How to Bathe Your Dog
In the last blog post we discussed DIY grooming techniques. Today we’re going to delve into how to bathe your dog at home. If you’ve adopted a grooming routine (brushing a couple of times a week) then you’re already ahead of the game.
Always groom your dog prior to bathing. Brushing accomplishes several things;
- keeps your dog clean
- removes dirt or burrs
- removes most mats
- relaxes your dog.
Depending on the breed and coat there are many options for the type of bush you select. A shedding blade is great for breeds with short hair (a Boxer for example). Since my dog Bella has more of a Poodle’s coat and I like to keep her coat in a puppy cut of about 2-3″, I use a metal pin brush sometimes known as a “slicker” brush.
In my last post I talked about Bella and our grooming routine. While it works for us, many dog owners find it easier to brush their dog standing up using a grooming table like a professional groomer would. These tables come with a stand with a collar loop that helps keep the dog relatively settled when brushing. As I emphasized in my last post, do not leave your dog unattended on a grooming table when the noose is around the neck.
Once your grooming, is complete, your dog is ready for her or his bath. Bella loves water and she jumps in the shower with me. I use a shower-head/handheld-shower combo. Just grab the shower head with the five-foot hose and it couldn’t be easier. Not all dogs are as comfortable with water so you may need to coat your dog by voice praise and treats and use a bucket to pour warm water to prep and rinse your dog.
Choose your dog shampoo wisely. Don’t think about price, think about your dog’s coat, skin type or allergies. You may even have to dilute the shampoo for long haired dogs to make rinsing more manageable. Don’t use human shampoo, it’s not formulated to protect your dog’s skin and natural oils and can lead to very itchy dog.
Don’t forget the blow out if your pet has longer hair. I’ve used a professional dog hair dryer (which Bella hates), to my hair dryer (which she tolerates). The selection is vast. Use what works for you.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Hair
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and trim him/her yourself. Make sure your dog is washed, brushed out and completely dry before you begin. Having the right tools for the trim is important. At the very least you need;
the correct brush or comb for your dog’s coat
professional clippers preferably with a #10 blade
grooming table with arm
If your dog hasn’t been to the groomer lately, it is quite possible to run into a few mats. Use clippers not scissors to cut them out. Go online to learn how and which cut is for your breed. Next up how to shave your dog and trim their nails.
Til the next post!