Giving your pup a bath can be difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be! When done in a way that supports your dog and sets you both up for success, it can be a trust-building and bonding experience.
First things first, you must have the proper facilities. The best option is a raised tub with a dog friendly designed water nozzle. This is why do-it-yourself services are often a better option than at-home bathing. However, if you do need to bathe at home, be sure to invest in a bath mat to reduce slipping and a hand held shower head with a 6 foot hose.
Once you have the bath set up, follow these eight steps for the best bathing results:
1// The water temperature should be warm and comfortable to your own skin. Not as hot as you like it, but not cold either.
2// Wet the coat, starting at the back of the neck and working down the spine toward the tail. Keeping the nozzle close to the skin will allow the water to penetrate the coat, and hopefully keep the water from spraying you. Work the nozzle down one side of the dog including the legs then down the other side until the pet is thoroughly saturated. Heavily coated dogs will take longer to wet and rinse.
3// Once the body coat is soaked, wet the head taking care to not get the water in the eyes, nose or ears. You may want to place cotton balls in some dog's ears to prevent getting water into the canal.
4// To ensure distribution of product, first massage the shampoo evenly onto your hands before massaging it into the dog's skin with your fingers. Again starting at the back of the neck in a similar pattern as wetting the dog.
5// For a particularly dirty dog, more than one shampooing may be needed to get him or her really clean. It is during the second application that we highly recommend letting the product sit on the coat for several minutes. This will allow the active ingredients, such as Evening Primrose Oil and Royal Jelly, the opportunity to absorb into the hair and skin.
6// Once the 2-5 minutes are up, be sure to THOROUGHLY RINSE all traces of shampoo from the coat. Leaving even small amounts of shampoo in the coat is the number one cause of skin irritation in dogs.
7// Apply the appropriate conditioner, following the same procedure as for shampooing. Some coat types may do better leaving trace amounts of conditioner in the coat or letting the conditioner sit in the coat a few minutes before rinsing. This will be specific to your dog's individual coat care needs.
8// Conditioners are typically used to protect the hair from damage caused by styling tools and products as well as environmental factors and to help loosen tangles. Many harsh coated breeds still need some type of conditioner applied to beards or leg furnishings.
For more information on how to bathe your dog, check out our Ultimate Bathing Guide for Pet Parents.