Learn How To Groom Your Dog With A Bath

How to groom a dog with a bath, especially with a water-challenged dog. Personal experience and tips from professional dog groomers for those of us with bath-hating dogs.

Does your dog tuck his tail and slink quietly away when he hears its bath time? Or does she struggle furiously for freedom at all costs when you turn the hose on her? Perhaps you've tried a more civilized approach, the family bathtub, only to end up with a soaked floor, soaked clothes and your dog MIA.

First, most dogs don't like cold hoses. In warm weather you can still bathe your dog outside. Here's how: Gather your dog's shampoo, brushes, a couple dry towels, two buckets of warm water. Put your dog on his leash. It may help to have a family member keep Rover on a short leash, so he can't jump on you.

Brush and massage (scratch his favorite spots) your dog before and during the bath. The extra pampering will help distract and calm your dog. It also will help your dog to equate bath time with good times. Talk matter of factly and soothingly to your pet.

Slowly pour the warm water over you dog, petting as you go along. Then shampoo him. Have your helper bring out two more buckets of warm water while you simultaneously shampoo and massage your dog. Be careful not to get any soap into his eyes. Then rinse slowly. Have dry towels handy. If you're fast you can dry off your dog before he shakes on you!

If it's too cold for outside bathing, we've found that it's much easier to lead our dog into a shower -with it turned off - then to get him into a bath tub, depending on his size. A rubber shower mat will help your dog feel more secure. Follow the same procedure indoors as outdoors. Once your dog becomes more accustomed to baths, you may be able to turn on the faucet in the bath or shower and forego the buckets. Often, the running water will send a water challenged dog into a tailspin; whereas pouring warm water s l o w l y onto the dog while soothing him with rubs and scratches will get you to your goal more easily.

Remember to read directions carefully on flea shampoos and after bath repellants. Some shouldn't be used together. And, don't be discouraged should your nice clean dog immediately go roll in the dirt. It's an instinct that goes back to their ancestors who rolled in plants as well as really yukky stuff as a means of disguising their canine orders from the prey which they hunted. At least Rover will have had a deep cleaning and will be free of fleas!

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