How to bathe your dog at home- The right way

Bathing your dog at home can be fun

Properly bathing a dog can be done in the comfort of your home.  It also can be a time that your dog and you will enjoy.  There are a couple of steps that should take place before you head directly to the tub.  Without taking these steps, your dog could become uncomfortable after the bath. It is best when a dog is happy to get in the tub and not take the B-line away from it.  

Take a look at your dog's coat and skin.  A dog should be free of mats and tangles before bathing.  Run both a brush and comb through your dog's hair to ensure that it does not have tangles.  Mats will become worse if they are washed, dried, and then left in the coat. Certain breeds of dogs have a thick undercoat.  It is beneficial to remove as much undercoat before the bath as well.  
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   Examining your dog's skin will help you determine what type of shampoo and conditioner you need to use. 

All dogs need a dog shampoo or conditioner because it is PH balanced for their skin.  Even baby shampoo can throw off the ph of your dog's skin and make it greasy or oily. 

If your dog's skin is dry or sensitive, an oatmeal-based shampoo without perfumes is best.  If your dog has normal skin and smells a little funny, a deodorizing shampoo may be best. 
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If you have questions about whether a shampoo is suitable for your dog, visit your local pet store.  If you are shopping online, most shampoos will state what kind of coat they are good for.  

Some shampoos will brighten a white coat or help heal flakey skin.  A conditioner is also a good choice when shopping for your pet's bath.  Conditioners will help release undercoat and prevent tangles.  It will make the coat silky and smooth. 

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While bathing your dog, keep the water warm and start at the neck down.  Avoid getting water in the ears of your dog.  

A tearless shampoo can be chosen for the face but use caution not to get suds in your pup's eyes.  I put eyewash in the eyes after a bath as well. Fully soap up your pet and fully rinse them.  

After this, work in the conditioner and then rinse after a minute.  Talk to them while you are working and encourage their good behavior.  

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Bathing your dog at home

Based on ten plus years of bathing dogs professionally, dogs really do appreciate a nice bath. When the bath is complete dry them very well with a towel. Ensure your dog is completely dry.  Air drying can be done under the right conditions. 
Some dogs will air dry nicely in a warm environment and then a brush out is needed.  I discourage using a handheld human blow dryer on a dog because blow dryers are very hot and can overheat a dog quickly or burn their skin easily. 

Pet blow dryers are best because they use warm air.  If you have to use a standard blow dryer, take breaks if needed.
Bathing your pet can be a great bonding experience

Having the right tools and speaking words of encouragement can make a huge difference in how your dog feels about a bath.  When you are shampooing and conditioner, be sure to add a few scratches in as well.  

Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold.  Bathing with a cold hose on a chilly day may not make your pup feel great.  A warm bath is much more comforting.  Baths can be a lot of fun and rewarding to both you and your pet!

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