Give your dog a bath at some time or another.
Some of them will run for cover at the first hint of soap suds, while others don’t mind it a bit, and maybe even like it!
Unless you have a small dog, or live in an apartment, bathing the dog outside saves clean-up time and keeps the bathroom dry.
There are also drawbacks to this method.
Unless you have access to the inside plumbing, you won’t be able control the water temperature very well. It may be very hot if the hose has been sitting in the sun, or very cold once it has been running for a while.
Using buckets or pitchers to wet the dog allows you to control the temperature, but it is hard to get the chest and belly this way, unless you roll the dog over on his back.
Secure the Dog
You will probably need to tether the dog to a nearby post, or to your waist if need be. A rope slipped over his neck allows you to remove the collar, but be careful about choking the poor guy!
Giving the bath in a grassy area is easier on the dog than on a concrete patio. You can use a small wading pool or large washtub as a bathtub.
Another advantage to the outside method is that toweling off is usually not necessary.
Share Your Bath
Another way to bathe your dog is, as you may guess, in the bathtub. For smaller dogs you can also use the kitchen or utility sink.
If using the tub or sink, a towel placed on the bottom helps to give the dog better footing and gives them more confidence while standing there. If you have a very resistant of fearful dog, spend some time training the dog to just to stand in the tub before you try again to bathe her.
Wherever you decide to do the deed, a thorough brushing before hand is in order. This helps to remove loose dirt and debris, as well as excess hair. Removing mats in the coat is much easier when the hair is dry.
Cotton should be placed just inside the ear canal on dogs with upright ears, or those prone to ear infections. If water does get in the ear, a few drops of rubbing alcohol dropped in the canal will help it to evaporate out.
Have some towels ready before you start, and line the bathroom floor with a few as well. Also, be sure to close the door before you begin.
Wet the dog down well. You may have to use one hand to expose the skin on dogs with heavy or waterproof coats.
Use a shampoo made for dogs, and use only a small amount. Apply directly to the skin and work in. Be careful to avoid the eyes and ears when working around the head.
A sprayer attachment is handy for rinsing the dog, but a large pitcher (plastic, please!) works also – it will take some maneuvering to get the underside.
Rinse well, as shampoo residue will attract dirt and make the coat dull and sticky.
Beware “The Shake”
If you’re fast and working in a tub that has a shower curtain, you can quickly close it as soon as you’re done rinsing, and let the dog shake herself off. Otherwise, hold a large towel in front of the dog while she does this. Then dry as much as you can before taking the dog from the tub.
If the dog will stand still for it, you can use a blow dryer on low to further dry him off.
Place a dry towel on the dog’s bed or favorite napping spot, since he will probably still be damp.
There’s Always the Groomer…
If all this sounds like too much fuss and muss, there are still a couple of other options. The latest trend in dog grooming is a “do it yourself” dog wash. The business provides the tub and equipment; you do the work. This is especially good if you have a large or giant dog, as they can be very difficult to get into and out of a home bathtub.
If that is still more than you can manage, or care to do, a grooming service can do the bathing for you, and even trim the dog’s nails while they are at it. Some groomer’s will even come to you!
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