We bathe the dog… how to do it so that the dog does not bathe us
Bathing dog grooming is a procedure that many owners spend sleepless nights. They do not know how often to bathe, in what water, with what agents. An additional problem may be the dog’s unwillingness to wash or simply fear. I will try to give you a few tips, which I hope will make it easier to carry out this grooming procedure, which is extremely important for the appearance and health of our dear dog.
When you can start bathing your dog? Many veterinarians believe that a dog should be at least six months old when the first serious bath takes place. At that time the organism has already a little better developed immune system, skin and coat are not so delicate and sensitive. If the condition of the coat does not require it, we can postpone this date a bit until e.g. 9 months. It should also not be delayed too much, because the older the dog the worse it tolerates such various novelties. It is usually the case, however, that curious puppies already qualify for „washing". What we do then? It is best if we can wash only the soiled parts of the coat. But if the dog is really dirty, we wash it in clean water, without any additives. Special agents for puppy care we use only when the dog grows a little. There are, however, breeds that start being bathed much earlier, e.g. yorkie breeders very often start to bathe around 3 months of age.
Whether the dog will be willing to wash in the future, depends largely on how this first bath will be carried out. If we don’t have to clean the dog, we don’t force the dog to do it, we don’t pour water on it and we don’t struggle with it. Dog has a right to be afraid of water, bath, shower and all the commotion. Just as with a small child, it is necessary to find some way around a dog. Maybe he will feel better if he has his favorite toy with him? Or maybe it will be more comfortable if we bathe him in the garden in a pool? It takes a bit of thinking. Force bathing works only until our dog grows and becomes stronger than us.
Another problem is frequency of bathing. There are two schools. The first one says about as rare as possible bathing even only once a year, the second one says about regular bathing once a month. The frequency of bathing depends on the breed, age, coat type and lifestyle of our protégé. Long-haired dogs will be bathed more often and short- or rough-haired dogs less often. show dogs are bathed as often as required by their show calendar. Yorkies should be bathed every week or two at the most. There is a different approach to a dog that often runs outside but lives with us in the house, a different one if the dog stays outside overnight and a different one if we have a couch potato in front of us. I think that in case of dogs normally kept at home you have to balance everything a bit. Generally dog should be bathed only when the condition of its coat requires it. If the dog is regularly brushed, thus removing dirt from the skin and coat, if the dog does not get dirty on its own, does not stink, the coat is shiny, smooth, there are no skin problems or parasites, then there is no need to bathe it. Bathing a dog every month for its own well-being does more harm than good. On the skin and coat there is a layer of fat secreted by the skin glands, which protects against drying, against parasites, acts as an insulation. Frequent baths cause it to be washed off regularly and the skin and coat lose their natural protection. And in my opinion, even the use of appropriate cosmetics, for frequent washing is not enough.
Attention! If the dog is not bathed for too long with the right products, it comes to hair clumping, clogging the pores in the skin and thus weakening the coat. That is why I think that bathing a dog once a year in a river is not enough.
Keeping dogs at home imposes on us the obligation to take care of their hygiene (also for our benefit), but without exaggeration. On average it is enough to bathe a dog 3 times a year, the best is to combine it with a haircut. Apart from that, of course, if necessary, we wash certain parts of the body e.g. It is important to pay attention to the shampoo, which should be used on dogs with light-colored coat, paws, belly, muzzle and anal area, because such dirt can lead to discoloration of coat in dogs with light colors, or to the formation of tangles.
What kind of cosmetics for bathing? I recommend using cosmetics designed for dogs. They have a properly adjusted pH, often contain ingredients that have a beneficial effect on the skin and coat. There are also lines created for dogs of specific breeds, or with a specific structure of the coat. It is also good to use conditioners. There are many different series in stores at the moment, some cheaper, others more expensive. Both have their supporters and enemies. It is usually the case that only after a few attempts we find the product that works best for our dog. pay attention if the shampoo or conditioner are not in the form of concentrate, if so, before use, it should be properly diluted according to manufacturer’s instructions.
And now we come to the bath itself. Dog is best bathed after the last evening walk, because after the bath should not go outside for several hours (3-4 h). It is good, if he will be a little bit tired during a walk. Before washing the coat should be thoroughly combed, because after wetting the tangled hair will be even more difficult to untangle. In one place we prepare everything we will need to wash and dry the dog. These will be: shampoo and possibly conditioner, cotton balls to plug the dog’s ears, a towel to dry them, a hair dryer, a comb or a brush. Do not leave your dog alone in the bathroom during bathing! Put an anti-slip mat or a towel in the bathtub so that the dog does not slip, because it will cause him unnecessary stress and may also happen to him. If we have sharp edges of the bath, we can also cover them with towels, so that the dog does not hurt his mouth or belly. For your own and your dog’s comfort, it’s a good idea to remove any unnecessary gadgets standing on the tub. Bathing must be quick and efficient. We soak the dog (water temperature about 37 – 39°C) in the direction from the back of the body to the front, but we do not wet the head. After thoroughly rinsing the trunk and paws we apply shampoo. For long-haired dogs we massage it in such a way that it does not tangle the hair, i.e. with movements from the top to the bottom or by gentle massaging with fingers. Only after thoroughly rinsing the trunk, wet the head, being careful not to flood the ears, eyes, nose and muzzle. After washing, we can apply a conditioner that Massage into the hair and skin. This stimulates circulation, which has a beneficial effect on hair nutrition. After a few minutes very carefully rinse the dog. We quickly wrap him in a towel, if we don’t mind we can let him shake it off. Do not rub with a towel on the coat, and if you do, then very gently, especially for dogs with long hair. If we have a more powerful dryer and the dog is not afraid of it, it is a good idea to dry the dog, especially if it is cool. While drying, pull the hair in different directions, paying attention to the hair close to the skin, as these take the longest to dry. We dry very well especially in the folds of the skin, where there is friction (groin, place where the collar or harness is worn, also behind the ears), because damp hair quickly felts. After drying, all you have to do is brush the dog.
Bathing some dogs, especially larger or highly agitated ones, requires some strength so you can call a groomer at home or go to a salon.