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How to Properly Bathe a Dog: A Pro Groomer’s Top Tips

Posted by  on September 26, 2022

if your dog appreciates being bathed or not, it is important to take good care of them and maintain their hygiene at all times. There will be times where you would not be able to go to a professional when your dog needs a bath, so you must know how to do it yourself. So, here are a few tips and tricks to properly bathe your dog at home.

Frequency of Baths

You generally don’t need to shower your dog more frequently than once a month unless he just spent the entire afternoon wallowing in mud puddles or the grass at your local park. This varies by breed, but dogs with longer coats do require more regular bathing than ones with shorter coats and they may even need visits to a skilled groomer. If you’re unsure how frequently to wash up your dog, see a groomer or your doctor to find out what’s best. However, giving a bath once a month is essential among all breeds of dogs. 

The way the skin of a dog works is that they have a complete new layer of skin cells around every 30 days.  As a result, the aged cells flake off and remain present in your dog’s fur. That is what causes dander and other symptoms. So frequent brushing or washing helps keep the dandruff away.

Key Products and Tools

Your initial first thought of your decision process will most likely be where you will bathe your dog. Your pick will also most likely be influenced by the size of your dog. A little dog may be able to be bathed in a kitchen sink or even a bathroom sink, but a large dog may require some more space in order for them to be comfortable and for you to properly shower them. Some pet parents choose a dog-specific bathtub, either as a standalone device or as part of a home or DIY dog bath facility. Fur and filth might block your family bathtub if you use a distinct dog bath area. However, if you want to bathe your dog in the family bathtub or shower, that is also acceptable. Simply pick a location where your dog may enter and exit the cleaning area securely.

Then, before you switch on the water, double-check that you have all of your items and tools in your site. You want everything you need in reach, so you don’t have to be pursuing a wet dog around your house while looking for their conditioner. Obviously, dog shampoo, conditioner, and drying towels will be on your shopping list. You should also have a non-slip bath mat and eye wash on hand just in case.

Proper Shampoo and Conditioner

To provide your dog with a proper wash, you’ll need the correct supplies on deck. It is very essential that you use shampoo that is particularly designed for dogs. In their skin, dogs have a different pH than humans. As a result, they are more alkaline. So, when you use shampoo designed for individuals, it might irritate their skin. 

If you’re washing a pup, investing in puppy shampoo is an excellent idea. Puppy shampoo has the same pH as a dog’s eyes, so it won’t bother the dog’s eyes as much if it goes into that region.

If you’re not sure what products to choose for your dog, it is best that you consult with a groomer on what he or she should use. Most of the time, professionals recommend using a gentle shampoo. If your dog has a specific problem, such as itchy skin, a shampoo intended to address that condition may be excellent to purchase. 

The next step after bathing your dog is to apply conditioner. When grooming at home, you should always use a conditioner after your shampoo because shampoo removes a majority of the natural oils from their skin and hair. As a result, your conditioner rehydrates the skin while also closing up all the cells on the exterior of the hair shaft. Essentially, you are rehydrating with the help of the conditioner that you have chosen.

Proper Washing Technique

When you’ve decided on the best location and have all of the necessary supplies on hand, you may start bathing your dog. Here’s how most professional groomers recommend bathing generally all dogs: 

  1. Bring your dog into the tub or washing area. Treats are a terrific way to get the process started on the right foot! 
  2. Dissolve the shampoo in water. Try putting some in a water container or putting the shampoo in a pumping device that includes water in it. Shampoo that has been diluted produces more suds and spreads more evenly. Most shampoos are thick and concentrated, so diluting it with water might make it simpler to apply. 
  3. Dampen your dog with warm water. It is quite alright to check the temperature with your hand to see if it is good enough to shower your dog in.
  4. Wash the dog twice with the shampoo that you have selected. The shampoo interacts with the dirt the first time and aids in its removal. The second time around, you’re really cleaning the skin and removing any lingering dirt and oil from the hair. Professionals advise using a loofah sponge of some sort to gently disperse the shampoo around. Make sure not to miss areas such as the soles of the feet, pits, and stomachs. Above all, it is important that you make it a fun experience for both you and your dog. You can massage the entire dog with your hands. If you’re doing that, using warm water while the dog is in a warm environment will be a nice feeling for the dog. 
  5. Apply conditioner after. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  6. Wash well until no product remains on the fur. You want to clean them thoroughly, but you also want to ensure that every drop of the soap has been removed. That is most likely the most essential part of the whole bathing process.  Because if you don’t remove all of the soap out, it will remain on their skin and aggravate it, which is even worse than not bathing them.

Washing Dog’s Face

One of the most difficult aspects of dog bathing is washing your dog’s face properly. You don’t want soap or water getting into the sensitive regions of your pet like your dog’s ears, nose, or eyes. Professional groomers recommend saving this part of the bath until the end and cleaning your pet’s face with a washcloth is what they also advise. 

To start off this process, you must dip the cloth in soapy water, gently wash your dog’s head and face, and then rinse with a new washcloth dipped in clear water. You just want to ensure that all of the soap has been removed from those locations.

Even if you use a dog shampoo meant to be gentler on the eyeballs of the dog, the shampoo can still very well irritate them, so avoid the eye region as much as you can. If shampoo does go into your dog’s eyes, it is important that you keep an eye wash available. If your dog gets eye mucus, most experts recommend soaking them and then gently removing them with a toothbrush.

Bathing a Dog That Doesn’t Like It

Although certain dog breeds enjoy water, many dogs cringe at the noise of the bath tap going off. To counteract this, give your dog loads of positive feedback throughout the wash. Praise is great, but sweets are much better for getting them in the mood. Make pleasant connections for your dog to remember the next time he spots you gathering dog shampoo and getting the bathtub ready. It’s also beneficial to have a friend hold the dog as you bathe him. And, if feasible, begin bathing your dog as a puppy to enable them to get acclimated to bath time.

Post-Bath Process

To begin your post-bath procedure, you must thoroughly towel-dry your dog. Then, on a medium or cool mode, use a dog-specific dryer or even a human hairdryer. Brushing your dog while he dries is recommended by groomers. You may also air-dry your dog as long as he doesn’t develop chills or shiver excessively. 

If you’re air-drying your dog, it is best that you run a brush through them every 10 or 15 minutes to help avoid mats or divide them if they have them.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into taking proper care of your dog. You may go to various dog grooming services, but if not, you can very well do it at home. When bathing your dog at home, you have to take into account for the frequency of the baths, the tools and products you’re using, like the shampoo and the conditioner, the actual bathing process itself, the procedure of washing your dog’s face, whether or not your dogs like baths and how to properly dry them after all of that. By following the tips of taking care of every aspect of the bathing process for your dog, bath times with your dog will be more efficient and enjoyable.

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