If it was easier, would you bath your dog more often? Yes, we thought so! If you need a bit of inspiration to make doggy bath times more pleasurable, take a fresh look at bathing your dog using the tips in our guide below, and you might find that you can teach an old dog new tricks!
How often should I bathe my dog?
Vets now say that with some breeds, bathing weekly is OK, and with some fantastic natural shampoos on the market, it is no longer necessary to tolerate a whiffy dog.
Dog bathing hacks
In addition to you bathing your dog, it’s a good idea to find a good dog groomer and have your dog groomed regularly, especially if you own a long-haired dog whose coat matts easily, such as the ever more popular Cockapoo. Unless dogs like this are groomed often their hair will form into clumps, and they will become uncomfortable and unhealthy.
Will bathing my dog at home in a bathtub be a nightmare?
No, of course it won't! Like everything, it's all in the planning. Make sure you have everything you need close to hand and ready. Fill the bath with water first if the sound of running taps puts your dog off and lure them in with treats if they are unsure.
Dog bathing products seem expensive - can I use my shampoo?
No is the short answer. Human shampoo may have artificial colours and fragrances which will irritate the dogs skin and upset the PH balance, leading to infection and scratching.
Our step-by-step guide to bathing your dog at home
💦 Take it slow. Young, new or scared dog? Pop them in the tub/shower with treats and toys first and be prepared to do this a few times over a few weeks.
💦 Make sure that the nails are trimmed, as they will feel surer footed if they are. If you’re not confident about trimming them yourself, a Groomer or Vet Nurse will only charge around £5.
💦 Brush your dog first. Obvious though this may seem, many forget to do it, and your cleaning session will be more thorough if you do!
💦 Before the bath, gently clean the ears with cotton wool balls and ear drops such as, Milly’s Ear Cleaner, and then, if your dog will tolerate cotton wool balls in his ears, gently place one in each ear to prevent water getting into the ears.
💦Make sure water doesn’t go up the dog’s nose or in the ears. Keep their nose down and ears covered when showering anywhere near that area. If you are nervous about showering the head correctly, use a flannel and shower from the neck down.
💦 Along with trimming nails and cleaning ears, it’s a good idea to approach bath time as part of a general care regime and use it as an opportunity to check for ticks too. Little tick removers, (the safe way to remove ticks), cost about £5 and are handy to have in a car, handbag and bathroom. You never know when you are going to find a tick, so keep a remover nearby and check regularly!
💦 Use a good dog shampoo – we prefer natural mild ingredients that will be kind to the skin. If you use a shampoo that makes your dog itch they will soon learn to hate baths, so try another, milder one. At Ruff and Tumble we are in love with Milly’s Natural Grooming products range. They use natural and ethical ingredients, and have a great range including Sensitive, Coconut and Lemon!
💦 Use lukewarm water in the bath/shower and consider getting a hot tap fitted outside to go alongside your cold one and use a mixer hose attachment, for rinsing after walks. This can make life a lot easier if you have big dogs, or more than one. Using a cold hose will not endear them to any cleaning regime – if we wouldn’t like it, why would they? Repeat the rinsing process a few times, as any shampoo left on the fur will irritate.
💦 Drying dogs is difficult, time consuming and infinitely preferable for you both if you use a Ruff and Tumble Drying Coat. Many dogs are terrified of hair dryers, and one bad experience with them can put dogs off baths forever. Also, it’s very easy to burn skin with a hairdryer as they become very hot unless moved continuously. In contrast, after an initial rub down to remove the drips, Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats are easy to use and quick to put on. Once on, the two layers of soft cotton towelling wick away wet from the dog, whose body heat pushes the wet through to the second layer. You don’t have to dry the dog because they dry themselves.
💦 After the bath, give your dog lots of praise, attention and a treat, so they associate the whole experience with positivity. We all love a clean smelling dog to cuddle up to on a sofa, (and bed….ssssh, don’t tell anyone….), so it’s worth trying new ways of cleaning your dog, for them and you.
And remember, there are lots of ways (outside of bath time) to keep your dog happy!