Bathtime for pet dogs – Part 5

Bath time; that joyful experience of getting sopping wet and saturated with wet-dog smell. Although dogs bath themselves they do need the occasional hand in order to be truly clean. Bath time doesn’t have to be a huge hassle if you start out right. The first thing to do is associate the bathroom, tub and running water with something truly splendid. There is nothing better than telling your dog Bath’ and having them run into the bathroom and be sitting in the tub waiting. Here are a few things you’ll need:

*Quality, non-chemical/pesticide DOG shampoo (NEVER use dish detergent or human shampoo)

*Towels

*Bath mitt

*Hand-held shower head or pitcher

*a shower cap (optional)

*Warm water. Too hot will cause an increase in body temperature and too cold is uncomfortable and can cause a drop in body temperature.

If you’ve worked hard on getting an eager response to the bathroom this is going to be a piece of cake. When your dog is in the tub have him stand and start working the water into his hair starting at the neck behind the ears. This is where your shower cap comes in. In order to prevent ear infections and “swimmer’s” ear a shower cap can be placed over the dogs head and fastened with a bandanna under the lower jaw kind of like a head scarf or do-rag. Unless it’s absolutely necessary for cleanliness don’t wash the dog’s face, use alcohol/scent free baby wipes.

Make sure you soap up all important parts, being careful not to get the suds into any orifices. Tail, rump, sheath for males and folds of joints/wrinkles all need attention. Use this time to familiarize yourself with your dog’s bumps, moles and other oddities so that you can use them to evaluate overall health. Let the shampoo sit for a couple of minutes and then thoroughly rinse. Use a scrubbing motion with your free hand while the other is rinsing to make sure the suds are completely gone. Excess soap will cause dandruff’ or super dry skin which is itchy and unpleasant.

Before letting your dog escape the tub try to get him to shake himself behind the curtain. It is fairly easy to get shake’ or dry’ on cue which keeps your house drier. Spread a towel on the side of the tub and ask him to step up onto it so you can thoroughly dry his feet. Wet feet are slippery which can result in falling and injuries. Towel dry folds, wrinkles, between the toes and armpits. This is an excellent time to brush the teeth, clean the ears and reapply topical flea killer (after the dog is completely dry).

Baths serve as more than just a he stinks gotta wash him’ time. They are a good way to examine him for unusual lumps and injuries. This makes them a great monthly ritual for your dog’s general health. With enough energy and rewards bath time can be a tolerable occurrence instead of a horrifying ordeal.

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