Saturday, February 7, 2009

How To Dip Your Canine in A Bathtub!

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face,” said Ben Williams. If you own a canine, you simply know how invaluable mates and companions dogs are. In order to keep your pet healthy; you not only have to invest money on it but also quality time, just like you would with your kids. Caring well for a dog entails taking care of all the aspects of dog care, from feed supplements, to collars, leads, drugs for veterinary care and more.

Giving your dog a good bath is quite a learnable skill and it not only ensures your dog’s hygiene but also keeps the dog smelling good so that you can candidly cuddle your cutie canine. Once, you’ve bathed your dog all of your ‘smell good’ wishes for your dog would be granted.

Dog Bath Preliminaries:

Well, bathing is fine but how often or when should you bathe your dog? The simple answer is when your dog needs it! You surely need to bathe the dog when he’s gotten greasy and dirty or perhaps when there’s going to be company. At the same
time you need to remember that washing up your pet can sometimes harm his skin by removing essential oils, so it shouldn’t be done too often. Though, you might wash him up earlier than usual if he gets smelly. For the most part you don’t need to worry about the mud on your dog as most of it would by itself fall off when it dries up and he wiggles about. Alternatively, you might give your dog a mud rub outside the house.

Above all, it’s best to consult your veterinarian about your dog. This is so as different dog breeds and behaviors would determine the need about your dog’s bathing requirements, and the
veterinary products that are appropriate for you pet. Further, your vet would also advise you on which shampoos you should be using.

The Preparation

It’s always a good idea to collect and assimilate all the pet accessories you’d need for the bath. The basic supplies will include: A veterinarian-approved dog shampoo and/or conditioner; Mineral oil and/or cotton balls; Washcloth or sponge; Towels; A bathing tether; Brush and comb; A soft brush for in between his toes and on his nails; A rubber tub mat; Lay out a blanket on the den or floor; A trash bag on the blanket.

Choosing the place to bathe

Just like humans, not all the dogs are the same. While some are happy go lucky during bath, others fear the bathtub. If you try to force such a dog to stay put in the tub they’d resist it and would begin to jump around, slip, shake, and it will
become pretty messy to deal with them. Not only is it difficult to handle such dogs but you might find, that instead of the dog, you’ve gotten wetter! An effective solution to overcome this problem is to use a hand-held shower, this would keep the dog pacified during the routine and you’d also be spared from becoming wet.

Moreover, it would also consume less time of yours. If however, you’re more comfortable bathing him in the tub, don’t forget to use a rubber bath mat in the tub as it would prevent the pet from slipping and would also keep him pacified during the activity. Furthermore, while using a tub, fill the water to his knees. The temperature of the tub should match that of the dog, approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Process

The basic dog bath regimen entails that you bring your dog to the bathtub. Then use a lead or bathing tether with its one end attached to the collar and the other end to the bathtub’s suction cup. Follow it up by ladling warm water over him, in case of a hand-held shower keep it low. The idea is not to scare him but gently bathe him. Once he’s all wet, apply the shampoo, keep it there for about 10 minuets or as prescribed on the bottle, rinse and dry up.

The Face: Dogs mostly don’t prefer to be splashed with a deluge of water on the head and face. Hence, wash his face with a washcloth instead. It’s also better as it prevents too much water from getting into his ears. Try to bring water to the face with your hand rather than directly splashing or sprinkling it on the face. Some people use cotton balls to stuff the ears with. Always ensure that they are of the right size for your dog's ears. A bit too small and they can get into his inner ears.

Dog Shampoo:
You need to use a good quality shampoo (the best is to have it prescribed by a vet), it could either be medically formulated or a natural one, whichever you prefer. In case you don’t have dog shampoo you may even use a baby shampoo. Gently but thoroughly apply the shampoo and bring it to lather. Ensure that none of it gets into his eyes or ears and sometimes tear-free shampoos are a good option.

The Hair:
If you have a dog with long hair you might want to make use of a conditioner meant for dogs.

The Rinse:
Once the dog has been brushed and lathered well enough all that you need to give him is a thorough rinse. Make sure the rinsing operation is ‘thorough,’ because if there’s any shampoo residue on his skin it would make him itch and uneasy. Needless to mention that keeping shampoo out of his eyes is important too.

Dry Up:
You can use one towel to soak him, while have the other one rest on his head as it would also prevent him form shaking off the water by himself. Once you’ve dried him up, lift him up with the still dry towel. Also important is to dry him up thoroughly with the towel or else he might want to rub himself on the bedspread of a cushion by himself, wrinkling it in doing so. When you dry him up lay him on the blanket and put some of your weight on him so that he might not run away to do the drying up by himself.

Some people use a blow-drier to dry up the dog. If you’d prefer to use one make sure that it’s on a low-temperature setting (warm or cool) in order to prevent burning your dog's skin.

Lastly, brush your dog after bath so that his hair doesn't get matted. If your dog’s new to bathing a great idea always is to praise your dog and give a treat as a reward for good behavior. This would train him to let you smoothly bathe him in future.

Exercise Caution:

The following are the key points of caring while bathing:
  • Don’t allow water and soap in the dog's nose, ears, and eyes. Smaller dogs can even choke on them.
  • Don’t bathe too frequently, it removes the dog of natural oils, thus harming the skin to
  • Don’t bathe the dog with soap or a shampoo used by humans as it can damage the dog's skin by making it dry, scaly, and chemically reacting with it.
  • Don’t too hot or too cold water on your dog his skin.
  • Don’t leave the dog half wet after the bath, dry up thoroughly.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately, if your dog gets a rash, or any other sign of an allergic reaction.
A dog bath is necessary for your dog’s hygiene and health, however to bathe a dog is a technique as well as an art. While the basics remain the same, how you actually bathe the dog depends on the chemistry and the relationship between the two of you.

Helpful Links:

The Humane Society of United States

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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