First, let’s take a quick look at just how awful bath time can be if you have a bath hating pooch!
I think we can all agree that getting it right from the beginning can lead to a much happier and less stressful time for you and your furry munchkin.
The following guide should help create a harmonious relationship between your canine friend and his caring owner:
- Using warm water (make sure it is not too hot), fill the tub about knee length. Lift your puppy and gently place him — don’t drop or dunk him — in the water. Provide a treat, speak to your pup in a calming tone, and let him see and smell your grooming tools — the comb, brush, clippers, shampoo bottles, etc.
- Give him a chance to get used to the water — spraying the water gently starting from the hind quarters and making your way up to the shoulders will allow him to adjust to the feel and temperature of the wet stuff. Take it slow, and keep talking in a reassuring voice. Anything that spooks your pup will only make him more resistant to baths in future.
- Take care not to spray water directly into your dog’s face. Instead, tilt their head so that the water will run down their neck and back. Use a clean wet washcloth to wipe the areas around eyes, nose and mouth. It is not advised to clean the inner ears, except with guidance from your veterinarian, as this can cause ear infections.
- Now wash the top of the head, the neck and chest, and keep working your way down his back. Once dogs are comfortable with the water, going in the direction of head to tail will help wash away any fleas or other bothersome visitors he may have accumulated since his last bath. Don’t forget to provide their favourite treats at regular intervals to maintain the happy!
- Use a shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs or puppies. (People shampoos do not have the right pH for pups.) Apply a line of shampoo along the back, massaging the lather down to the skin as you go. Wash each leg and the tummy as you work your way to the tip of the tail. A small soft-bristled brush will aid in cleaning around the paw pads.
- Gently rinse your soaped-up pet, remembering to use warm water. First rinse the top of his head and around his eyes, using one of your hands to shield the soap from his eyes. (If some soap accidentally gets in his eyes, it’s not the end of the world, despite your puppy’s squirms. Just flush the eyes out with water and give some extra treats.)
- Next, rinse the whole body well, until the water runs clear. Kneading the fur with your hand will help remove the suds. Don’t forget those little toes, often neglected, but which need rinsing too. Don’t skimp on the rinsing as left over suds can dry out their skin and cause irritations and itchyness.
- Now comes the fun part … prepare yourself for wild shaking, water flying everywhere and the glorious joy of becoming as wet as your washed dog!
- Gently pat your pet dry with an absorbent towel. Always start with their head, they love it and they generally don’t enjoy having a wet head, so the rubs will be appreciated! .
- After the whole event is complete, be sure once again to shower your pooch (excuse the pun) with praise and a few more treats. After all, doesn’t your clean, amazing smelling dog deserve the royal treatment?
By making bath time as enjoyable as possible from an early age, you can avoid this regular event becoming a horrible experience (every time) for all involved.
Here are some other great tips that could help prep your pup for a bath:
- Take your puppy for a long walk first!
- Consider bath before dinner time, this way, the yummy food can serve as a reward afterward.
- A detachable shower sprayer will prove invaluable.
- Put down a non-slip mat in the tub. This can prevent injury from a slip, and also shield the enamel from scratches.
- Garden hoses outside can shoot out water that is too cold for your pet, particularly during colder months of the year. Young puppies in particular won’t revel in having a hose shot at them.
- To avoid having water roll down into the ears, place a large cotton ball in each ear. (or if you have pups like ours with big ears, use them as a shield during bath time :))
- Above all, please be patient and do not yell or strike at your pet if they resist your attempts at grooming; you’ll just make them hate baths if you do this.
Now go forth and enjoy this special time with your fur baby!
PAW Puppy Gentle Shampoo is specially formulated to gently & effectively clean and nurture young skin. Recommended by vets nationally, it provides the right start to young skin.
Tearless Puppy Shampoo is a naturally based gentle cosmetic shampoo concentrate. It is tearless, non-irritating and has a low allergen delicious crisp apple fragrance.