Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How To Give Your Dog a Proper Bath

I feel tired after giving my dog, Bruno a bath earlier this afternoon. I took time brushing his fur before the actual bath. He does not exactly like getting wet and the shampooing part but he is very behave the whole time. He loves being toweled dry.

I like it every time Bruno gently nips the end of the towel when I pat him dry as if he wants to start a little tug of war. After Bruno's bath, I went to the bathroom to take one myself. During my own bath, I was inspired to write this post. :)

Bruno, after today's mid-afternoon bath.

I would like to share some tips on how to give your dog a proper bath:

1. Prepare your dog's bath things (bath towel, dog soap or shampoo, comb or brush, cotton balls and cotton buds). It is advisable to use bath products specially formulated for dogs. Human bath products are not suitable for dogs.

2. Brush your dog's fur in order to remove loose hair. A Labrador has short hair so I did not have a hard time combing Bruno's fur. If you have a long haired dog, make sure you brush your dog's hair thoroughly. Gently loosen tangles.

3. Protect your dog's ears. Loosely put cotton balls on the ears to block water, soap and shampoo from coming in. Make sure the cotton balls are not too small to avoid getting them stuck deep inside the ears.

4. It is advisable to give your dog a bath during the warm part of the day (usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.). If you live in a cold climate country, you can use warm water for your dog's bath.

5. Wet the dog's body first from the neck to the back. Avoid the head for now.

6. Put a small amount of shampoo (you have the option to use soap) on your dog (amount of shampoo may vary depending on the size of the body) and gently work to a lather starting from the neck until the tail. Don't forget the belly, spaces between the front and hind legs, groin and spaces between the toes.

7. Now it's time to wet the head. When pouring water on the head, gently hold your dog's head down. You can position your hand over the eyes to protect them from the water pressure. If your dog has exposed ears, be extra careful when pouring water. If you are using a water hose, adjust the level of pressure (if possible) to its mildest or most gentle level.

8. Put a very small amount of shampoo and gently rub it on the head, outer ears, and muzzle. Be very careful to avoid the eyes.

9. Carefully but thoroughly rinse the head and the whole body. Make sure you rinse out all traces of shampoo or soap. Residue might result to itchiness and skin problems.

10. Remove the cotton balls from your dog's ears.

11. Towel your dog dry. Don't forget to gently clean the outer part of the ears. If you have a long haired dog, you have the option to use a hair dryer.

12. Gently comb or brush your dog's hair.

13. Use cotton buds (you can wet the buds with a little baby oil) and gently clean the ears. Be reminded not to probe deep into the ears to avoid infection.

14. Pat your dog on the head and praise your dog for being good during the bath. A little treat would be nice too. :)

** Tips above are based on how I give my own dog (Labrador Retriever) a bath. I acknowledge that some dogs may require more attention. **

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