How to Give Your Dog a Bath

Bathing the dog

Dogs and cats are ordinarily the only animals that pet owners bother bathing.  Of course, the purpose of the dog bath is to remove dirt and odors. And the odors vanish with the dirt. There is no ideal way to bathe a dog, and there is simply no substitute for rolling up your sleeves, getting in there, and applying some good old fashioned manual labor. Fingers are far superior to any device when it comes to getting your animal clean.

Soaping Up

Since dog coats are water-resistant, water alone isn’t sufficient for dog grooming. Liquid or soft soap with a 20 or 40 percent coconut oil base is an excellent product. Diluting a 40 percent soap with equal parts of water will prove to be more cost effective. A 20 percent product seems to be just about the ideal concentration. You can either add the soap to a bucket of warm water before applying it to your dog, or you can apply it directly to the dog’s back, pour on an appropriate amount of water, and lather it up by mixing it on the animal.
Little Dog Getting a Bath

Regardless of which method the water and soap are applied, they must be worked thoroughly into the dog’s coat and kneaded until the dirt has been dissolved or loosened. After lathering up the soap, and thoroughly working the dirt from the skin and coat, the soap must be completely rinsed from the animal. Working your fingers through the hair while rinsing is the best method to remove all soap from your dog’s coat. One washing and rinsing is generally all that is needed, but the process can be repeated if necessary.

Dog in Bathtub

Where to Bath

Kitchen sinks are useful for washing small dogs or puppies. If you are fortunate enough to have a sprayer as part of the sink fixture, washing and rinsing small dogs is a remarkably easy task. Larger dogs can be bathed in the tub, but remember that they will want to shake all the water from their coats, several times, so your walls, fixtures, and furniture may not be safe. You can throw a large towel over them and soak up a lot of water, but the shaking will undoubtedly continue for a while.

Weather permitting, you can bath your dog outside, but if allowed to run free after the bath, your dog may end up rolling around on the ground, picking up fresh dirt and leaves with his damp coat.

Removing Paint or Tar

Removing tar from the dog’s coat can be accomplished by soaking it in vegetable oil for 24 hours then shampooing it out. Latex paints can generally be shampooed out quickly if the paint hasn’t been allowed to sit too long. Some oil based paints can be removed by using Avon Skin So Soft.

Skunk and Puppy

Sprayed by a Skunk?

Of course, there’s the old tomato juice wash, but if your dog was sprayed by a skunk, I’ve found the best concoction for eliminating the odor is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap. Mix one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a bucket. Soak the dog’s coat being careful not to get any in his eyes. Use a sponge or a cloth to clean his head and particularly the area around his eyes. Work the mixture thoroughly into his coat, kneading it repeatedly with your fingers. Rinse thoroughly when finished.

After Care

Bathing a dog generally results in loosening of hair, so once the animal is dry, quite a bit of combing will likely be necessary to rid the coat of the loose hair, and will give it an attractive sheen. Flax Oil can be added to their food to help combat dry or itchy skin. There are flax oils formulated especially for pets, and it not only helps to moisturize their skin, but gives them the Omega 3s they need for joint and bone health, eye health, and helps add a sheen to their coat.

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