Bathing the dog properly will improve the health of the dog`s coat and skin and will keep the dog`s environment cleaner. However, not everyone knows how to bath your dog properly. Spa Groomtopia will help you to understand the importance and proper way to do it through this article.
How often should dogs be bathed?
Unlike the human body, dogs do not have sweat glands on their skin which means that dogs don`t get sweaty but they do get dirty and matted or tangled, and the messy hair can attract parasites or cause all sorts of skin problems. Therefore a good hygiene is a must. A hygiene includes bathing, brushing with different tools and drying with towels or blow dryers. But how often dogs should be bathed?
Dogs have a huge variety of coat types, but all the varieties are categorised in four basic groups: length (long, medium or short), texture ( curly, wavy), coarseness ( wire-haired) and a group of hairless breeds . Each coat type requires its own bathing routine.
If you have a dog with a short smooth coat, like Vizla’s or German Pointer’s, you can bath it as rare as 2 times a year. Since this type of coat is very easy to deal with: easy to wipe dirt off its surface, easy to brush, and this type of coat will not tangle simply because it is too short.
If you have a dog like a Labrador or a Germane Shephard you will have to deal with double thick coat of short to medium length. This type of coat has only one challenge – it sheds and it sheds a lot and it sheds for long periods of time, in fact it sheds all year round with slower or faster speed. The best way to keep this type of coat healthy and to help your living environment less hairy is to bath your dog up to 4 times a year with high quality de-shedding products. After a bath this type of coat must be well dried and brushed as its undercoat can felt into clumps, trap moist and cause hot spots on the skin.
A country’s climate will also dictate specifics to a bathing routine. Here, in Canada, dogs like Labradors, Huskies, German Shepards will stay clean through out winter season, they will only need a regular brushing to remove the dead undercoat. Whereas, dogs like doodles and poodles will need to continue with their regular visits to a groomer as their highly textured coat ( curly or wavy ) will tangle and matt even more with exposure to snow.
During summer season all dogs should be kept clean, because a good hygiene promotes good mood and stronger health. If your dog often does for a swim in a lake or a river it should be rinsed regularly with fresh warm water. This will get rid off toxic waste found in lakes or rivers, especially the ones that are populated with water vehicles, as well as off some bacteria native to still waters. Toxins could irritate the skin or make dog’s coat sticky that will prevent the skin from breathing. Bacteria will cause hot spots which is a nasty and annoying skin inflammation.
Should you decide to bath your doodle or a poodle at home you have to make sure that you have high quality slicker brushes ( hard pins and soft pins) , high quality combs with long pins. Good tools will make your job easier as well as will apply a gentler yet efficient touch to your dog. A brush will be used during the bathing and after the towel or blow dry, and a comb will be used when the coat is relatively dry and brushed through
If during summer your dog spends a lot of time outside in a backyard or on a dusty or muddy ground you should consider giving your dog a bath with a quality shampoo once a month. Dust or mud is inhibited with different microbes and parasites and a constantly dirty dog’s coat will offer a great retreat for those organisms. Parasites will thrive in the dirty coat and will cause a harmful infestation of your dog.
Do not bathe your dog when:
- It just ate
- The weather is cold below 18 degrees Celsius, especially in the northern climate
- Puppies are sucking or have just been weaned from thier mother
- The dog is sick or shows signs of illness
- The female dog is in heat
- Your dog just got vaccinated
- Your dog went through a surgery
- It is a newborn puppy
Bathe your dog when:
- There is too much dirt, mucus, or other foreign substances on the skin and hair.
- It is time to remove the dead hair and it is time to de-shed.
- The increase in sebum secretion developes a bad order.
- In case of skin infection or dandruff it will require special products respectfuly to the condition.
Instructions on how to bathe the dog
Prepare everything for the bath in advance. Always use high quality, natural shampoo, you can use hydrating conditioner, make sure your brushes, combs or rubber de-shedding glove for short hair shedding type of coat are all near by and ready to be used. If you are washing a puppy you must never leave it unattended in a bath tub or a sink.
Have cotton balls to plug the ears of your dog especially the erect type like those of a German Shephard or a French Bulldog or a chihuahua.
To help your dog not to slip in the bath tub it is a good idea to place a rubber mat there.
To make the shampoo to spread fast and easy on the dog’s coat you can pour it in an empty clean plastic bottle and dilute it with warm water 1:1 or a bit more shampoo and a bit less water. Shake it well and spread on to the wet coat. Work the shampoo through well, for thicker coats or double coats or curly coat brushing the shampoo into the coat with a slicker brush will make the cleaning process faster and more efficient.
A good thorough rinse is a must, you have to make sure that you leave no trace of shampoo on your dog’s hair. After the rinse you can smooth out a conditioner on to the clean coat, leave it for 2-5 min and again give it a good long rinse. Once you made sure that your dog’s coat is well rinsed you start to towel dry it. Usually two towels is used for towel dry as it leaves less water in the coat. Depending on your dog’s coat type you could or not use a blow dryer. If you choose so, you have to make sure that it is set for lower temperature as the high heat will hurt your dog.
If your dogs suffers from skin issues you should follow your veterinarian prescription for medicated shampoo.
If your dogs has ear infections or prone to it you have to plug its ears with cotton balls,, and during the towel dry pay an extra attention to whether or not the ears inside are dry. In case you have to put medicated ear drops you will proceed with it after drying inside of the ears.
A clean and healthy dog is a happy dog who will bring a lot of joy in to your life! But remember a dog can not shampoo itself or clean its own ears therefore it completely depends on its owner! When we bring dogs ( very young or old ones ) into our lives we automatically assume the responsibility for their well being!