Giving your dog a bath and tips for shampooing

Shampooing your dog for the first time, or not sure how often your pet should be washed, and what about hydrobathing? Check out our tips for shampooing here.

  1. Thoroughly wet your dog all over. The more water you get into the coat the easier it is to shampoo. You may find it necessary to add small amounts of shampoo as you go, as this breaks down the surface tension due to grease on the skin and allows the shampoo to penetrate down to the skin where it is needed.
  2. Use a sponge to apply shampoo particularly around the face. Pouring shampoo down the back of your pet will mean you will use more than you require. If you are using a veterinary supplied shampoo you will find you only need to use a small amount of shampoo as most are concentrated.
  3. When lathering up always add more water before you add more shampoo. A shampoo won't lather well in absence of water.
  4. Rub the shampoo all over including around the muzzle, lips and under the tail. These are the areas bacteria and fungus spread from and are the common causes of infection. You will find this relatively easy if you are using a sponge.
  5. It is important if using a medicated shampoo to allow time for it to work. In general, 10 minutes is required. Some other shampoos, which are known to irritate the skin, will specify shorter contact times with increased frequency of use to reduce the irritating effect. Your dog can do whatever it likes while waiting, such as playing catch to take his/her mind off being wet. If your dog does go and roll remember there is still shampoo in the coat so adding water at the time of rinsing will reactive the shampoo.
  6. Rinse thoroughly. It takes time to get rid of all the shampoo from the coat, about 5 minutes in longer haired dogs. A shower rose or hydrobath is excellent. Your pet should be "SQUEAKY" clean. If the hair doesn't squeak, there is still shampoo residue, which needs to be removed.
  7. Dry gently. Using heat or vigorous towel drying will irritate skin that is already itchy. A commercial grooming drier just blows the water out of the coat. It doesn't use heat.
  8. If you are sensitive to detergents or have hand dermatitis, we suggest you were gloves when using any shampoo.

How often should a dog be washed?

It depends on whether your dog has a healthy coat and skin, and when he/she needs it. Dogs who spend the most of their time indoors will not need much bathing, while dogs who are outside a lot, will need to be bathed more often. Also, some dogs' coats will accumulate grease and oil more quickly than others. To keep your dog free of irritation, make sure you use a dog specific shampoo.

What about hydrobathing?

Using a hydrobath facility is a convenient, hassle free and very effective way to bath your dog. A hydrobath uses a warm, high pressure therapeutic shower head, which massages your dog and allows penetration of the coat when combined with quality pet shampoos.

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