All dogs do need a bath at some point, some more frequently than others. For some dogs, it's a dramatic event, while for others it can be a relaxing and peaceful experience. Bathing your dog can also be a stressful experience for you so here are some tips to make bath time as harmonious as possible for both of you.
When should you bathe your dog?
Dogs love to roll around on the floor and in the mud – it’s just part of their nature and, unlike cats, they’re not really equipped to clean and groom themselves very well, so they will need a bath from time to time to help keep them looking, and smelling, their best.
That said, it’s important not to over-wash your dog. Their skin produces its own oils and waxes, which keep both the skin and coat in healthy condition. Washing removes these oils, and too much cleaning can leave your dog with dry skin.
We recommend bathing your dog no more than once a month, and make sure you use special dog shampoos, as human products can be harmful to dogs. This will keep your dog clean and their coat soft and their skin supple.
Tips for a peaceful bath time
There’s no getting around it, some dogs just hate the bath. Here are some steps you can take to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for your dog:
- Brush your dog first: Removing excess or matted hair will really help keep bath time as efficient as possible. Plus, it might have the effect of helping your dog to relax.
- Not too hot! Dogs can easily overheat, so while your bath water shouldn’t be cold, they certainly won’t like it hot. The temperature of the water should be around their body temperature – but think about how warm you’d run a bath for a baby or child and go for that.
- Keep it calm: Your tone and body language needs to gradually teach your dog that having a bath isn’t a big deal. Try not to struggle with your dog, and don’t chase after them if they run away and hide. Also make sure you’ve got treats handy to reinforce your dog’s good behaviour at bath time.
- Rinse well: Once you’ve finished washing your dog, rinse the skin and coat thoroughly. Any residue left from shampoo can cause irritation, and it won’t taste very nice when your dog licks their coat.
- Drying off: Your dog will probably want to shake off all the water from their coat – so be prepared to get wet! After that, towel-dry thoroughly so that your dog will be comfortable. If you use a hairdryer, make sure it’s on a cool setting, as the heat can irritate dogs’ skin.
Hopefully these tips will help you navigate bath time with ease. After you’ve given your dog their bath, give them plenty of fuss and attention and perhaps a small treat or reward. Now you can enjoy your cuddles from your clean and fresh canine companion.