow the shampoo to get in deep, all the way to the skin. You want your dog to be clean right? Otherwise, what’s the point?
- Cotton Balls – These go (gently) into your dog’s ears. You’ll want to protect your dog’s ears from all the water and soap flying around. Water in the ears is uncomfortable for them and could cause ear infections, think of all that bacteria and dirt you are washing off of him! If your dog does suffer from itchy, irritated ears, try a natural ear solution after the dog bath to help soothe the itch.
- Spray Attachment for Your Tub – It isn’t a necessity but using a sprayer to wet and rinse your dog will make the dog bath so much easier, and less messy! Plus, most dogs enjoy the soft massaging feel of the water on their fur, more so than cup after cup being dumped on them or being shoved under the faucet.
- Lots of Towels – You’ll need at least three. One to put on the bottom of the tub to avoid slipping (or use a non-slip mat), one to drape over your dog’s fur to keep him from shaking the water off his coat prematurely, and one large towel to dry him. You can try using a hair dryer, but most dogs don’t like the sound.
- Dog Treats – Show him what a good boy he is and help make the dog bath something he’ll look forward to by stocking plenty of treats near the tub.
How to: Dog Bath Steps
Okay, so after you have all your material gathered and placed around the tub where you can easily reach them, it’s time to start the dog bath.
- Step 1: Put the towel or non-slip mat on the bottom of the tub and fill it with warm water. Make sure it’s just right to the touch (not too hot or cold) so your dog will be comfortable during the bath. Also, avoid putting the dog in the tub before it’s filled, the sound of running water may bother him.
- Step 2: Start with a small amount of shampoo in your hands, rub together to start a lather and work into the dog’s fur starting at the neck (make sure to avoid the nose and eyes). Depending on the size of the dog you might need to use more shampoo as you work your way to the tail. While the shampoo sits on fur for a couple of minutes, drape a towel over your dog’s body to avoid shaking. Drain the tub.
- Step 3: Grab the sprayer attachment and turn the water on, making sure it is still warm before you spray the dog. Start with the feet to get them used to the feeling of the sprayer and work your way all over the body. When you’re done, grab a towel and dry him off, but don’t forget the feet!
- Step 4: If your dog is prone to itchy skin or has a scrape or two, attend to it with a natural pet ointment after the dog bath. Also be sure to get their paws! For cracked and irritated paws you can give them fast relief with this 4 Paws Recovery Cream. You sweet fur baby will thank you!
Do you have any tips of your own for an easy dog bath? Tell us what works for you in the comments below!