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A Head to Toe Guide to Washing Your Dog

before the bath

While that doggy smell can be completely normal, many dogs do seem to be particularly on the nose. Getting your dog used to regular grooming and bathing from an early age and making sure you have fun doing it will ensure you have happy, healthy and odor free canine companion. Dogs have skin that is half the thickness of human skin, is very sensitive and has a different pH. You can’t always assume that human products are okay for your pet. Use a good quality and gentle pet shampoo and if your dog is prone to dry skin, greasy skin, frequent skin infections or is itchy, ask your Vet which shampoo is best. Smaller dogs can be easily bathed in the laundry sink, a baby bath, the normal bath tub or even the bottom of the shower. Using a non-slip mat can make your pet more secure on the slippery surface. An inside bath allows you to ensure the water is warm, but not warmer than your skin. If it is a nice sunny day, you can wash your pet outdoors and a nice game of fetch or a walk afterwards is a great way to stop them rolling in the garden and will speed up the drying process.

Keep a hand on your dog at all times when you are washing them. This will make it less likely they will shake all over you and attempt to leap from the bath. Have everything ready before you go and make sure you include a good massage while shampooing and towelling off to make the whole experience pleasurable for your pet. If your dog is a bit worried about bathing, particularly in certain areas, use lots of food rewards to encourage good behavior. If your dog is prone to wiggling and getting water in the ears, place a piece of cotton wool loosely in the ears to avoid getting water down there. Bath time is a great time to check your pet’s nails, ears, teeth and skin for any abrasions or new lumps and bumps. Systematically feel your pet all over, perhaps while you are doing a nice massage with the shampoo.

Dogs that really do smell bad may actually have allergies or dermatitis. Take your pet in for a check-up with your Vet to rule out any underlying problems such as bacterial or fungal skin disease or dental disease. Your Vet will also be able to recommend the best shampoo for your dog’s skin type. develop a smelly odor in between baths, have slightly red or itchy skin may have allergies. Dogs that have fleas often also develop itchy and smelly skin, so ensure your flea control is up to date, even if you don’t see visible fleas on your pet.

 

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