Some dogs like the water, while others don’t. If you happen to have a dog who loves the water then count yourself as one of the lucky ones. If you have a dog who doesn’t like the water, don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Just because they don’t like the water though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean them. They still need to have a good bath once in a while. You shouldn’t wash them a lot though, as you can dry out their skin and create skin problems. If you plan on bathing your dog in your bath tub then you need to have a handheld shower nozzle to work with. Follow these steps to give your dog a bath no matter if they like water or they don’t like it.
Dog Bath Step #1- Prep your dog- Before you begin with water you should start out with brushing their hair. Get any knots out that might be in your dog’s hair. This way you won’t have as much to do while bathing them. If you find anything sticky on your dog then apply a generous amount of baby oil on the sticky spot. This will help loosen the sticky stuff. If you have small kids like me then chances are you will find something sticky once in a while. Clip any nails that need to be clipped before you give them their bath. While most people do this afterwards, I suggest doing it first if you have a dog who does not like water. This way you’re not trying to deal with a wet anxious dog and nail clippers.
Dog Bath Step #2- Getting your dog to the tub- If your dog likes water then have them get into the tub. If you have a dog that does not like the water then you will need to coach them into the tub with treats or something else that they like. Think of something they really like and use that as a treat. For example my dog will do just about anything you could want for a piece of cheese. I don’t know why but he is obsessed with cheese. Make a small path leading to the bathroom with their treats and while you’re giving them the treats you need to have good energy. You should not show that you are nervous or aggravated. No matter what you tend to think, animals can read your body energy. If you are tense and scared that is going to make them tense and scared as well. So you need to have calm and relaxed body energy so they will also. Gently coach them to the tub and then into the tub. Once they are in there, give them a few more treats and pet them some. Don’t turn the water on as soon as their feet hit the tub. Let them relax a little bit.
Dog Bath Step #3- Start Washing- Now that you have your calm dog into the tub its time to start washing them. Starting with the neck of the dog and using your handheld nozzle get their entire coat wet. You should always start front to back. Make sure you get their belly wet and their tail as these are always the dirtiest places on the dog and don’t forget the paws. Using a dog shampoo only you should start getting your dog soaped up. I suggest using an oatmeal based dog shampoo as this helps their skin from drying out. The amount of soap you will need to use will depend on your dog. Just remember a little goes a long way when you’re washing your dog. All soaps sud up a lot when used on hair, since your dog is filled with hair you don’t want to use a lot. Start by placing a small amount on your hand and working it into their fur from the neck down. When you need more, add a little more to your hand until your dog is all soaped up. Make sure you have gotten every inch of their body with the exception of the head. The tail is very important as this is the way any fleas or bugs will run when you start using water. With your hand and a little soap you should wash the dog’s ears and head. Be careful not to get any into their eyes as this will only freak your dog out more and make them scared of the water or more scared of the water.
Dog Bath Step #4- Rinse- Now its time to rinse your dog off. This is the most important step of all because you need to make sure you get every bit of soap off your dog. This time start with their head and give it a quick rinse. I always cover my dog’s eyes with a dry wash rag before I do this, this way I am sure it doesn’t get into his eyes. Once the head is rinsed you can now start rinsing the rest of the body working from their head down. Make sure you get everything rinsed because any left over soap will cause you further skin problems. Soap left on a dog to long can cause dry skin which results in a lot of biting and scratching of the fur and that can result in infection. It can also cause their skin to dry out so much where they will end up with hot spots. If you have ever had a dog with hot spots then you will know these are not fun to deal with.
Dog Bath Step #5- Dry off- Now that your dog is all done, you should start by drying them off while they are still in the tub. You should pat them dry and avoid access rubbing as this will knot your dogs coat up pretty bad. Once you have patted them dry, you will need to place a few towels on the floor. Your dog will get out and shake, so it’s a great way to catch the water. Once they shake you should dry them once again. Then you will need to brush them again. Taking a towel or a cotton ball you need to clean out your dogs ears making sure you get any excess water out of their so your dog doesn’t end up with ear problems.
Now you have clean dog. If your dog was well behaved during this bath time, give them a few more treats and let them know they were good and show them how happy you are with your body energy. This will help next time when you try and give them another bath.