Pet parents are often vexed with the question, ‘How often should I give my dog a bath?’To answer the same, veterinarians and experienced owners alike, advise not to bathe your best friend too often. Some important factors to consider when shampooing a dog include the following.
Frequent cleaning can result in drying of the skin, depleting the essential oils needed to keep the skin moisturized and leading excessive scratching, redness and inflammation.
Frequency depends on the breed of the dog and preferred activities by the same. The ones staying outside most of the time or playing in the dirt eligible for a bathing session every now or then.
Double coated dogs should be shampooed only three to four times a year. Due to their heavy and thick fur, the entrapped moisture may become the hotspot and breeding ground for fleas and ticks.
Dogs that are residing in cold areas should not be bathed too often as this may lead to their furs becoming soft and less fluffy thereby, losing their ability to retain heat.
During the cold season the fur and skin of the dog become dry, so do comb it out during the summer season so that the skin can breathe. If you are planning to give your puppy a warm bath, do keep in mind that it is not eligible for a dip until five weeks old.
One of the most important details to keep in mind while bathing your dog is to choose the right shampoo. Some of the popular products available for your canine buddy are OxGord Natural Oatmeal Dog-Shampoo And Conditioner, Nootie Oatmeal Dog Shampoo with Soothing Aloe.
The whole experience can be a smooth ride for both the owner and the dog if the latter is introduced to the idea of a bath just before the actual activity.
The first step is to gain your buddy’s trust by shaking its paw, caress the ears and opening the jaw numerous times in a day. Applaud good conduct and consider giving the dog treats that help in reinforcing good behaviour.
The tools of the trade that would be employed in the grooming session such as the brush, comb etc. should be held close to the nose of the dog so that he can smell them out and be accustomed to the same.
As the dog becomes more accepting to the items, motivate the same with treats. Let the canine get familiar with the sound of running water and to calm down, try supplementing the action with tasty treats or verbal praise.
If a pet dryer is being considered, then it should be introduced to the dog in a similar manner. Bear this in mind that human blow dryers are not recommended over pet dryers.
If you are sure that your dog will hesitate during the bathing session, do seek out the help of another person thereby ensuring that the experience for your dog remains a positive one. This will make the future grooming sessions a more pleasant one.
Place an anti-skid mat in the tub before filling the same with lukewarm water up to the knee level of your dog. For stabilizing your dog while bathing, do opt for a leash and collar setup and make sure the material is made of nylon.
After the tub is made ready for the bathing session, lift your dog and place him in the tub. Make sure while lifting, you don’t hurt the pooch while doing so.
Spray the back of your dog and also the shoulders to make him get used to the idea of bathing. Keep the spray set on a low, which will be useful for preventing instances that might scare the pooch. If the dog get scared then for future grooming sessions it might be hard for the owner to make him take a dip in the tub.
While spraying the dog with the shower nozzle try to keep an average distance of about an inch from the dog’s fur. This ensures that the water penetrates the thick coat and reaches the skin.
After your dog has settled in, wash the head and avoid spraying directly on the face. Keep the head tilted slightly backwards, so that the water runs downward towards the back of the head.
Apply shampoo on the body of the dog and gently massage until the product makes a thick lather on the fur.
Keep this in mind, for thick haired dogs, it is advised to rub the shampoo for lather formation towards the direction of hair growth. This helps in preventing tangles in the coat during the bath.
Use a soft brush if you may clean the facial wrinkles and around the paws. Don’t forget to clean the ear flaps, under the neck and other tender areas.
While cleaning the ears do keep in mind that water should not get inside the ear canal of the dog as it may cause severe infections.
During cleaning around the ear, if the dog stands up, cover the ear canal with your hand during the rinsing and washing operations. While cleaning the head, use your hand to cover his eyes so that the soap or shampoo doesn’t get inside his eyes to cause irritation.
Make sure that no residual soap or shampoo is remaining in the skin and fur otherwise it may lead to skin irritations and sore.
After the cleaning session, comes the drying and this is the most important part. To properly do the same gently squeeze out the excess water from the fur, use your hands. A large absorbent cotton towel should be used to blot out the excess moisture.
Don’t rub the dog’s fur as it may cause the pet to have a tangled coat. Don’t forget to remove the cotton balls from the ear canals of your dog as entrapped moisture in the same may lead to ear infections.
Avoid letting out your dog until he or she is completely dry. To increase the gap between each bathing session brush and comb the dog fur on a regular basis. Keep a check for flea or tick infestation. And if you want to opt for a waterless bath, sprinkle an excess of baking soda on the fur of your dog and brush out the excess.