Routine grooming keeps a dog’s coat in a healthy condition, but bathing is sometimes necessary if a dog has rolled in a smelly substance. Bathing is also beneficial in eliminating certain skin parasites and treating a variety of dry and oily skin conditions.
In some circumstances, a vet might suggest medically therapeutic shampoos and conditioners. You must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinsing is important, since any residual shampoo in the coat can irritate the skin and cause scratching. The dog may need to wear its collar in the bath, so that you can hold on to it and prevent it from jumping out. A rubber mat on the bottom of the bath will keep the dog from slipping.
1. After brushing the dog and plugging its ears with cotton, stand it carefully in the bath on a rubber mat. Hold it tightly by the collar and pour warm water on its coat.
2. Using a canine or tearless shampoo, soap the dog all over except for its head. Hold the dog firmly so that it does not slip or try to get out of the bath. Work up a good lather, massaging the skin against the lie of the coat, but be careful not to splash water or soap in the dog’s eyes. Rub shampoo well into coat to loosen dirt and dead skin.
3. Lather the dog’s head with a tearless shampoo poured in your hands, and massage the hair gently, being careful to avoid splashing the eyes or getting soap in the mouth.
4. Rinse and dry the dog’s head before rinsing the body. This will help prevent it from shaking water everywhere.
5. Rinse the rest of the body in warm water, taking care to remove all the shampoo. If necessary, rub conditioner into the coat, then rinse it off.
6. Squeeze excess water from the coat, then dry the dog with a large towel. Remove the ear plugs and dry the insides of the ears.
7. A hair dryer set on warm, not hot, can be used on dogs with healthy skin, but not on dogs prone to itchiness, since heat exaggerates itch. Brush the hair straight, away from the body.
After its bath, a dog often runs around with excitement. Take care it does not instantly roll over and try to cover itself in more natural smells.