Dogs are fairly clean animals, and in most cases they could well do without taking a bath. They do not sweat, they lick themselves, getting rid of dirt and dead hairs. In representatives of a number of breeds, wool tends to self-cleaning. But a dog that shares a house with people still needs to wash from time to time according to human rules – under the shower, with hygienic cosmetics.
Water procedures help the dog get rid of fat, dust, exfoliated epidermal scales, and dead undercoat hairs that accumulate on its body and coat. It is this “garbage” that turns into a breeding ground for the development of various microorganisms. The animal becomes susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, fleas and other parasites can develop. Such prospects are dangerous both for the dogs themselves and for their owners.
Bathing rules for dogs
- The dog is bathed after a walk, not before. The time period for the water procedure is selected in such a way that the pet has time to dry out before the next walk, given that the undercoat of a number of breeds can remain wet for several hours. Otherwise, your pet runs the risk of seriously catching a cold, especially in the cold season.
- The dog must be calm. If the dog is overexcited, wait for it to calm down, otherwise the bathing will turn into a dramatic struggle.
- The water used to wash the dog must be warm. The optimum temperature for bathing large pets with a dense coat is 34-37 ° С, for small dogs – 35-38 ° С, for “naked” dogs – 37-39 ° С.
- Long-haired or shaggy pets are recommended to be combed before bathing. The procedure is repeated after washing.
- Animals should be washed with special zoo shampoos. It is advisable to first dissolve the product in your hands with a little water, and then apply to the coat.
- The shampoo and conditioner must be rinsed off very thoroughly, checking to see if any lather remains in secluded areas on the dog’s body.
- The dog is dried with a towel, delicately touching the wool. There is no need to rub and ruffle the hairs.
- If the apartment is cool, you can dry your pet with a hairdryer by choosing a mode with low rpm and low speed. The air flow must not be directed at the dog’s face. With frequent bathing of the dog, the constant use of a hair dryer is not recommended.
- Many dogs do not like to bathe, so they should be taught to wash from puppyhood. But it should be borne in mind that babies are more prone to colds than adults. During and after washing, you should especially take care that the dog does not overcool. The “headwash” should be delicate, not accompanied by pain to the puppy. After each procedure, he must be rewarded with a delicacy. Over time, puppies get used to washing, and, having matured, they do it willingly, or, in any case, do not experience panic and do not rebel.
How often should you wash your dog
No one has been discussing the need to wash a dog for a long time, but the question of the frequency of this procedure causes disagreement not only among animal owners, but also among veterinarians. The main opinions on this matter are as follows:
- it is enough to wash the dog 2-3 times a year;
- the pet needs to be washed no more than once every 6-8 weeks;
- washing should be done every 2 weeks;
- the dog needs to be washed as needed.
The supporters of the “moderate line” do not recommend washing the animal often without special need, advising to arrange bathing a couple of times a year, preferably during the period of the dog’s molting. They argue for this approach by the fact that due to excessive use of shampoos or soap, the dog’s hair deteriorates, becomes brittle, dull. A thin layer of fat on the pet’s body is constantly being washed away, and the skin becomes dry. Cracks and dandruff may appear. In addition, frequent bathing reduces the waterproofness of the coat, and the dog becomes prone to colds.
Adherents of regular water procedures consider such arguments to be conservative, having lost their justification with the advent of professional products for the care of animal hair. They believe that the richest selection of special pet shampoos, soaps, conditioners will neutralize traditional concerns.
As a rule, dog owners who believe that bathing an animal is a hygienic procedure are not inclined to “scrub” their dogs with enviable consistency. They wash the dogs on a veterinarian-recommended schedule, depending on breed, conditions and as needed.
There are also owners who like to bathe their pet “for beauty”. Their wards are usually miniature dogs of decorative breeds. But such dogs, if, of course, do not take part in exhibitions, do not need frequent washing at all. Many of them even have nowhere to get dirty: they do not spend much time on the street, or they “walk” in the hands and in the purses of their owners.
Sometimes the dog needs therapeutic bathing. In this case, the frequency of water procedures is determined by the veterinarian. He also recommends special means for washing.
Smooth-haired dogs, dogs with coarse hair and dense undercoat, for example, Labradors, do not require frequent washing. Their coat is capable of self-cleaning, and this property can be lost if water procedures are abused. But the poodle, which has no undercoat, can and should be washed more often than representatives of other breeds, preferably monthly. The poodle needs a regular haircut, and it should be bathed in front of it.
A dog of any breed living in an apartment or in an aviary must be thoroughly washed if it falls out in the mud. This is done urgently, even if the dog was bathed the day before.
How to wash a dog
For bathing a pet, special zoo shampoos are used today, created taking into account the acid-base balance of the animal’s skin – from 6.2 to 7.4 pH (depending on age and breed). From “human” hair washing products (norm – 4-5.5 pH) should be discarded. Also “universal” laundry soap, soap with a rich aroma will not work. These products are too aggressive for the dog’s skin. Its use can cause an allergic reaction in an animal, dermatitis, and lead to eczema. As a last resort, use of baby soap or shampoo is allowed. In this case, it will be necessary to wash off the foam especially carefully so that an unpleasant plaque does not form on the wool.
