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Bath night for dogs

Interested in how to improve your dog or puppy’s bath time? The experts at Showers To You Bath Experts ( investigated a variety of tips and tricks online, revealing ten essential steps when bathing your dog.

Top 10 expert tips:

1. Clip your dog’s nails before bath time

Many dog owners forget that before bathing, it is important to check if nails need to be clipped. Long nails make it harder for dogs to have a good grip in the bath, and will often fall over, especially if they are a small breed such as a Yorkshire Terrier.

2. Brush your dog's hair before and after bathing

Remember to brush your dog’s hair before and after bathing, to ensure softness to your puppy’s coat. All dog breeds shed their hair, and it’s best to get rid of any excess dead hair before shampooing. Brushing your pet’s hair will also get rid of any matting and tangles before washing, making it a much easier and more pleasant experience for you and your dog.

3. Gently place cotton balls inside the ears before bathing

One of the things that dogs hate the most is getting water in their ears - hence shaking off mid-bath in an attempt to remove trapped water. This can be controlled by placing a small cotton ball inside your pet’s ears while bathing, providing your dog with a more pleasant bathing experience.

4. Wash your dog in lukewarm water - no more than 37°C

Always check the water temperature before wetting your dog. What feels warm enough on our skin tends to be over 38°C, and this is in fact too warm for your dog’s skin. Water temperature over 37°C can increase your pet’s heart rate too much, causing a strain, especially for puppies and older dogs.

5. Avoid getting water in the nose

It is important to tenderly wet your dog’s face, but avoid getting water near the nose. The best way to do this is by tilting the head up, and closely monitoring the nose. If too much water enters they are at risk of choking.

6. Tearless shampoo is a great option, especially for young puppies

Although it's not necessary, you can opt for tearless shampoos. These are usually sulfate and paraben free, making them the perfect tear-free

formula to wash your dog with. It's important to select the best dog shampoo for your particular breed in order to avoid allergies and skin disorders

7. Scrub the hair in the direction you want the hair to grow

It is important to scrub your dog’s hair in the direction that you would like it to grow in. This simple step will help to avoid ingrown hairs, which could lead to bumps in the skin.

8. Avoid spraying your dog with full force water

It is imperative that the water pressure is low, as using a harsh water pressure can be quite a traumatic experience, especially for younger dogs. By using lower water pressure, you are also saving yourself from splattering dirty water all over your bathroom.

9. Rinse and repeat

Even if you believe that all the shampoo has been removed after rinsing, make sure you double or even triple rinse. Ensuring every little bit of shampoo has been removed is vital as any remaining suds can irritate your dog’s skin.

10. Gently hold the back of the neck to limit your dog shaking off wet water

If your dog is about to shake off all the bath water, before you have had a chance to wipe them down with a towel, simply hold the back of the neck and apply a small amount of pressure. This makes it impossible for them to shake their head, however their tail may shake a little. Martin Smith, owner of Showers to You Bath Experts commented:

“For those dogs that hate being bathed, it is important to normalise the bathtub. Many of us wash dogs very infrequently to the point that dogs feel nervous about being bathed. However, you can attempt to use the bathroom and tub when it's dry as a feeding location - creating a positive association with being in or near the bathtub. Another tip that works well is to place a Licki mat in the bathtub so that the dogs can have a treat, and are distracted while in the bath.”


Photo credit: Shutterstock

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