How To Give The Perfect Dog Bath

How To Give The Perfect Dog Bath

By Doug Gelbert

Most pet owners do not think twice about spending big dollars to buy their dog premium dog food, the best health care or even blissful days at a doggie day care facility. Most pet owners also don’t think twice when it’s time to give Bowser a bath. Grab the Head and Shoulders and fire up the backyard garden hose. But lets give it a bit more thought than that.

But a proper dog bath is key to maintaining your pet’s vigorous good health. The skin is the body’s largest organ and a perfect dog bath is key to stimulating blood circulation and keeping the skin healthy. Improper bathing can cause a matted condition in the coat which is uncomfortable to your dog. The first step in the perfect dog bath is a good brushing.

For short-haired dogs brush in a circular motion with a curry comb made of rubber with teeth cut into the edges. It will pull the dead coat out. Slicker brushes will take out the dead undercoat. Start on the legs and hold the outer hair so that you can brush from the skin outward. If it is not removed, the coat will easily mat. Use this technique all over the dog – legs, body and tail. Dogs resent the tail being brushed so save it for last. For fine-haired dogs use a natural bristle brush. Moisten the area to be worked with a good coat conditioner.

For long-haired dogs use a pin brush if the coat is not tangled, a slicker brush if the coat is tangled. Start at the legs, again brushing from the skin out and brushing only a few hairs at a time. The secret to thorough brushing is to brush only a few hairs at a time. Check each area with a comb; if the comb goes through without stress continue all the way up to the middle of the dog’s back. Go to the loin area and to the back legs; then move to each side of the back of the dog.

You are now ready to wash. Never use human shampoos to wash your dog. Dog shampoos are specially formulated to match the pH level of a dog’s skin. Human shampoos can strip a dog’s coat of essential oils. The right way to bathe a dog is determined by the texture and length of the coat. Short-haired dogs are washed with a vigorous circular motion which will pull out the dirt. On dogs with a medium- length coast, use a back-and-forth motion. As the hair gets longer, go only in the direction the hair grows.

Step 1. Rinse the dog completely.

Step 2. Apply the shampoo along the back, working up as much lather as possible; do the same with the belly, legs and tail.

Step 3. Rinse the coat with one hand to run water on the dog and the other hand in a kneading fashion to work the soap out. Make certain all the soap is out as dried soap will dull a coat and cause skin problems.

Step 4. Before towel-drying, squeeze as much water out of the coat as possible by pulling the hair straight out and squeezing at the same time.

Step 5. Use a washcloth to clean the dog’s face and avoid getting water in his ears. Moisture inside the ears provides the conditions for fungus infections.

Step 6. Towel dry your dog and use a hand-held hair dryer on thick-coated dogs but never use a human hair dryer as they run too hot and can burn the dog and damage the coat.

Voila! A clean, healthy dog.

copyright 2006

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