As a dog owner, you’ve 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.
Dog Shampoo to the Rescue
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
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.
Wash-up 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.
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.
Post Wash-up Grooming
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
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