One of the advantages of owning a small dog is that they are very easy to bathe at home, though, at times can be difficult. Often small dogs are frightened by the noise and activity of a high volume pet salon. Why not save yourself the expense and your dog’s nerves by following these simple steps for bathing your small dog at home?
1.Collect the materials you will need so you will have everything close at hand. These materials generally include combs and brushes, pet shampoo, clean towels, and perhaps doggie treats. If you think about cleaning the dog’s ears, then getting some cotton balls would be a good idea.
2.Allow your dog time to adjust to the idea of getting a bath. If you have a puppy, or a new pet, the whole process may be somewhat frightening, so take things slowly. Help your dog to associate the tub or sink with pleasant things by placing the rubber mat in the tub and feeding meals there. Be ready to hand out lots of praise and a few treats to make the bath a pleasant experience for your dog. It will pay off in the long run if your pet is a happy participant, rather than frightened or resistant.
3.Groom your dog’s coat before bathing to remove loose dirt, mats and snarls. Tangles in your dog’s coat will be much harder to remove once his coat is wet. If you find yourself chopping away at matted fur – have them removed by a professional groomer the first time, then groom your pet more regularly to avoid matting in the future.
4.Decide whether you will bathe your dog in the bath tub or kitchen sink. This is not only a question of your dog’s size. It is also important to judge whether your dog is likely to remain calm and obedient during his bath. If there’s any chance he might jump away from you, you should bathe your dog in a bath tub, rather than risk a fall from the kitchen sink. Another option is to take your dog with you right into the shower. You will get wet anyway so why not kill two birds with one stone! Sounds silly but it works.
5.Place either a rubber mat or a small towel on the bottom of the sink or bath tub. This will keep your pet from slipping on the wet surface, and will help him feel more comfortable.
6.Test the water temperature before beginning to wet your dog’s coat. Keep your hand in the water to make sure the water temperature is correct. If you’re using the kitchen sink, the spray hose attachment makes it easy to wet your dog down. Sprayers emit a sound that affects some dogs so you may wish to have a small plastic pitcher handy to pour water over your dog. Spray attachments are also available for your bath tub to make bathing your dog easier.
7.Use a shampoo designed specifically for pets, rather than your own personal shampoo. Quality pet shampoos take into consideration that a dog’s skin has a different pH level than human skin. There are also tear-free shampoos that will not sting a dog’s eyes. (Keep in mind that just like human tear-free shampoos, they simply contain an eye-numbing agent, and the soap exposure can still damage the eyes. Keep all shampoo, tear-free or not, out of the eyes as much as possible.) A great smelling conditioner is also a nice addition. Consult your veterinarian if your dog has skin irritations or other conditions. Dilute the shampoo and apply from a squeeze bottle (like a dishwashing liquid) so you can squirt the shampoo wherever you wish.
8.Avoid getting water or shampoo in your pet’s eyes and ears. You can gently place a cotton ball in your pet’s ears to help keep the inner ear dry. Rather than using the spray hose on your pet’s face, your pet will be happier to have his face cleaned gently with a warm, wet wash cloth.
9.Rinse all shampoo out of your dog’s coat thoroughly.
10.Blot up the water left in his coat by wrapping your dog in a bath towel. Change towels as needed to continue drying your dog’s coat. Let his coat air dry once you have blotted up as much water as you reasonably can.
11.Blow-dry your dog’s coat to get your dog dry more quickly, if your pet will tolerate this. Always use a low-temperature setting (warm or cool) to avoid inadvertently burning your dog’s skin. Using a lower fan setting will undoubtedly be easier for your dog to endure. Some dog hair gets very static-y. There are sprays that limit this, help keep the hair smooth and easier to brush.
•Bath time is also a good time to examine your dog carefully for skin irritations, fleas and ticks,ear infections or other health concerns. It may be useful to trim his nails at the same time your bathe him. Metal nail files are good for skittish dogs and owners you can also use a battery powered nail file to make the process faster. Sometimes a groomer will let you watch the process and you may want to observe before you go at it yourself the first time.
•One thing that may prevent dogs from shaking is to hold their ear. This should only be done while taking them to a more shake-friendly place.
•If your dog tends to shake try placing one hand over the back of the neck when washing. This can stop the shake before it starts and keep you (and your bathroom) relatively dry.
•Some small dogs prefer placing their front paws on the edge of the bath away from you. My dog puts his paws up in the side of the tub facing the wall. It helps keep him calm and from that position he can’t jump out.
•Be careful not to get water in the small dog’s nose as they can choke very easily. Try covering its nose with the palm of your hand. Or, as mentioned above, use a wash cloth around his face, rather than spraying or pouring water over his head.
•Try not to bathe the dog too often as this may strip the dog of its natural oils causing its skin to dry out. Regular grooming and brushing will go a long way to keeping a dog healthy between baths.
•Do not bathe the dog with soap intended for humans. It can damage the dog’s skin by making it dry, forming flakes or creating chemical reactions. Remember human skin and the skin of a dog are not the same.
•Use warm water. If you must use cold water, use it slowly. Continuously running cold water might only be 60 degrees and a dog’s body cannot tolerate that much cold. If you dog is young, old, small, or has little fur or fat, use warm water! Imagine having someone run an equal amount of water over your body, at 60 degrees. If you weigh 120 and the puppy weighs 12, that would be 10 garden hoses worth of water being sprayed over your body, at 60 degrees. If it would continue, it would definately be uncomfortable, and could be fatal.
•Dry your small dog thoroughly and keep her sheltered until she is completely dry – small dogs can be vulnerable and catch a cold quite easily.
•Do not try to use your own shampoo for your dog. Although it might be safe to just wash the fur of certain long-haired dogs, it’s better to stay risk-free and use a dog shampoo. Tear-free will make the job easier.
By Wikihow, Lindsey | Picture By Me