Dog Bathing: is that so simple?
Any dog owner thinks about how often he needs to bathe his pet, is this procedure useful and how to carry it out? Twenty years ago, experts unanimously agreed that bathing the dog should be done no more than 2 times a year. Unfortunately, the environmental situation is such that animals living in the city should be cleaned more often, because a large amount of dust and other harmful substances accumulates on the skin and fur.
Therefore, in the present conditions it is recommended to wash a dog once in a season (excluding «unscheduled» dirt), before a Dog Show and after the heat (this rules concerns only bitches, of course). After a walk in slush will be enough to rinse paws in warm water or simply wipe them with a damp cloth.
It is also important to remember that the frequency of bathing depends on the breed of a dog. Short-haired dogs can swim less than the long-haired; some hairless breeds almost do not need to be washed. For such breeds this process is replaced by dry cleaning.
Those dogs that need a haircut should be bathed once in every 6-8 weeks (before the haircut). There are breeds with thick long hair, which didn’t pass through a severe selection, thus saving natural oils on their skin. For them it is not recommended baths more than twice a year. Breeds with artificially bred long hair have almost no natural oils, so on the contrary they need to be bathed with special cosmetics (which protects hair from drying), but not more often than once a month.
Basic rules recommended by veterinarians for bathing your dog remain unchanged. Let’s have a look at them:
- for small puppies, pregnant bitches and old dogs bathing must be done only when it is really necessary as they have a weak immune system and can easily catch a cold;
- in the heat dogs do not need to be washed very often. To ease their condition, you can periodically moisten with water the dogs’ nose and paws and sometimes spray some room temperature water on the animal;
- a dog must be bathed in water the temperature of which is in the range of 33 to 36 degrees;
- at the bottom of the bath it is necessary to lay a rubber mat so that the claws do not slip and the dog does not get hurt when falling;
- stock must be always open;
- use shampoos and other cosmetics that are special for dogs only! Otherwise, using cosmetics for humans can cause serious damage to the skin surface of your animal;
- in no case should be applied a non-diluted shampoo! Only pre-diluted in water;
- first lather most polluted areas of your dog, then the shampoo is distributed to the rest of the coat, except for the head;
- if you don’t want to get water in the ears, use a cotton swab;
- rinse shampoo from the dogs’ hair at least 3-4 times, otherwise the skin irritation can occur;
- after washing, the dog’s head should be wiped with a damp cloth;
- to avoid damaging the dogs’ coat do not wipe your pet with a towel, only a light squeezing is possible;
- after bathing the animal must be taken into a special place where it could shake off all the excessive water from its coat;
- in that part of the house where there will be a dog after a bath should not be any draught otherwise the animal can catch a cold.
Except for shampoos it is now popular variety of balms and conditioners for dogs (they can be purchased in a pet store). They can be applied not only for long-haired dogs (to facilitate the process of combing), but also for other breeds, as their usage prevents overdrying of the skin of the animal. Instead of natural drying you can use hair dryer, but you should remember that after washing the dogs’ skin is very sensitive, so the air does musn’t be hot.
A lot of fun dogs get from swimming in natural bodies of water. But don’t forget that the dog must swim away from the places of recreation and livestock watering. Water should be clean and dog must swim without a collar otherwise the animal might accidently catch a snag and get hurt. After a swim make sure that the dog does not lay on the cold ground, play with it letting its coat to dry out.
In winter it is useful to «bathe» the dog in the snow that of course should be clean and soft. This procedure not only cleans the hair but also improves the immune system of the animal.
As for bathing puppies, experts do not recommend this procedure for dogs under the age of six months, as only at this age an adult coat with undercoat starts to form. Up to this point puppies have soft hair with a special disinfecting oil that it is not recommended to wash off. If the puppy is stained wipe it better with a damp cloth or a tissue. Also, you cannot bathe your puppy a week before preventive vaccination and two weeks after. After bathing it is better to refrain from walking for a couple of days especially if the weather is cold.
To accustom your puppy to bathing you will need a basin or a small bath, using a shower is not recommended as it can be too loud and therefore will scare the puppy. It is better to rinse it using a scoop after giving it to the puppy to get acquainted (see, sniff). Always gently talk to the puppy during the process, pet it or you can even give it something tasty. At the slightest sign of fear it is better to stop a bath so as not to develop a disaffection in your puppy to this procedure in the future. Remember, it is better to do little by little.