What do I need to know about bathing my dog?
As a dog owner, you have probably faced a situation where your pet has been spellbound by some foul smell and decided to tumble about in whatever the smell is emanating from, be it rotting fish, a carcass or particularly smelly ditch. Why your dog does this is a mystery, even if theories range between your dog wanting to camouflage its own smell down to simply being overcome by some strong odour so compelling that is a must have - on her fur.
Be as it may, the resulting task for you as her owner will be to wash your dog and try to get that smell and grime out of her fur. Of course the need to wash your dog can arise from something less extreme as well, for example rainy weather or having to make her presentable for a dog show.
In any case, one thing you must realise is that dogs do not need to be washed or bathed the same way as humans do. In fact, their skin and coat will be much healthier if you do not wash them too often. Of course, if you let your dog sleep with you in your bed, you might end up washing her more often. I would, however, reconsider that position, since for example a tick that has been crawling around in her fur might find its way onto your skin as a result - even after a thorough wash-up.
When to use dog shampoo?
OK, so you have decided that your dog is in need of a wash and usually plain water is enough to rinse the dirt off her fur after a stroll outside in a rainy weather. Sometimes, your dog ends up being so grimy that you actually need to use shampoo to make her presentable again.
Dog shampoo needs to be neutral and something that doesn’t dry up her skin and remove the oils that protect from the elements. A good choice is for example the following:
This product is good as it can be used for both cats and dogs and in my experience is very suitable for the task at hand. It is of course a good idea to socialize your dog with a wash up well before you actually need to really wash her down properly. This way the experience will be easier when your dog is really in need of a thorough washing.
How to wash my dog in practice?
Making your dog calmly sit in your bathroom is the first step and you can practice this beforehand with treats to condition her into thinking that bathroom is a positive place and nothing to be afraid of.
As with humans, you start off by rinsing your dog down but use just lukewarm water. Please do not use too hot water as it is not good for her coat and skin. Once you have completed the pre-wash, you will need to rub the shampoo into her coat and let it do its magic for a couple of minutes. The final step is to then rinse the shampoo with water and use plenty of water and rubbing to do so.
Having towels ready beforehand is a good idea and your dog will have a natural need to shake of the water once you stop rinsing. A micro fiber towel is a useful tool for the task, since it absorbs water much more effectively than a regular towel, as well as dries up after use.
- SnuggleSafe Microfibre Towel to dry your dog down with ease.
The towel is also handy for drying wet paws whenever you return from a walk on a rainy day and your dog doesn’t need rinsing per se or even after a quick rinse of the paws and under belly.
How to groom my dog?
I have to say I’m no expert in dog grooming, as Hovawarts are very easy dogs in that respect. Grooming is usually needed only after a bath or whenever my dog is shedding her fur. To that end, I need to have a functional tool such as Furminator at hand.
- Grooming products for more presentable dogs.
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