Taking care of dogs include caring of their coat by giving them a bath. Dogs need a proper washing in order to keep their hair clean and nice.
However, there things you need to know before you wash your dog for the first time because improper bathing and wrong frequency can actually be more dangerous to dogs than not giving them bath at all.
Whether you´re going to give bath to a puppy or a dog, follow these tips for a wonderful bath that´s both healthy and enjoyable for your dog.
Bathing a dog frequently is more dangerous to its hair than not bathing it at all. It irritates the skin and causes eczema. In winter it chaps the skin and makes it rough, cracked, and sore. It removes the natural oil from the hair and leaves it dry and harsh. It weakens the animal and paves the way for bronchitis, pneumonia, and distemper.
White dogs require more baths than those of dark color, and lap dogs more frequently than those running in the yard. The lifestyle of your dog determines the frequency of the bath that it needs. Some dogs are naturally clean and keep their coats in fine condition, while others enjoy rolling in all the dirt they find. The average house dog should be washed once in two weeks, but if it´s possible to make it once in a month, the better.
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White dogs and toys will have to be bathed from one to seven times a week.
Dogs should not be bathed when suffering from any febrile disease. If the dog suffers from any internal tract, baths should be avoided. Very thin and emaciated dogs are too weak to withstand bathing.
Puppies, unless vigorous and healthy, should not be washed before they´re at least four months old.
Bathing young puppies can result to sickness, interrupted growth, and from my personal experience, even death.
Females must not be bathed while in season.
See: How to Care of the Dog – The Right Exercise
Any good white soap such as Ivory, Fairy, and Marseilles may be used. If the skin is sore, it´s advisable to use pure Castile soap. Scented toilet soaps, liquid shampoo soaps, and tar soap are allowable. Medicated soaps are not necessary apt to irritate the skin.
Strong alkaline soaps are detrimental to the hair because of their oil solvent action. Liquid soaps are more convenient and cake soap may be reduced by cutting it in fine pieces, and dissolving in boiling water.
Puppies are usually frightened during their first bath and will try to get away. If their first bath is badly handled, it becomes a traumatic experience for them and will resist every bath. Therefore be very careful in in bathing the puppies and get them to get used to it.
The dog should be placed in a dry tub and accustomed to it. His face and feet can be washed first, with water from a basin. As he gets used to the water, it can be poured into the tub, little by little, until there´s enough water for its bath.
Saturate the dog´s hair by scooping the water up by the hand. If the dog likes the bath, induce it to lie in the water or pour over the water with a dipper.
After the hair is immersed, apply the soap. Thoroughly work through the foam from the hair to the skin in order to fully remove all the dirt. When satisfied, wash out the soap and thoroughly rinse the dog with water.
The first water should be hot and the rinsing water cooled as much as the dog is able to stand. If the bathtub is used the water can be gradually cooled by the shower control.
The first bath should be made as short as possible, both because of the dog’s fear and the danger of his contracting a cold.
See: The Right Amount of Exercise for Dogs
Now comes the hardest part of the job. The need to thoroughly dry the dog depends on the kind of the animal and the condition of the weather. Small dogs must be absolutely dried while for large strong dogs, only the bulk of the water needs to be removed.
In winter, drying is more important than in summer. Squeeze the hair with your hands until all the bulk of water is removed. Absorb the moisture using a towel, one after another, quickly replacing the towel as soon as it becomes wet. If the dog was previously warmed, the better.
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Continue rubbing until it´s impossible to dampen a towel, and then rub the dog´s hair with your hands until the dampness disappears.
Remove the snarls with a brush and comb and if the dog is long-haired, he should be rolled in a blanket. If the weather is cold, he may be placed by the radiator. After he is warm, unwrap him and make him run briskly about the house.
Don´t take the door outdoor until the next day unless the weather is very warm. In midsummer the sunshine and air will help dry his coat but some of the more fragile dogs can´t withstand even this exposure.
When it comes to washing the dog, how do you simplify the procedure? How often do you bath your dog?
Kyler Brown says
I really appreciated these tips, especially since my wife and I just bought our daughters a puppy. I’m glad that I read this because I didn’t realize that bath’s can be harmful for puppies who aren’t mature enough yet. I’ll make sure to wait several more months before attempting this. Thanks for sharing!