Last Updated: April 12, 2017 | in Pet Care

Do You Want to Give Your Pet a Spa Day at Home Without You Getting a Bath as Well?

If so here are some tips to make it a fun and enjoyable time for both you and your pet.

Does your pet hate to even come into the bathroom for fear of a bath?

If so make it fun and enjoyable to come into the bathroom, start by getting them used to the bathroom without the water running.  Bring some toys into the bathroom, or some treats. Once your pet is comfortable being in the bathroom, slowly start turning the water on and off. Your pet may not like it right away, but continue to do this until your pet is comfortable being in the bathroom while it is running. Next step it to try placing your pet in the bathtub without the water on or filled. Let your pet get comfortable standing in the tub, once they are slowly turn the water on not making them get wet, let them get used to the water running into the tub while they are standing in it. Some pets hate a spray nozzle so you may need to use a cup to put water on them. Slowly start introducing water onto them by starting at the feet then to the back. Avoid the head this makes pets feel as though they are drowning due to the water getting into their nose and eyes. Eventually your pet will accept having a bath.

Choosing the correct shampoo

There are so many options out there for dog shampoos that it can be frustrating choosing the right one.

First thing to consider when choosing a shampoo is skin health…..does your dog have dry flaky skin like dandruff? Or does he/she have moist, smelly skin?

If your pet has dry skin you want to use something that will put moisture back into the skin such as oatmeal, coconut oil, aloe vera. Not all “anti-itch” shampoos are good, some will actually dry the skin out more causing your pet to itch more, be careful what the ingredients list.

If you notice that your pet has an odor to him/her and always seems to have an oily skin you may need a medicated shampoo that your veterinarian can prescribe specific to your dogs condition.

Never use human shampoo on your pet, those shampoos can change the pH of the skin on your pet and could cause an allergic reaction, dry skin, or other issues.

When in doubt, use the blue Dawn dish soap!  It’s safe, cheap, and usually already in your kitchen.

When should I bathe my dog?

Each pet may have different needs to bathing, routinely once to twice a month is sufficient to maintain a healthy skin and coat. Some pets may require weekly baths, consulting with Dr. McGarry would be best if you feel your pet needs a bath weekly.

If your pet is one to go out and play in the mud, bathing is what we think of doing. Using a non stripping shampoo will help to keep the self produced oils on the coat while still getting clean.  You can also look for a waterless shampoo for in between baths.

How do I clean my pets face?

Most pets will not tolerate their head being submerged in water and scrubbed with shampoo. The easiest way to clean the face is to use a wash cloth to wet the hair apply a small amount of shampoo to the washcloth and just wipe their face. Rinse the washcloth well and wipe their face free of shampoo.

The drying process

Towel drying the most convenient and easiest way to dry your pet, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. You can use a human blow dryer on their coat on cool. That will be cool enough to not burn them but warm enough it won’t make them cold. Remember their body temp is always greater than ours. Avoiding the face with the blow dryer may be necessary for most pets as well. Be sure to dry the ear canals out as much as possible to help prevent an infection to occur. You can use the towel and your finger to wipe out any moisture, or place cotton balls in then ears while bathing to avoid any water getting into the ear. 

The end result is a fresh smelling, and happy smiling pet!

Soapy dog in bath - pet care - grooming - hygiene