Your dog is dirty, and you know he needs a bath. Groomers are expensive, and you don’t want to put out the extra cash. It’s actually easy to bathe your dog at home, as long as you prepare in advance and keep a few basic things in mind.
- Brush your dog before you get started. You want to remove the knots or mats that your dog has in his hair before you get him wet, or they will get tighter and be impossible to remove. You also want to remove as much dirt or loose fur as you possibly can before you bathe him.
- Use regular dog shampoo and dilute it about 25 percent. Dog shampoo is usually too thick to work up a good lather. You can pour some shampoo in an empty bottle and add small amounts of water until it reaches the right consistency. If you are using flea shampoo, however, don’t dilute it. You will dilute the efficiency of the medication in the shampoo. Don’t use people shampoo or dish washing liquid; it’s too harsh and can cause skin or coat problems.
- Wet the dog from the neck to the tail, omitting the head and face for now. Begin by shampooing the hind legs, then do the tail and rear. Shampoo the body, chest, and front legs, then carefully wet the head and lather it, being careful not to get soap in the dog’s eyes.
- Rinse, and rinse, and rinse again. Start with the head and face, and then rinse the body. Keep rinsing until you no longer feel shampoo anywhere on the dog and the water runs clear. Any residue of shampoo remaining on the dog can cause itching and flaking skin.
- When you’re sure all the soap is out, wrap the dog in a towel to absorb excess water and to prevent him from shaking. Towel dry each part of the dog. You can use a hair dryer on low to finish up if you wish, but don’t hold it too close to the skin.
Your dog probably doesn’t need to be bathed more than once a month; anymore than that can dry out and irritate his skin. With a little practice and some preparation, grooming at home can be easier, less stressful, and less costly than taking them to a professional groomer.