Do I really need to bath my dog?

The thought of bathing your dog doesn't need to turn you in to a stuttering, trembling, prophet of doom.

Sure, if your dog's large it can seem very daunting. But, as with most thing's with dogs--start the learning process as early as possible--and everything usually works out fine. You might even enjoy it, but don't expect your dog to.

I suppose a few dogs enjoy being bathed, but they're definitely few and far between. On a dog's hate list, bathing comes slightly above going to the Vet.

So, lets go through the process: Your going to need, aside from what your going to use to bath your dog in.......

  1. A non-slip mat or surface to stand your dog on; so that your dog feels secure.
  2. Dog shampoo/conditioner--not the human variety--preferably for your dog's coat type.
  3. A spray hose--quicker and much easier than any other method.
  4. A large bath towel to rub him semi-dry. This will prevent too much of a mess when he eventually shakes himself--which he will do vigorously.
  5. A good bristle brush to groom your dog while the coat is still dampish, but not wet.
  6. A treat for your dog for succumbing to the inevitable, and for you, for being such a thoughtful, kind, and caring dog owner.

    How often should you bath your dog?

    When they look dirty, and when they smell. Like us really. Writers often give time frames, such as Deerhounds only need bathing every 3 months! Nonsense. If your dog has rolled in a smelly mess, has become coated in mud, or perhaps given himself a dousing in something akin to porridge; are you really going to wait another 7 weeks before giving your dog a bath?
    No-this doesn't count as a bath!
    Suki swimming

    Things to remember when bathing your dog.

    1. There is no need to restrain your dog with leashes and choke chains. Kind words, a caring attitude, and the promise of a treat are enough.
    2. Test the water from the spray-- If it's too hot for you--it's too hot for your dog.
    3. Don't get shampoo near to your dog's face--wash this area with clean water and a sponge, or cloth.
    4. Don't use scrubbing brushes, etc. Use your fingers to get up a lather, and to get deep in to the coat. Stroke the dog shampoo in to his coat, this prevents any knotting that can arise from simply rubbing it in.
    5. Rinsing the coat thoroughly is most important. Soap residue will dull his coat. A teaspoon of glycerine added to the rinse water, or a good conditioner will add sparkle, and lustre to his coat. Again, stroke it in to the coat.
    6. A chamois leather, or an absorbent cloth can be used to squeeze out the exceess water prior to towelling. If your going to use a dryer, make sure that it's on a low setting, and your dog is well used to it before bathing him.
    7. Finally, don't let him out until he's bone dry. Dogs, especially mine, have a tendency to roll themselves dry--you have been warned

    How to find a good professional dog groomer

    Some Breeds do need do need to be clipped, trimmed or stripped, and this isn't easy. You can of course teach yourself to do any of these things. I have with the clipping. But, hand-stripping cocker spaniels is an art form, and one that I could never get the hang of.

    So how do you choose a professional dog groomer?

    Recommendations is one way, and probably the best.

    Ask around. Then go to the chosen grooming parlour[s] without your dog, with the intention of booking an appointment.

    Your going to need to ask a few questions, and then subtract the "sales patter" from the dialogue and see what your left with. If it's just a salesperson with a clipper--move on to the next shop. You need someone who deals with all types of coats, and needs to be Very Experienced.

    1. Have they got dogs of their own?
    2. Are they enthusiastic when talking about dogs?
    3. How did they learn dog grooming? [Working in Kennels, or have their own Kennel are good answers].
    4. How long have they been grooming for?
    5. Do they specialise in any breed types?

    Build up a picture of who you are entrusting your dog to, and then act accordingly.

    So now you know how to bath your dog why not find out.........

    Choosing a Vet

    Find out how to choose a Vet
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