Dogs bathing

Bathing

Phew...does someone need a good scrub in the tub? It’s no secret most dogs love a dip in the pool or a splash the sea, but when it comes to bath time, they’re nowhere to be found. Here are some tips on the how to make bathing fun – so you can keep puppy looking and smelling their healthy best.

How often should I bath my dog?

There are no hard and fast rules here. Anywhere from once a week to a few times a year. It’s really depends on your dog’s lifestyle, skin and hair. Long, wiry and curly hair is more likely to bring lawn, bugs and local flora home compared to a smooth, short silky mane.

If you have a very young puppy, wait until they are five weeks old before giving them their first bath.

Bathing too often can take away the natural oil in the skin and coat and the sheen of your dog’s coat, making it harsh and dry. To keep your dog looking and smelling clean between baths, give them a regular brushing and trimming.

12 steps to a beautifully bathed pooch

1: Go for walkies. Yes, of course we’re serious. It’s a great way to tire your dog out.

2: Brush out all the tangles while they are still dry.

3: Pick a venue – ideally a tub or basin. Do it inside, except on very sunny, warm days. Put a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub or basin to stop your dog from slipping and panicking.

4: Gather your dog shampoo, something to pour water and some soft towels.

5: Place your dog in the bath, start running the tap on cold to lukewarm.

6: To gently introduce your dog to the water, start by wetting the dog’s feet. You can use a jug or get a hose that attached to your tap to do this. Gradually wet the rest of their body, but don’t pour water over their head, as water can get into their ears this way, causing discomfort and even ear problems. Talk to your dog in a calm and encouraging manner as you do this.

7: Wash their face with a damp cloth. Lift up the ears and wipe away dirt, wax, and dead skin.

8: Pour shampoo along their back and work it into a lather. Lather everywhere with the shampoo, including their belly, under arms, legs, tail and feet.

9: Make sure to rinse all the shampoo out with the water or you’ll have a very itchy dog!

10: Move back! Time for the dog shake. Then use the soft towels to dry them off completely.

11. Give your dog a treat or toy to play with. This helps them associate bath time with good times!

12: Don’t let them outside just yet – they might catch a cold and will definitely roll in the dirt, undoing all of your good work.

What shampoo should I use for my dog?

  • only ever use a dog shampoo
  • if you have a puppy, use one designed especially for little furry bathers.
  • never use shampoos for humans or laundry and fabric detergents. Never use hair dyes or colouring agents.
  • never use household disinfectants - the chemicals can be fatal.