Bath time can be a stressful time for our pets but also for us! Here are a few tips that have helped us make bath time a little more enjoyable for everyone.
Our girls are not fans of water at all. Dallas will tiptoe around a puddle if she can. Therefore, I do what I can to make it as pleasant as possible. Lucky for them, I used to be a hairstylist and give a mean scrub and massage. But before we get to the rubby-dubby stuff I start with a warm bath and some sweet talking. I run the tub with warm water and double check the temp before letting them in. I call them over with positive energy and promises of treats. One really important thing to have is an anti-slip mat for your tub. It really helps them stand and feel more confident in the bath. Also, don’t forget to get your supplies ready beforehand. You don’t want to leave your dog unsupervised in the bath while you are running around getting stuff. Make sure you have your shampoo, towels, cup, and something to put under your knees.
Let’s Talk ‘Poo
I like to keep it simple. Our dogs, being bulldogs, can have skin irritations so I use a shampoo that is formulated for sensitive skin and has little to no scent. Just like humans, dogs all have different needs and that should be taken into consideration when choosing their shampoo. As I mentioned, I stay away from strong smelling shampoos. As tempting as it is to buy the luxurious smelling dog shampoo and how nice it would be for us to snuggle our noses into their perfumed fur, you have to remember how sensitive dogs noses are and also those strong perfumes can be drying on their skin.
Washing Off the Stink
Once they are in the tub, I take a cup and scoop the warm water and get them all wet. I am very careful not to get water in their face and ears. Using cotton balls in their ears can help, just don’t push them too far in. I just use my one hand to hold her ears out of the way while I carefully pour water behind her ears. I avoid washing their face and just use a wash cloth. Next, I add soap to my hands and start scrubbing. Don’t forget to get into all those nooks and crannies…that includes the stinky tail pocket if she has one. I rinse her all off and then do a second shampoo. This time I let it sit on while I give her one of my super massages and good butt scratches. I now do a final rinse and continue until all soap is gone. You really want to make sure you get it all off or it can cause irritation. I follow that with a rub with my hands to try and get some water off before taking them out of the tub. I like to have a couple towels on the floor layered open on top of each other. It doesn’t matter how many towels I have though, I still end up getting a shower too. It is what it is! Good thing they are cute, right?! After they have shaken all the water off themselves and all over your bathroom (sorry, no tip for that one…if you have one, please share!) give them a good towel dry. If you have a bulldog or any other wrinkly faced pooch, make sure to dry their wrinkles well. Same goes for that tail pocket. I like to use my blow dryer on low with a few shots of cool to dry the tail pocket.
Remember, you don’t have to bathe your dog too often. Just like people, washing too often will strip them of their natural oils. Usually the nose knows. If they are smelling a little wild, we bathe. That is usually every couple months. During allergy season we bathe more often. But just like anything, if you aren’t sure…ask your vet.