2. Importance of Bathing
How well your dog is groomed and ‘turned out’ is a clear reflection of the kind of person that you are and hence it is not worth risking your reputation owing to a shabby dog.
Regular cleansing sessions along with a well planned and wholesome ‘beauty’ regimen is almost always the key to a good-looking dog.
The importance of maintaining the best possible degrees of hygiene in your pet dog cannot be emphasized enough. Apart from the ever looming threat of falling prey to diseases owing to poor hygiene, unkempt dogs also pose the risk of transmitting an infection to the humans that form part of its family.
Seemingly simple infestations of ticks and mites can cause serious allergic reactions in some of us and hence keeping a well groomed dog is of huge importance.
While our intentions might be of keeping a clean dog, the process can sometimes take the shape of a nightmare because most dogs loathe bath time!
Either its fear of becoming wet or else it is the tendency to roll in dirt as soon as you have spent a lot of your time and energy scrubbing him clean; in any case, your efforts go wasted at times.
What is important is to keep the efforts going against all odds and do the best that you can to keep your dog well groomed.
The Bathing Process
Bathing your dog before you start the grooming process is a great way to ensure that you achieve the best results. There is specialized equipment that you will require to make the bathing process as easy and effective as possible for both parties.
Here is a generic list of items that you will need:
- A suitable bathing tub for the size of your dog
- A non-slip mat
- A plastic jug
- Either a towel or a hair dryer
- Specially formulated canine shampoo
- If your dog does not like the sensation of being immersed in water, the tub can be replaced with a bucket filled with warm water.
- Canine shampoos as recommended by your vet or pet store are best for your dog since these are made especially keeping them and their special requirements. You can also buy medicated shampoo if your dog has a particular condition like fleas or ticks that needs to be attended to or else if he has sensitive skin. There are also especially formulated canine shampoos to provide relief from arthritis and muscular pain in case your dog requires them.
- You may also require a nylon leash and collar, which can be used to tie your dog in the vicinity of the tub so as to prevent your dog from running away if he has a dislike for being washed and shampooed.
- For larger dogs it is often a good idea to bathe them outdoors as a large wet dog can cause problems indoors if he gets unduly excited in course of the entire process.
- Place the non-slip mat in the tub before placing your dog in it and while holding his collar use the plastic jug to pour warm water over him. Make sure that you wet him thoroughly before you shampoo – this helps break down the surface tension from the grease in the coat and makes it easier to remove dirt and grime. It can be a good idea to lightly block his ears with cotton wool (take care not to insert the cotton too deep into his ears) to prevent soapy water getting into his ear canals.
- Mix 15-20 ml of shampoo in a jug of water and massage the shampoo mixture into your dog’s coat and work up a rich lather. At this stage avoid putting any of the shampoo mixture on your dog’s facial region.
- Now move on to the face; be very careful about not letting shampoo get into your dog’s eyes or mouth. It is a good idea to use a sponge to apply the shampoo mixture to his facial region. You may also use a sponge to clean under his tail as this is an area where bacteria and fungi often spread leading to complicated skin infections.
- Rinse and dry your dog’s head first using the towel; continue with rinsing the rest of the body thereafter. This should take approximately 3 minutes for a short haired dog and 5 minutes for a longer haired one. It is important that you rinse your dog thoroughly so that there is no shampoo left in his coat.
- Dry the rest of your dog with the towel or use a hair dryer set on low heat. Be careful not to irritate the skin by overly vigorous toweling or having too high a heat setting on a dryer.
Use praise to give your dog reassurance at all stages of the bathing process. Bath time can well be converted into fun time for your dog by being patient and understanding.