Tips for Giving a Great Bath

Don’t make it a chore
As a dog owner, you know your pet can read your emotions. Have bath time when you have the energy to focus on caring for and enjoying your dog. It’s more fun for both of you. Use a calm and relaxed voice. If it’s a chore or you’re frustrated, your dog will sense that.  When both of you walk away happy (and clean), it’s a win-win.

Be Ready
Nothing is more disappointing than to start your dog’s bath and then realize something is out of reach. Gather all your supplies from shampoo to towels and cotton balls to conditioner before calling your dog.

Generously reward
Every pet parent knows that dogs respond to rewards. When bathing, be generous every step of the way to reinforce that bath time is a positive time with beneïŹts. And don’t forget giving a special reward after a job well done. Your dog will not forget that he got a new toy or enjoyed a fun game after their bath.

Brush prior to the bath
Give your pal a good brushing prior to a bath.  This removes loose hair/fur and knots and puts the coat in its best condition to be washed. (Remember, never brush a wet dog. Wet mats and tangles are very hard to remove.)

Think like a dog
Most people love a hot bath, but dogs prefer a more moderate temperature.  The water temperature should be similar to the coat temperature. Make sure your dog is completely wet before introducing shampoo.

Rub-a-dub dub
Your dog’s personality can really come through while being shampooed. Talk to them calmly and positively. Dogs can feel anxious and they need your reassurance that everything is ok. Your relaxed tone sends a pleasant message.

Put the shampoo in your hands and gently massage through your dog’s coat
Start at the chest and move to the shoulders, sides, back, front legs, back legs and tail area. Then rinse. You may want to wash with shampoo 2x. The ïŹrst time is to remove dirt and debris, and the next is to wash skin and pull remaining dirt and accumulated oil.

When using a conditioner, leave it on according to instructions before rinsing. Remember, moisturized hair protects it.

Rinse well and make sure no product is left behind. Remember to protect dog’s ears from water and not to wash your dog’s face/head with your hands. Save the face/head for last and use gentle grooming wipes.

Dry ‘em
It’s important for a dog to be dried well.   First, towel dry your dog.  It’s a great time to examine your dog for skin and nail abnormalities. It’s better to spot something early.  You can use a blow dryer, just use the lowest setting and keep moving the heat around.  (Don’t focus on one spot.) Remember to acclimate them to the noise and, it’s worth saying again, never brush a wet coat.

Reward both of you for a job well done.