10 Tips For Bathing Your Dog Without Going Crazy
Does your dog like baths? If so, you’re very lucky. Some pups enjoy them, others would rather stay dirty for life. Bath time can be tough, especially if your dog has IVDD or other back problems. Here are some tips for enjoying a safe, fun bathing experience.
- Have everything ready to go before the bath. Keep her grooming supplies within reach. Having the dog shampoo, nail clippers, dog brush and towels handy will save you a lot of time and stress. We recommend having a couple of treats ready too in case you need some doggy distraction.
- Do what you can to get your dog to associate baths with positive things. Feed her treats, speak gently and softly throughout the experience, avoid getting soap in her eyes. You might even want to put her in the bathtub or the sink when it’s dry just to get her used to it. The more she enjoys bath time, the less of a hassle it will be.
- Make sure the water is lukewarm. Anything cooler or hotter will cause additional stress and may be uncomfortable. Also, watch the water levels, especially if you have a dachshund. The water should come up to her chest.
- Giving your dog a nice, relaxing brushing first will help relax her and, if you have a long-haired pup, get any tangles out before the bath.
- Know how to properly lift your dog. To hold a dachshund, you need to support her end with one hand while using the other to support her back. If you pup has IVDD, you may have to settle for sponge baths to avoid further injury. Ask your vet to show you proper lifting techniques.
- To begin the bathing process, use a cup to gently pour water over your dog’s body to get her used to it. Avoid her face and ears. Your dog will wiggle and may shake herself off. Be prepared, and be patient.
- When the dog is wet, gently shampoo her body. Work up a good lather, work the shampoo through her coat, avoiding the face and ears. Then repeatedly our water over her body until the water runs clear without any bubbles. Only dog shampoo should be used. Regular shampoo and body wash can irritate doggy skin.
- Take a soft washcloth, wet it with lukewarm water, and gently rub your pup’s face and outside of the ears. Follow the direction of her fur growth. Make sure to check her fur for dirt and for ticks if she spends time outside.
- Gently lift your dog out of the bath, move her to a draft-free area, and dry her fur off with a towel. You can also use the lowest setting on your hair dryer if the noise doesn’t bother her. Make sure your pup gets completely dry or she could get sick.
- Once she’s out of the bath and dry, take some time to do other grooming activities like trimming her nails. If your dog hates having this done, you may want to wait awhile so she doesn’t associate bath time with those unpleasantries.