How to bathe a dog: tips on frequency of procedures and shampoo selection

Yulia PoteriankoLife
A bathing cap is not a luxury but an important dog accessory

Unlike a cat, which can be settled at home on pillows and almost never be bothered with bathing, a dog will still need to be washed from time to time. The animal walks outside every day, including in wet weather, and comes into contact with other dogs, so it needs regular grooming. But how do you figure out how to bathe your dog properly?

OBOZREVATEL has collected advice from veterinarians and dog handlers on this issue. We will analyze all the key aspects of dog care. However, it is important to keep in mind that some nuances depend on the size of the dog, the length of its coat, health, breed, and other factors. You can find out about such subtleties from breeders and veterinarians.

How often should I wash my dog?

You can rinse your dog with water at least every day, especially if he likes it. In general, paws should be washed after every walk. However, veterinarians do not recommend bathing a dog with a cap more often than once every 4-6 weeks. Dogs' sweat glands are located only on the paw pads, so their fur does not get dirty as much as human hair and does not need regular cleaning.

If your dog suddenly starts to smell bad, it is most likely a medical rather than a hygienic problem. It can be caused by diseases of the mouth, teeth, skin, and other reasons. Therefore, in this case, it is better to show your pet to the doctor.

Usually, healthy dogs are bathed at this frequency:

  • small and short-haired breeds - 2-4 times a year;
  • show dogs and show-class dogs - once a week and before shows;
  • dogs with long hair - once every 1-3 months.

How to bathe dogs correctly?

Dogs are generally calm about water procedures, but they can be nervous when their paws slip in the bathtub or on the shower tray. They should also not be allowed to get water in their ears. Therefore, the general bathing algorithm is as follows:

  • Place a non-slip mat or towel on the bottom of the bathtub or shower;
  • Put a bathing cap on your dog or cover his ears with cotton swabs;
  • Make sure that the water for washing the animal is not hot, but pleasantly warm - dogs do not have such perfect thermoregulation as humans, the ideal temperature should be between 35-40 degrees;
  • Set a moderate water pressure, a strong jet can hurt the animal;
  • Before soaping, dilute a special dog shampoo in a separate bowl, the concentration should be at least 1:4, where there is more water - so you can more easily distribute the product on the coat;
  • Soap the dog with smooth movements, periodically stroking it the way it likes, talk calmly if the animal is worried;
  • Rinse off the foam thoroughly, paying special attention to the back of the neck and skin folds;
  • Do not let the animal jump out of the bath - it can fall and get injured, take it out yourself;
  • Rub the coat with a towel and do not take the animal outside until it is completely dry - that is why it is better to bathe dogs after an evening walk.

To make your dog feel calm during bathing, start accustoming him to water procedures from childhood. As soon as the puppy has completed all the stages of vaccination and related quarantines, you can put it in the bathtub and wash it with water from time to time. Don't forget to give your pet its toys - it will feel calmer and may even love bathing.

Important: if you plan to treat your dog with antiparasitic drops applied to the withers, keep in mind that you should not bathe him for at least 3 days before the procedure and another 3 days after. The same applies to vaccinations.

How to choose a dog shampoo?

First of all, discard the idea that your shampoo is suitable for your dog. Even if it is very expensive and works wonders for your hair. The acidity of dog skin is 7-7.5 pH, and human skin is 5-5.2, so we need different cosmetics.

For occasional bathing, choose a shampoo without additional properties or designed exclusively for grooming. In addition, there are shampoos for fleas and other parasites and medicinal shampoos - it is better to prescribe them from a doctor and use them as needed. There are also products for show dogs that give their coat a beautiful shade - it's also better not to get carried away with them unnecessarily.

You can also buy gels, balms, and coat conditioners at pet stores. They can make combing fluffy dogs easier. If you need to clean your pet's coat and bathing is prohibited for one reason or another, there are dry shampoos and powders for grooming and special grooming sprays.

When does a dog need an unscheduled bath?

Dogs love to roll around on the ground, especially if it is covered with grass that is pleasant to them. However, your pet may roll around in something dirty or smelly. In this case, an extraordinary bath is unavoidable.

Some veterinary procedures are carried out in the form of baths or treatment with special shampoos. Only a doctor can prescribe them for you - it is better not to self-medicate, as it can be harmful.

And, of course, you will have to arrange a spa day for your show pet on the eve of the exhibition if you participate in such events.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you how to choose a dog for a family with a child.

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