Canine Bath Time Errors That Will Leave You Both All Wet

Some dogs enjoy being bathed.  They will readily cooperate with their owners and seem to strut and preen after a bath. Other dogs, however, are often resistant to being bathed.  They will walk through nasty water and get filthy, but being washed down with clean water makes them frantic.  Here are some common errors owners make during bath time and their remedies.  This will help to make it less stressful for your dog and you.

  1. Water temperature.  Most people would not willingly take a bath in freezing water.  Why should dogs be different?  The days of hosing the dog off in the back yard with cold water are over.  If the water is too cold or too hot, the dog may resist being bathed.  Test the water temperature on your fore arm.  The water should be pleasantly luke warm.  If it is not, continue to adjust the water temperature until it is.
  2. Using a harsh spray of water.  If you have a shower facet with a sprayer on it, be careful of how much water comes out of it and hits the dog.  A big spray of water, especially on the face, can really turn your dog off when taking a bath.  Try spraying the back of your hand as you pet your dog so he associates bath time with being loved on.  Just make sure that every inch of your dog gets wet during this step of the bath.
  3. Wrong shampoo.  Don’t use your shampoo on your dog.  Dog’s coats have a different pH than human hair does.  If you use your shampoo, it will dry out the coat and leave it feeling and looking dull.  There are lots of dog shampoos on the market.  Try to get one with oatmeal in it as that soothes the skin while cleaning the coat.  If your dog breaks out after a bath, or scratches a lot, it might mean he has super sensitive skin.  In that case, the veterinarian can recommend a dog shampoo for sensitive skin for the dog.
  4. Poor soaping technique.  You cannot put shampoo on your dog and let it sit there.  It must be massaged in to trap all the dirt and other grime in your dog’s coat.  Start at the back of the dog with the tail and massage the soap in so it traps all that dirt.  Work your way up the dog’s body, covering every spot on the dog, until you reach the face.  Be very careful not to get soap in the dog’s eyes or water in his ears.  When you have finished massaging the soap onto the dog, start rinsing.  Start with the face, being careful not to wash soap in the dog’s eyes, and end with the tail.  Make sure you do not stop rinsing until the water runs clear of suds.  Left over shampoo will attract dirt when left in the dogs coat after the bath.
  5. Bad brushing.  You should brush your dog before his bath to get all the knots out of his coat.  Being washed makes the knots tighter and can make post-bath brushing painful.  You can brush the dog dry if there are no knots in the cut.  Otherwise, let the dog dry completely, then brush out the mats with a dog comb and brush.  If the dog has not been bathed or brushed a lot, you may want to take him to a professional for that first bath, then keep up the brushing every week to prevent mats from building up.

Baths are good for dogs.  Use these tips to make them pleasant for the dog, as well.  You should not bathe a dog more than once a week unless a veterinarian tells you to, or you will strip the coat of essential oils. Of course, if he rolled in something stinky or got in to a fight with a skunk, you can violate this rule.