Dogs seem attracted to smelly patches and muddy puddles like bees to flowers. It is amazing how quickly a dog can get dirty – and smelly – after a bath, so a few tips on how to keep him clean and well-groomed makes essential reading for any dog owner!
A dirty Golden Retriever puppy coming back from a muddy walk
The trick is to find a way to make bath or shower time fun and familiar. The most important thing is that you get your dog used to having a bath as early as you can. You don’t want to make it a stressful experience, otherwise it will be a battle every time you try to clean him. Allow him to play with his favorite toys first and let him bring one of the waterproof ones into the bath with him.
Giving treats along the way will reassure him that everything is fine. The water should only be lukewarm, and a rubber mat will help your dog feel confident on his feet and prevent him slipping in the bath. The more often you bathe him, the more he’ll feel comfortable, and if he feels comfortable then he will be more likely to behave.
Dogs tend to approach bath time with stoicism rather than excitement, so make it as quick and efficient as you can
How To Wash Your Dog
Before you start washing the dog, collect a couple of absorbent towels and a good quality dog shampoo. Brush your dog’s coat to remove loose hair and tangles, test the water temperature – it should be lukewarm, not hot – and then you’re good to go.
Tempt your dog in with a treat. Using either a shower head or a plastic jug, cover him in water. He is going to attempt to shake dry more than a few times, so be prepared to get wet!
A Wire Haired Pointing Griffon with fringe and beard that require regular cleaning and tidying
Once he’s wet from head to tail, apply the shampoo, starting at the neck and working down to the tail. Massage the shampoo deep into his coat, but avoid getting it near his eyes, ears or mouth.
Rinse his coat thoroughly. It will take a long time to get all the shampoo out. Try not to leave any in the coat, though, as it may cause irritation.
Finally, towel-dry your dog’s coat, gently. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer. You will need to get your dog used to the sound of the hair dryer first – some dogs are very suspicious of new sounds. Use the low temperature setting so that you don’t burn him or dry his skin too much.