Specialty stores offer shampoos for various types of dog skin and coat. For soft-haired pets, detergents are recommended to prevent the coat from falling into mats, for wire-haired pets – texturizing shampoos. Dogs with long, tangle-free coats are conveniently cleaned with a product that facilitates subsequent brushing. Separate shampoos for puppies and seniors are available.
For animals with hair or skin problems, special products are purchased, which include proteins, extracts of wheat, aloe, eucalyptus, hydrocortisone. Dogs with fleas are washed with shampoos containing insecticides, but they should not be used on a regular basis.
In summer, the dog can be washed with shampoo with a UV filter – this will protect his coat from burning out. There are even products with a whitening component, with their help, the owners get rid of yellowish spots on the coat of their pets. For a dog participating in exhibitions, you can purchase a tint shampoo.
When choosing products for hygienic bathing of an animal, give preference to colorless formulations. Tint is evidence that a dye is present in the shampoo, and it can act as an allergen. When buying a detergent, you should not save money: one container usually lasts for a long time. Better to rely on reputable manufacturers such as Francodex, Beaphar, Perfect Coat, Iv San Bernard, Bio Groom.
Where to wash your dog
In a city apartment, adult dogs are usually bathed in the bathroom. It is convenient to wash puppies and miniature dogs in a basin or even in a sink, if its size allows. For this purpose, you can purchase a special pallet or a plastic lounger bath at the pet store.
A shower cabin is preferable for a large dog. Here she will be more comfortable than in the bathroom, and it becomes easier for the owner to keep the situation under control. There are foldable dog baths and handy washing stations, but installing them in a standard bathroom can be problematic.
How to wash your dog properly
You should prepare in advance for bathing your pet. An hour and a half before the procedure, you need to close the windows, turn off the home air conditioner. Remove bathrobes from the bathroom, things that dry on the radiator – this property can get wet when the dog shakes himself off. Prepare cotton swabs for your ears, towel, washcloth or sponge, washcloth, shampoo, conditioner for rinsing. If the dog is large, a collar may be needed. It will allow you to keep your pet if he resists the “headwash”.
Place a rubberized mat on the bottom of the tub, basin, or shower floor to prevent the dog’s paws from sliding over the surface. The sink can be covered with matter. Lay a cloth near the bathing area to prevent the dog from slipping after the procedure.
If you have a long-haired dog, dilute the shampoo and lather it up to lather the dog evenly. Keep jars of detergent and rinse aid open to avoid distraction later. Fill the bathing container with warm water up to about the animal’s knees. Take your pet to the bathroom and close the door.
- Insert cotton swabs into your dog’s ears, they can be smeared with Vaseline. You do not need to insert tampons deeply. It is enough that they do not fall out.
- Place the dog in the “pond”, pour it from the shower – first the back and neck, then the tail and paws. All wool should be well saturated with water.
- Apply shampoo or foam solution to the dog’s coat and lather it evenly. If your dog has long hair, rub the detergent in the direction of hair growth, otherwise it may tangle.
- Rub thoroughly the entire body of the dog, excluding the head. Wipe your muzzle separately with a damp cloth or washcloth (no soap). If there are wrinkles, wipe each one. Wipe your ears only from the outside.
- Rinse off the foam thoroughly with water from the shower. Rinse your armpits and scruff especially carefully where shampoo usually accumulates. The detergent is rinsed off until the water dripping from the wool is clear.
- For long-haired dogs, it is advisable to apply conditioner to a damp “coat”. It is washed off after 3-5 minutes.
- Squeeze out the coat and cover the dog’s back with a bath towel or microfiber towel to absorb the water.
- Lift the dog and place him on a dry cloth, considering that he will immediately begin to dust himself off.
- Take cotton swabs out of your pet’s ears, hand him a treat and praise, even if he rebelled.
Representatives of breeds prone to colds, it is advisable to wrap up and, without delay, deliver to a warm place. In summer, the dog can dry on its own, and in winter it is better to dry the coat with a hairdryer.
In some cases, traditional bathing has to be replaced with “dry” bathing. The reasons can be domestic or medical, for example, the postoperative period, vaccinations, eczema. In such a situation, sprays, dry shampoos containing talcum powder, components with decontaminating and degreasing properties are used.
Before the procedure, the dog must be thoroughly combed out, removing tangles and dead hairs. The composition is applied to a small area of the coat and combed – thus the entire coat must be treated. Additional manipulations after “dry” washing are not required. Special products can be replaced with ordinary talcum powder or wheat flour. After rubbing them into the coat, wait about 20 minutes, then start combing.
There is another way. Boiled water at room temperature, medical alcohol (1 tsp) and boric acid (0.5 tsp) are dissolved in a container (250 ml). The dog’s hair is combed against the growth and the prepared substance is applied using a spray bottle. The teeth of the comb are wrapped with cotton wool, then the wool is treated with it. The cotton wool will get dirty during brushing and should be replaced. The procedure continues until the cotton wool remains clean. In a city apartment, such sessions are best done on the balcony, weather permitting.