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Dogs need to be cleaned up and freshened a bit after long activities such as playing around or going for a walk, especially in hot weather. However, dog bathing is a delicate process and the owner needs to know what he or she is doing to the dog, and a few pointers to watch out for to avoid health hazards. But other than that, just enjoy the fun experience of giving your dog a nice bath!
First Part: Dog Brushing
Brushing out your dog is the first part in the bathing process. We have to brush the excess mats (tangles) out of the undercoat of your pet. Begin from the dog’s tail and against the grain and to the head. This process is called line brushing. If you are using a Slicker Brush, just brush gently and be careful not to brush hard, especially with the sensitive parts of your dog, as you may accidentally scratch the dog’s skin, which is sensitive when it is wet. Go for the dog’s legs, spine, sides, and other parts, brushing him thoroughly but in a nice and gentle way.
Here are a couple of excellent pointers in an article from WikiHow.com on dealing with mats:
- Always brush the mats from the bottom and not the top. Brushing from the top upwards is uncomfortable to the dog (you’re brushing it the wrong way, for one thing), and brushing from the top downwards just makes the mat even worse and even painful. Try doing this to your own hair or your girlfriend’s/wife’s hair and see how you or they like it!
- Cutting a matt should be the last resort. When the hair matts, tension on the hair causes the skin to raise in particular areas. It is very easy to accidentally snip the skin instead of the hair. If you can, take a plastic comb and wedge it under the matted hair, then cut above the comb into the matt. The comb then acts as a safeguard between your scissors and your dogs tender skin. You also can use an “acme” letter opener from staples as the cutting edge is on the inside and there is a plastic area between the blade and the dogs skin. divide the matt into sections cutting with the grain of the coat, this will remove hair so use it sparingly. Be extremely careful on non flat surfaces such as the tail or ears.
Comb your dog’s hair after the brushing. Most double-coated dogs require special tools like Furminators and Zoom Grooms, for the undercoat and top coat respectively. However, these should be used with extreme care, and it also depends on the tool that you are using and the thickness of your dog’s coat.
Second Part: Dog Bath
Before giving bath to your dog, make sure that your dog can adapt well to the shampoo and has no allergies or skin diseases. Otherwise, get some help from local vets and pet experts on what shampoo you should use for your dog. But for regular dogs, the best type of shampoo is oatmeal shampoo, which is gentle to canine skin. It also keeps away dirt, eliminates bad odor and makes the fur shiny. For the face, use tearless shampoos and ones without perfumes to protect both the eyes and mouth, and from possibly ingesting the soap/shampoo.
Also use conditioner, especially with longer-haired dogs, which helps keep the tangles to a minimum.
When rinsing your dog from the shampoo/soap, rinse him well and never let any part of him have extra soap/shampoo, as a hot spot could occur there if it was not rinsed. Also watch for your dog’s ears and don’t let them catch water. But if it does happen, only the dog can tell this and he’ll definitely tell you by his actions that he’s got water in his ears and needs to shake it off. You can try helping him do that, similar to how you remove water from your ears, by gently using cotton balls or turning their heads down to remove the water there.
For blow drying, don’t keep it on high as it could burn their sensitive skin. Instead, use a lower setting for them to get that fresh feeling, and don’t let the blower remain more than a few seconds in any one spot. Clean their ears with the cotton balls and other ear cleansers.
Third Part: Trimming Nails
For cutting your dog’s nails, it’s just a matter of finding the quick and understanding your dog. Start with the tip of the nails and remember to use a nail clipper that fits their size. Different dogs have different quicks so you have to examine your dog to know exactly how far down to cut.
We hope that these tips for dog bathing and cleaning help out owners and their dogs for a better bath bonding experience.
Does your dog enjoy its bathing experience? Mine looks forward to it!
Feel free to add any comments below.