Unless for skin problems, there is no specific need to bathe the dog except to make him a more enjoyable companion. In fact, frequent bathing can rob the coat of his natural sheen and make it harsh and dry. For most dogs, regular brushing will keep the coat and skin in good condition and eliminate the need for frequent baths.
A good rule of thumb is to only bathe your dog when he is noticeably dirty or smelly. However, the time between baths will vary from dog to dog (a long-haired dog will get tangled and matted hair if he goes too long between baths), and may also change from one time of year to another.
- Start young. This will help your dog get used to the process.
- Make it fun and praise your dog throughout.
- Before starting, gather all the things you need… Don’t turn your back on a wet dog unless you want to be involved in a chase!
- Make sure the water is lukewarm.
- Use a shampoo labeled “for dogs.” The pH of canine skin is neutral (7 to 7.4) while most shampoos for humans are on the acid side and are therefore unsuitable for dogs. We stock a range of special shampoos in our Clinic.
- Avoid getting water or soap in your dog’s eyes and ears.
- Wet your dog’s head last, this will minimize his desire to shake.
- Rinse well and dry the hair using a blow dryer set on warm or cool to avoid burning.